ABC Airing Chadwick Boseman Special and 'Black Panther' Sunday Night

A new ABC News special premieres on Sunday night: Chadwick Boseman — A Tribute for a King. The 40-minute broadcast is a collaboration between Marvel Studios, ABC Entertainment and ABC News, the companies announced, after news of Boseman's passing caught the world off guard. The special will immediately follow the airing of Boseman's iconic Marvel Studios film Black Panther.

Marvel is working with other Disney subsidiaries to pay tribute to Boseman this weekend after the actor's tragic passing. The 43-year-old passed away on Friday night following a prolonged but secret battle with cancer. As he rose to international stardom over the last few years, Boseman became an icon and a literal superhero to many for his portrayal of King T'Challa — the Black Panther. According to ABC, Sunday's tribute will honor him for that and his other acclaimed performances.

The tribute to Boseman will begin at 8 p.m. ET on Sunday, Aug. 30, with a commercial-free airing of Black Panther. This broadcast will be the movie's debut on ABC. When the film wraps up at 10:20 p.m. ET, Chadwick Boseman — A Tribute for a King will begin.

The news special will feature footage of Boseman, as well as his co-stars Michael B. Jorda, Lupita Nyong'o, Forest Whitaker, Danai Gurira, Daniel Kaluuya and Angela Bassett. All will discuss Boseman's legacy in the entertainment industry and in the culture as a whole, as well as Boseman himself as a man.

Along the way, the special will apparently offer fresh details about Boseman's medical condition and spread some awareness about metastatic colon cancer in general. Boseman kept his cancer and his treatment a secret over the last four years, even as he continued to work on blockbuster films and critical successes. Boseman's illness went from stage III to stage IV during the course of his stardom, and he often scheduled his work around chemotherapy sessions.


Boseman's impact on movie audiences may be the hardest part of the story to capture. The actor embodied a hero that inspired viewers of all races without alienating them or undercutting T'Challa's humanity. Black Panther was the first superhero adaptation to get a Best Picture nomination at the Oscars, and it acquired six other nominations as well.

Black Panther makes its TV debut on Sunday, Aug. 30, at 8 p.m. ET. It will be followed immediately by the ABC News special Chadwick Boseman — A Tribute for a King at 10:20 p.m. ET.