TV One’s executive vice president of programming and development Rose Catherine Pinkney is starting to put her touches on the African-American targeted network’s programming lineup after nine months on the job. In October, the former Paramount Television programming executive will launch four new original shows: reality series Snoop’s Youth Football League and I Married a Baller; stand-up comedy/competition series Bill Bellamy’s Who’s Got Jokes; and male-based talk show Black Men Revealed. Programming editor R. Thomas Umstead and programming writer/satellite editor Linda Moss sat down with Pinkney to discuss her plans for the network.
MCN: You’ve been at TV One for nine months. What have you learned about the network and what would you like to accomplish?
Pinkney: I came in with a plan to evaluate where we were, where our programming was and what people were expecting from us. What I was surprised about was how much choice we have in programming and the level of producers and programmers that are coming to us with ideas now that we’re open for business. We started out with lifestyles programming and now I’m broadening us and making sure we meet the entertainment part of our lifestyle and entertainment moniker.
MCN: TV One’s lifestyle programming has primarily been targeted to reach 25-to-54-year-old female viewers. Are you seeking to draw in younger, more male viewers with entertainment and reality content?
Pinkney: I think it goes to the idea that this is supposed to be a network for all adults, so we want to make sure that everybody has something that they would choose to watch on TV One.
I think with our entertainment programming, it’s not about age but about being contemporary and being fresh, and being a part of what’s happening now on television.
MCN: Will TV One eventually develop original, scripted programming?
Pinkney: Yes. My goal for the year was to prove to everyone that I could do the reality and lifestyle programming, but I have a scripted programming background. I’m looking forward to do comedies and dramas written by African-Americans for African Americans.
MCN: Has BET’s efforts to develop original, entertainment-based programming under [BET Entertainment president] Reginald Hudlin influenced TV One’s decision to develop more entertainment programming?
Pinkney: I don’t think it really made us change anything. I think we’ve always had the goal to do exactly what we’re doing. You don’t want to pay attention to what the other guys are doing. We want to make creative decisions based on what we think our viewers want as opposed to competitive business decisions. We really believe that there’s room for all the networks – there’s certainly money enough for all of us. If we can be true to our viewers and keep them loyal by providing them the shows and content that they want to see, then everything should be fine for all of us.
MCN: Do you have plans to develop original programming for your four new broadband video sites?
Pinkney: Yes, we have a lot of short-form content in the works for the four sites [gospel/inspiration, lifestyles, hip-hop and public affairs]. As soon as we get the schedule for the [linear] channel up and running, I’ll be turning my attentions toward that.