During the '90s, Fox ran black television, and one of the network's lesser-known gems was Roc. Set in Baltimore, the show followed the lives of the title character (played by Charles S. Dutton) and his wife, Eleanor. Roc's younger brother Joey provided occasional humor and drama.
After beginning life as a sitcom, Roc made the bold move to air each episode from the second season as a live performance. Not only did this play to the strengths of the four main cast members—each of whom were trained stage actors—it made Roc the first scripted American television show since the '50s to broadcast an entire season live.
Roc's narratives offered hard looks at drugs and violence in urban communities, but without losing sight of the mission: offering a positive look at African-Americans doing their best to make an honest living. Unfortunately, the show's positive imagery couldn't save it from low ratings.