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Black actors star in 3 hourlong TV dramas

April 16, 2006 at 10:20 AM

LOS ANGELES, April 16 (UPI) -- In a first for Hollywood, black actors have garnered leading roles in three hourlong television dramas, the Chicago Tribune reports.

In the past, black actors and other minorities have been relegated to playing side-kicks, noble bosses, judges, villains or criminals of the week but never the leading man. This year things have changed.

Adrian Lester, a black actor from England, was chosen to play the head of NASA's Jet Propulsion Lab in the Fox sci-fi pilot "Beyond."

Dennis Haysbert, who played David Palmer in "24" for four seasons, is now the head of a special forces team on CBS's "The Unit."

Over at FX, Andre Braugher heads up a multiracial cast on the acclaimed new drama "Thief."

"It may be insubstantial and soon melt away or it may be the beginning of something significant," Braugher told the Tribune. "My hopes are that it's the beginning of something significant."

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