Will 'White Famous' Return For Season 2? There's Plenty Of Material Left For The Show To Cover
Jamie Foxx went from In Living Color comedian to Oscar-winning A-lister, and the journey was fascinating enough that he's now loosely adapting his experiences into prestige TV with a half-hour cable series, White Famous. The series' first season is coming to an end on Dec. 10, and Floyd, Foxx's onscreen analogue, still has a long way to go before he's a huge movie star. So, will White Famous return for Season 2 to continue his journey? There hasn't been any news from the show's network, Showtime, about whether or not White Famous will be returning in 2018. That's no real reason to worry, though, as many shows aren't renewed until after their season finales air. But, there could be some trouble ahead for White Famous if you look to the network's other offerings.
The series' timeslot partner and fellow debut SMILF has already been renewed for a second season. According to Deadline, SMILF "debuted with the biggest premiere week audience for a new Showtime comedy since 2012," while White Famous has only averaged 255,000 total viewers per episode, according to TVSeriesFinale. According to Deadline, Gary Levine, Showtime's president of programming, called SMILF "funny and forthright, pointed and poignant, irreverent and relevant, all at once" in the show's renewal announcement.
Unfortunately, with rapturous reviews and comments from Showtime like that, it sounds like SMILF may be outgrowing White Famous, which has been boosted from being paired with the newly-renewed show (its highest-rated episode ever was paired with the SMILF premiere, according to TVSeriesFinale). With no renewal announcement, it's possible that White Famous could be delayed or moved from its place on fall Sundays. While waiting for the network to make an announcement, star Jay Pharoah has been retweeting plenty of pleas from fans that the show continue, but hasn't offered any additional comments about Season 2.
If White Famous does return in fall of 2018, though, there's plenty of material it could use for additional episodes. Foxx has already cameoed in the series playing a wackier, more eccentric version of himself, and there are limitations to how closely the rest of the series can mirror his life. But as Foxx became more famous to white audiences in real life, he also began to transform from a comedian to a serious actor with the chops to earn two Oscar nominations in the same year (one for his lead performance in Ray, the other for his supporting performance in Collateral).
If the first season tracked Floyd through his the discomfort and awkwardness of joining his first big-budget Hollywood comedy, maybe the second season could be about his transformation into a dramatic performer, something that would be a challenge both politically (as there would surely be more white gatekeepers in his way) and professionally, because neither Pharaoh nor his character have ever been challenged with performing in a serious dramatic role before. Pharoah joked to People Magazine that outside of a few random moments, he won't be doing his Saturday Night Live impressions in this role. But maybe a second season could show Floyd using his impressionist skills to land a part similar to Ray Charles, that combined Foxx's skills for mimicry and singing with a strong, grounded, dramatic acting, which came as a surprise to some after he started out as a comedian.
Season 2 could also rope in some additional characters from Californication, a now-ended Showtime series whose former showrunner, Tom Kapinos, is now running White Famous. According to Kapinos, the two series take place in the same universe, and have several of the same characters, including Stu Biggs (Stephen Tobolowsky's Hollywood producer) and Kali (Meagan Good's pop star). "To me, it’s the same Los Angeles as Californication, so you run into some of the same people," Kapinos told Assignment X at the Television Critics' Association. "I don’t know if we’ll ever make our way up to Hank Moody," Kapinos continued, speaking about David Duchovny's Californication protagonist. Kapinos didn't offer any speculation about what White Famous would do if it did receive a second season, but if Showtime does choose to bring it back for more episodes, the series would have plenty of new material to work with as it keeps vaguely following Foxx's life.