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Noticing the similarity

July 17, 2006|Greg Braxton

A look at some of the highlights as the TV industry unveils its upcoming shows to the entertainment press at the Ritz-Carlton Huntington Hotel & Spa in Pasadena:

Colorblind casting led to a colorless cast for CBS' "The Class."

David Crane, co-creator of the comedy about a reunion of eight twentysomethings who had been in the same third-grade class, said Saturday that it was not an intentional decision for all the cast members to be white. The show is the network's only new sitcom.

"It is unfortunate," said Crane. "We wrote the characters color-blind, then spent six months searching for the right people."

"They were allowed to create the show they wanted to create," said Josie Thomas, the network's head of diversity, adding that her role is mostly advisory.

"The Class" is just one of several new comedies on the four major broadcast networks that don't feature a minority in a leading role.

The absence has already drawn fire from the NAACP and other groups, who say that CBS, NBC, ABC and Fox have been effective in increasing diversity on dramas but have fallen far short in comedies.

-- Greg Braxton

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