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Black-Ish Season 8 Release Date, Cast, And Plot - What We Know So Far

The upcoming Season 8 of ABC sitcom "Black-ish" will, unfortunately, be the final outing for the series. Creator Kenya Barris announced the news via Instagram, writing, "In this day and age it is rare to get to decide when your show should come to an end, and we are grateful along with ABC to be able to make this final season exactly what we'd hoped for — and to do it with the entire and AMAZINGLY STELLAR cast coming back to close this chapter out with us the right way!"

Originally premiering in 2014, "Black-ish" was a huge success for the network, scoring a prestigious Peabody Award, Emmy wins, and strong ratings. The sitcom even launched a franchise of spin-off shows, with Freeform series "Grown-ish" currently in its 4th season. "Mixed-ish," which focused on the childhood of Bow Johnson, was canceled after Season 2, according to Deadline.

But which cast members are returning for "Black-ish" Season 8? When is it coming out and what will it focus on? Here's everything we know about the final season of the beloved sitcom.

What's the release date of Black-ish Season 8?

The final season of "Black-ish" will officially kick off in 2022, premiering on Tuesday, January 4 at 9:30 pm, according to Deadline. The show will arrive in midseason instead of during the fall schedule as with previous seasons. Season 7 was supposed to get a midseason premiere, but it became part of the ABC fall lineup instead (via The Hollywood Reporter).

This may be because of the notable dropoff in viewers throughout Season 7, with the show losing 33% of the crucial Adults 18-49 demographic compared to the previous season. The shift to midseason may be because the network doesn't see the show as very profitable anymore but still wants to give it a proper ending to entice loyal viewers. Star and executive producer Anthony Anderson suggested in an interview that the series ending ultimately wasn't his choice.

We should see how "Black-ish" works on a midseason schedule when the final season kicks off.

Who's in the cast of Black-ish Season 8?

Expected to return for "Black-ish" Season 8 are Anthony Anderson as Andre "Dre" Johnson; Tracee Ellis Ross as Rainbow "Bow" Johnson; Marcus Scribner as Andre "Junior" Johnson Jr.; Miles Brown as Jack Johnson; Marsai Martin as Diane Johnson; Jenifer Lewis as Ruby Johnson; Laurence Fishburne as Pops; and Katlyn Nichol as Olivia Lockhart (via TV Line). Other regular characters include Jeff Meachum as Josh Oppenhol, Peter MacKenzie as Leslie Stevens, and Deon Cole, who plays Dre's friend and co-worker Charlie Telphy.

Notably, former First Lady Michelle Obama is expected to guest star on the Season 8 premiere. She will be the second politician to appear on "Black-ish" after Stacy Abrams did a voiceover role in the 7th season. Also appearing in the first episode is Yara Shahidi as Zoey Johnson, Dre and Bow's college-age daughter who currently stars on the Freeform spinoff series "Grown-ish." 

What's the plot of Black-ish Season 8?

Based indirectly on Kenya Barris' own family, "Black-ish" looks at the day-to-day lives of an upper-middle-class African-American family, the Johnsons. Many of the jokes revolve around the insecurities of Dre, the patriarch who isn't always sure about how to interact with Black culture as a privileged advertising executive. His wife Bow, a biracial woman who is a successful anesthesiologist, is more used to juggling differing identities. Together, the pair try to deal with personal and political problems while raising their five children in a changing world.

Over seven seasons, "Black-ish" has undergone several changes, including Deon Cole joining the series, Dre and Bow nearly divorcing, and daughter Zoey getting her own show, "Grown-ish." Yet the sitcom has remained one of the reliable staples of network comedy even as it tackled hot-button political issues. It seems likely then that Season 8 will depict some serious changes in the lives of the Johnsons, building up to what should be a heartfelt conclusion for "Black-ish."