The District

CBS (ended 2004)


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The District Fan Reviews (16)

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  • Such complexities are probably good things, and certainly more compelling than anything the reductive world of The District has yet offered.

    In the case of The District, it's hardly surprising that black characters take up a lot of the on-air time, considering that it's set in Washington DC, one of the few places in the U.S. where the majority population is African American (one school of thought has it that this is the major reason that the District still does not have representation in Congress). In fact, the cast's racial make-up prompted grumblings before it even aired, specifically, concerns that the show privileged a newly hired white police chief, Jack Mannion (Craig T. Nelson, also listed as a "consulting producer," whatever that is) over nefarious black characters, namely, a mayor modeled after Marion Barry and an assortment of corrupt cops. Reportedly, the network and producers were surprised to hear about these concerns — perhaps they'd been vacationing on Mars — but they dutifully took up the task of altering the show to appease detractors. The resulting, revamped District features a basically good black mayor, Ethan Baker (played by the famously decent and outspoken John Amos, who once quit Good Times because of its racist representations: in a word, JJ) and snide references to his badly behaved predecessor. The show also features a DC Chief of Patrol named Noland (Roger Aaron Brown), who's mad because he's been passed over for the Police Chief's position now occupied by Mannion.
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