ABC's SVP of casting Felicia Joseph

July 10, 2024
Online Originals

The TV That Made Me: ABC's Felicia Joseph

The network's senior vice president of casting reflects on Modern Family's origins and watching I Love Lucy.

The shows that were my childhood favorites: I Love Lucy and Fresh Prince of Bel-Air

I'm one of those people who doesn't like to pick favorites, but when I think back on my childhood, I watched I Love Lucy after school every day. Fresh Prince of Bel-Air was another one; I've seen probably every episode of both of those shows. The Cosby Show. All the “TGIF” stuff — Full House, Family Matters, that whole lineup. I grew up very plugged in with all of that.

The show that was formative for me as a teen: Sister, Sister; Beverly Hills 90210

Pre-teen it was Sister, Sister, because I have a sister who’s two years older than me, and people thought we were twins. And they were Black girls, so I was like, “Oh, this is me on TV with my sister.” It was so relatable and fun and quirky. We were just starting to like boys, and it was just cute, the things going on in that world. And then, as a teenager, 90210 premiered, and I remember that being pretty cool, to just see teens dealing with romance and school stuff.

The show I consider way ahead of its time: Modern Family

[When Modern Family premiered] I was at ABC in my first round at the company. I was an assistant at the time, so I wasn't involved in the day-to-day of it, and I can't say exactly how the sausage was made, but I do remember that it was a process to create that pilot. It was revolutionary at the time to see a family with a gay son and a Latina wife on a broadcast network. Those cultural dynamics were progressive, and it was rare. Now, I feel like stories are a bit more organic and created with cultural identities in mind, but that wasn't the case when we were creating that pilot.

The show I wish I could re-watch for the very first time: The Sopranos

I think I've watched every episode, but I was young, and I feel like I didn't really understand the gangster dynamics happening — all of the murder and mayhem going on, and illegal activity. [Laughs] I was just enthralled by it because it was such rich storytelling. If I could go back and watch it, I feel like I would see it differently.

The show I would have loved to work on: The Wire

From a casting perspective, it birthed so many careers: Michael B. Jordan, Idris Elba, Wood Harris. There are so many people who came out of The Wire. It's a beautiful cast and an amazing series, so it’d be cool to be on the ground for that.

The show I can watch over and over again: Abbott Elementary

I tend to like darker, grittier stuff, and really rich, dramatic storytelling. But sometimes it's nice to check out a bit, have some levity, kick your feet up and enjoy TV. Abbott is one of those shows. I have a 2-year-old and an almost-6-year-old; everybody can sit around and watch it. It's not too heavy. You're going to laugh, and you can pick up anywhere and know what's going on. I love that about it.

The show I’d love to see brought back for one more season: Euphoria 

It's such a brilliant show. I love Euphoria because of the world they built, the cinematography, these really interesting coming-of-age stories and just seeing young people in their element. I think that's really fascinating and relatable.

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