Before young Black women tuned into Issa Rae and her cast mates on “Insecure,” there was another show about female friendships and their romantic encounters, and that was “Girlfriends” on UPN.
The sitcom, which starred Tracee Ellis Ross, Persia White, Golden Brooks and Jill Marie Jones, ran for eight hilarious seasons before it ended abruptly in 2008 with no finale or big official send off.
Since then, fans have been begging for a reunion, and if the cast has its way, it will happen at some point. That’s because everyone is already on board, according to Jones who played Toni Childs on the show.
“We definitely all want to do it,” she said on the “The Breakfast Club.” “I think it’s a timing thing and also the legal stuff. You sell a script you don’t actually own it anymore, so [it’s] whatever CBS and Paramount want to do.”
During its impressive run, “Girlfriends” was among the highest rated shows among Black folks from ages 18-34, and it received positive reviews, as well as a number of NAACP awards. It also created the spin-off “The Game,” starring Tia Mowry that was eventually cancelled by UPN but picked up later by BET.
Besides Jones, other cast members of “Girlfriends” like Ellis-Ross, also expressed a want to do a reunion film. “I would love to, and I’ve been saying that since we’ve finished, but I really don’t know” she said last year on Bravo’s “Watch What Happens Live!”
The “Blackish” actress also said she’s still friends with all of her “Girlfriends” cast mates, which is different from Reggie Hayes who played William on the show. In a 2012 interview, he talked about why the series did so well and the possibility of it coming to the big screen.
“They were toying with the idea for a while,” he said about a potential film. “I don’t know what happened with that, maybe [the idea] ran out of steam. I think the community needed something like ‘[Girlfriends]’ … It was really intelligently written also. It was remarkable when I auditioned for it, especially [because] UPN didn’t have such a nice reputation for witty writing and it really was … I think people really appreciated it.”
His cast mates appreciate being on the show as well, because Jones said she never gets tired of being called Toni Childs on the street, which some may find nice to hear since she left the series in its sixth season.
As far as why it ended so anticlimactically, Jones said it’s not that strange of a thing in Hollywood, but she did admit that race played a factor.
“Unfortunately, that happens sometimes in television,” she explained. “Unfortunately, with Black shows”