TV Critics Tour: TV One Sets New Fall Shows


Beverly Hills, Calif.--TV One will take a close look at unsolved civil rights cases from the 1950s as part of its fall programming lineup.

Opening the three-week summer Television Critics Association summer press tour, the African-American network also announced during its morning presentation here that it will provide full coverage of the Democratic National Convention next month in Denver--including a late-night recap show after each night of the convention -- in anticipation of the historic presidential run by Sen. Barack Obama (Ill.), according to TV One president Johnathan Rodgers.

Among the new shows on the network are Murder In Black and White, a documentary series hosted by the Rev. Al Sharpton that examines -- and seeks to help solve -- civil rights murders from the 1940s and 1950s. Series producer Keith Beauchamp, whose 2005 documentary on the murder of Black teen Emmett Till in Mississippi helped spur the government to reopen the 1950s case, said he worked closely with the Federal Bureau of Investigation to bring to light the unsolved cases examined in the series.

“There’s a huge surge of interest … it’s a justice-seeking atmosphere that has been developed within the justice department and FBI that is going after these old cold cases,” Beauchamp said. “[The FBI] hope to bring prosecution and closure for the families.”

Also on the docket is Mean Streets: Cities Under Fire, a special hosted by reality series host Judge Greg Mathis that looks at life in the violence-plagued cities of Newark, N.J. and Oakland. As part of the special, TV One will bring back Newark native and comedian Bill Bellamy and Oakland native Mark Curry to their respective neighborhoods to talk about their experiences growing up and how their respective neighborhoods have changed over the years, Rodgers said.

This November, TV One will also debut Unsung, a series of four one-hour biographical specials celebrating the lives and careers of such R&B and gospel performers as Donny Hathaway, The DeBarge Family, The Clark Sisters and Phyllis Hyman.

As first reported in Multichannel News, the 40 million-subscriber network will provide blanket coverage of the four-day Democratic National Convention, including live primetime coverage and a nightly post-event show, said Rodgers. The one-hour post show, dubbed TV One Live: DNC After Party, will be anchored by former BET News anchor Jacque Reid.

While the network will provide commentary and analysis of the DNC, where Obama is expected to become the first African-American presidential nominee of a major political party, Rodgers said TV One will not provide similar coverage of the Republican National Convention in September.

“We are not a news organization. We are a television network that is designed to celebrate African-American achievement,” Rodgers said. “My audience is 93% black; I serve my audience.”

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