On Web sites such as Entertainment Weekly’s and Bossip theories ran amok as to why a flashy drama from a veteran producer sank before it could reach deep water. Some pointed to lack of star power, while a few fans complained of weak writing. Sure, all those things can cause any show’s early demise, but I’m not convinced those very fixable creative flaws explain the show’s short life span; ratings were low from the very first episode.
I think it’s possible that a slightly more obvious, disturbing reason could be behind Undercovers’ failure, and it’s pretty familiar: race. Prime-time audiences just weren’t ready for “super-negros” on the small screen. And that’s exactly what Undercovers was: a show about black people doing very “unblack” things.
....Fast-forward 40 years, and it’s plain to see that Hollywood still hasn’t figured out a way to move beyond that absurd premise. It still can’t just fit us in. Yes, we often appear as sidekicks or backup characters in an array of popular shows in prime time, but rarely do we carry a show as the star or let the viewers come home with us. One exception is Jada Pinkett Smith’s turn as a no-nonsense nurse on the TNT show Hawthorne