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The Golden Girls recast with Black actors for one-night performance

Alfre Woodard, Tracee Ellis Ross, Sanaa Lathan and Regina King will play the famed Florida senior citizens.

Gael Cooper
CNET editor Gael Fashingbauer Cooper, a journalist and pop-culture junkie, is co-author of "Whatever Happened to Pudding Pops? The Lost Toys, Tastes and Trends of the '70s and '80s," as well as "The Totally Sweet '90s." She's been a journalist since 1989, working at Mpls.St.Paul Magazine, Twin Cities Sidewalk, the Minneapolis Star Tribune, and NBC News Digital. She's Gen X in birthdate, word and deed. If Marathon candy bars ever come back, she'll be first in line.
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  • Co-author of two Gen X pop-culture encyclopedia for Penguin Books. Won "Headline Writer of the Year"​ award for 2017, 2014 and 2013 from the American Copy Editors Society. Won first place in headline writing from the 2013 Society for Features Journalism.
Gael Cooper
2 min read
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The Golden Girls will be reimagined with an all-Black cast Tuesday night for a Zoom Where It Happened virtual watch party. Actors Alfre Woodard, Tracee Ellis Ross, Sanaa Lathan and Regina King will star in the roles made famous by Bea Arthur, Betty White, Rue McClanahan and Estelle Getty in the sitcom on senior citizens that ran in the 1980s and '90s.  Gina Prince-Bythewood will direct the episode, and writer and actress Lena Waithe will host.

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While the site doesn't announce which actress is playing which role, an image of the original cast on Ellis Ross' Instagram would seem to indicate she's playing Rose Nylund (originally played by White); King is Dorothy Zbornack (Arthur, originally); Lathan is playing Blanche Devereaux (McClanahan's role); and Woodward will be Sophia Petrillo, originally played by Getty.

The episode will air at 6 p.m. PT, and is free to watch online, but also has a political goal.

"In an effort to further engage our community and drive change, all you need to do to enjoy this evening is sign up to receive messages about how you can make a change during this election," the sign-up page says. "This event is in partnership with Zoom, and the first episode is spotlighting and supporting Color of Change -- the nation's largest online racial justice organization."

Back in July, another 1980s-'90s sitcom, The Wonder Years, announced an all-Black reboot -- but not just for one night. That show will focus on a Black family in 1960s Alabama. Fred Savage, who starred as young Kevin Arnold in the original show, will direct. No casting or release date information for The Wonder Years reboot is available yet.

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