TV One to Launch Theatrical-Competition Series


Pasadena, Calif. -- TV One will team up with playwright David E. Talbert to create a reality competition series that will net the winners parts in an upcoming Talbert production.

The series, dubbed David E. Talbert’s Blackstage, will chronicle the theatrical road tour of Talbert’s urban play, Love in the Nick of Tyme.

During the tour, 10 participants will compete for the chance to be understudies in Tyme, which stars Morris Chestnut (Boyz ‘N the Hood) and rhythm-and-blues recording artist Avant. The winning contestants will also land leading roles in the next Talbert production and be part of the show’s road tour.

"The show combines a behind-the-scenes look at the dynamic world of urban theater with a competition that will really test the versatility and talent of participants," said Rose Catherine Pinkney, executive vice president of programming and production for the 34.9 million-subscriber network.

TV One also announced during its Television Critics Association Tour presentation here Wednesday a new reality series, I Married a Baller, which follows the lives of former pro-football player Eddie George and his wife, R&B singer Taj, Pinkney said. The show will premiere in April.

In addition, the network will air the 15th Annual Trumpet Awards in March. The show -- which awards African-American achievement in diverse fields such as law, religion, politics, public service, sports and entertainment -- will take place in Las Vegas and will honor pro-basketball star Michael Jordan, R&B singer Toni Braxton, civil-rights activist Percy Sutton, singer Dionne Warwick, Justice Alan C. Page and gospel singers Donnie McClurkin and Cece Winans.

Trumpet Awards creator and executive producer Xernona Clayton said the show will also pay tribute to Olympic Games medalists Tommie Smith and John Carlos, who famously raised their gloved fists during the 1968 Summer Olympics track-and-field medal ceremony to symbolize black pride and power.