*Oprah Winfrey once described “Raising Whitley” as one of the three shows that helped OWN “turn the corner” towards success. Now the network, which was recently named the “most-watched network for African-American women,” has decided to cancel a series.
AlwaysAList.com has learned that OWN will not be renewing its popular reality series “Raising Whitley” for a fifth season. The series starred actress/comedienne Kym Whitley and centered around the village of family and friends she assembled to help her raise her adopted son, Joshua.
“Raising Whitley” premiered on April 20, 2013 and because its first season performed well, the show was extended from 30 minutes to an hour. The season four finale of “Raising Whitley” aired on Jan. 16, 2016. The episode, titled “Telling Joshua” dealt with the comic preparing to tell her son he was adopted. The episode will now serve as the series finale.
During our 2015 chat with the Kym, she explained the types of advice she gives to curious and concerned parents of adopted kids.
“Adoptive parents always want to now when is a good time to tell your child and how do you tell you child. My best suggestion is with pictures. You make a photo album from the day they’re born, with all the people that love them. Some people have open adoptions, so they might have the birth parents pictures in there. Just a whole picture book where you can tell the story, and leave the book out, don’t hide it, so he can go through it every now and then. Always start the conversation with, ‘I love you and I chose you, and your adoptive parents gave you up but the kind of love for a mother to give up a child is way beyond anything. She really loved you, and she loves you to give you to me.”
The actress issued a statement to AlwaysAList about the cancellation of her OWN series:
“Me, Joshua and the entire village have enjoyed sharing our lives with the viewers. I’m so grateful that Oprah Winfrey, Sheri Salata & the entire team at OWN took a chance on our little show and gave us a platform for four seasons,” Kym told AlwaysAList.com, before adding: “And I will always appreciate celebrity makeup artist Derrick Rutledge for the dinner invitation that really made this all happen.”
A statement from a spokesperson at OWN read: “We have enjoyed working with Kym and her great ‘village’ of friends and thank them for opening their homes and sharing their lives with our viewers.”
Whitley will be hitting the road this spring and into the summer with fellow comic David Arnold on their “He Said, She Said” comedy tour. She’ll also appear opposite Ice Cube in the upcoming film “Fist Fight.”