35. Everybody Hates Chris
Network: UPN (2005–2006), The CW (2006–2009)
Air Dates: September 22, 2005–May 8, 2009
Stars: Tyler James Williams, Terry Crews, Tichina Arnold, Tequan Richmond, Vincent Martella, Imani Hakim
Chris Rock's always been candid about his upbringing in Brooklyn's Bedford-Stuyvesant neighborhood, often explaining that the hardships of his childhood fueled his career. Not only did they push him to rise above his situation, they provided fodder for his comedy routine. Bring the Pain, one of Rock's finest stand-up performances, draws heavily on his childhood, and in the fall of 2005, he brought those memories to TV with Everybody Hates Chris.
Set during the 1980s, Everybody Hates Chris chronicled Rock's painful fight for respect, a battle that started in his own home. On the show, his parents constantly harass him; he lives in the shadow of his younger brother; even his little sister gets the best of him. He's bullied in his neighborhood and at school, and everything that he wants always seems out of reach.
Everybody Hates Chris was praised for using humor to interrogate race and class problems in America. It garnered several Golden Globe and Emmy nominations, in addition to claiming several NAACP Image Awards. In 2007, Tyler James Williams (who played the lead), became the youngest person to win an NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Actor in a Comedy Series. He was just 14. —JK