While Sydney Tamiia Poitier found early success with minor roles in the TV movie “Free of Eden,” which co-starred her father, and Clint Eastwood’s 1999 mystery thriller “True Crime,” her early TV roles were hit-or-miss. She once described her early roles as typically being “the nice girl or the sweet girl or the girl next door” in a 2007 blackfilm interview.
According to her IMDb profile, in 2001, she landed a main role in the NBC legal drama “First Years.” The show, a reboot of BBC’s “This Life,” follows a group of law school graduates at the start of their careers. Poitier portrayed Riley Kessler, who moves in with three of her former classmates. Her main storyline involves her longtime boyfriend, Egg (James Roday). “First Years” was canceled after just three episodes had aired and received negative reviews (via SFGATE).
Things seemed to turn around for Poitier when she scored the titular role in the UPN sitcom “Abby,” which follows a former couple living together in their rent-controlled San Francisco apartment. However, the 2003 show was canceled after one season and received negative reviews for its raunchy humor (via Variety). Then, from 2003 to 2004, Poitier had recurring roles on two popular TV shows. On the first season of “Joan of Arcadia,” she portrayed reporter Rebecca Askew, who dated the main character’s older brother. Then, on “Veronica Mars” Season 1, she played journalism teacher Mallory Dent but was phased out when her character became pregnant.