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'Black. White.' and Shades of Gray on FX

Cutting-edge makeup techniques allow two American families... one black, one white... to trade races for a new reality show that debuts this week on cable TV's FX network.

Black. White. turns the African-American Sparks family of Atlanta -- Brian, Renee and son Nick -- into a white family. The Wurgels -- Bruno, Carmen and daughter Rose, of Santa Monica, Calif. -- take on black physical characteristics. The two families shared a house in California during six weeks of production.

Hip-hop performer and film actor Ice Cube is behind the show -- in partnership with Emmy-winning producer R.J. Cutler. The Sparks and the Wurgels are transformed by the makeup magic of Keith VanderLaan, nominated for an Oscar for Mel Gibson's The Passion of the Christ.


Bruno Marcotulli, white teacher from Santa Monica, Calif.; participant in FX series Black. White.

Brian Sparks, black computer networks specialist from Atlanta; participant in FX series Black. White.

Andrew Daniel, participant in Trading Races on BBC 2 in 2002

Matt Alvarez, executive producer of Black. White.

Copyright 2022 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

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