Grand Crew Premiere (Shelby Stephens, L.A. Sentinel)

The wait is over! The stars of NBC’s hit show, GRAND CREW, hosted an intimate premiere of the first episode of their second season for guest over the weekend at Black on The Block (BOTB) in Downtown Los Angeles. Screenings for Season 2 Episode 1 were held each hour between 2:00 p.m. and 4:00 p.m. at L.A. Center Studios. BOTB is a monthly vendor event in L.A. designed to assist Black businesses and entrepreneurs grow their reach and gain exposure. They provide a platform for small businesses to expand their market and meet new customers with more than a thousand attendees each month. Much like GRAND CREW, BOTB pushes for community to keep the culture moving forward.

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GRAND CREW is a network television comedy set in the heart of Los Angeles. A close group of six friends commune at a local wine bar, Cru off Figueroa Street, to enjoy each other’s company and witty banter. The show highlights the spirit of friendship in 30-minute episodes and offers comedic relief to common situations that often occur with friend groups, family members, and romantic partners. The all-Black cast is giving a fresh new meaning to comradery.

Grand Crew Panel Discussion at Black on The Block (Shelby Stephens, L.A. Sentinel)

Season 2 picks up exactly where Season 1 left off where Echo Kellum’s character, Noah, is contemplating on marrying Simone, played by Ashleigh Morghan, a woman whom he just met during the group’s trip to the winery. The episode features familiar areas of L.A. like the Metro station and the city of Santa Monica. Black owned popcorn business, Luv N’ POPcorn, supplied the event with some sweet and savory red popcorn to compliment the theater vibes and Black owned apparel company, For The Crew Clothing, provided guests with hats and t-shirts that promote GRAND CREW.

After the screening, the cast sat down with host Danielle Young for a Q&A session, along with show creator and Executive Producer Phil Augusta Jackson, and Executive Producer Dan Goor, to answer questions about what makes GRAND CREW so unique.

Show-runner Phil Augusta Jackson is a writer, actor, producer, and musician. He is best known for his work on Comedy Central series Key and Peele, Brooklyn Nine-Nine, Insecure, and now GRAND CREW. Jackson has impressed Hollywood with his perspective, creativity, and ideas for Black representation in the entertainment industry. When asked what advice he would give to young creatives looking to break into the field, he shared, “work with your friends, work with people you can trust and have fun with. Invest in yourself and in each other.” GRAND CREW’s essence is rooted in fun and friendship. Jackson also shared that the same people he works with, he gets to spend time with offset. The show is inspired by real life.

Grand Crew Aesthetic (Shelby Stephens, L.A. Sentinel)

Echo Kellum shared his thoughts on Black joy being positively represented in so many households across the country through GRAND CREW, “when you see this it helps you emulate it in real life, so seeing Black joy and happiness thriving is important. As you know representation definitely matters and sometimes in media there’s so much focus on Black trauma and not tell the full story of what Blackness is. I feel very privileged to be on a show that literally celebrates us winning and being successful.”

Actress Grasie Mercedes, who plays Fay, encourages the audience to support and promote GRAND CREW, “it’s rare to see a network show with an all-Black cast that’s not about trauma or the struggles of being poor. In this show we’re living life, we’re just friends just figuring out dating, our jobs and careers, giving each other advice and having fun while we’re doing it. We as people of color have to show up for our shows, because so many times the support isn’t there and they get cancelled right away. Us as viewers should give shows with a cast of color a chance and show support. Share with your friends, post about it, and that’s how we get viewership. It’s important for us to show up for the shows we love too.”

The crew is back with Season 2 this Friday, March 3, at 8:30 p.m./ 7:30 p.m. central. Catch your favorites Nicole ByerEcho KellumJustin CunninghamAaron JenningsCarl Tart and Grasie Mercedes each week on NBC. AND THAT’S HOW YOU SIP IT!