Moving back to acting, he appeared in television series like The Cosby Show, L.A. Law, 21 Jump Street, Rude Awakening, and Law and Order. His directing career began in television with Sonny Spoon, 21 Jump Street, and the CBS special Malcolm Takes a Shot, which earned him a Directors Guild nomination for Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Dramatic Shows, Daytime. In 1993, Mario Van Peebles directed the feature film Posse. He went on to direct Panther, which received the Silver Leopard and the Prize of the Ecumenical Jury from the Locarno International Film Festival. He co-directed Gang in Blue with his father, and wrote and directed Love Kills. His 2003 film How to Get the Man’s Foot out of Your Ass was an homage to his father’s 1971 breakthrough film, Sweet Sweetback’s Baadasssss Song. The film won Black Reel Awards for Screenplay and Directing and earned him a Best Actor Image Award nomination, as well as Independent Spirit Award nominations for Best Feature, Best Director and Best Screenplay, and the Audience Award from the Philadelphia Film Festival.