TV One will shine a light on missing African-Americans as part of a new series that will help usher the network
into the justice and mystery genre.
The series, Find Our Missing, will tell the story of the missing
person or persons, beginning with the day they vanished
and the frantic searches by loved ones and investigators to
find them, TV One CEO Wonya Lucas said.
Hosted by Emmy and Golden Globe Award-winning actress
S. Epatha Merkerson, the series will launch Jan. 18 on
the African-American channel. Lucas said the network will
complement the on-air series with social media and online
content. The network’s website, www.tvone.tv, will offer information
on what to do if someone is missing, tips on how
to prevent abductions and additional stories of missing people,
including some who have been found.
TV One’s Find Our Missing is the latest series riff on the
genre, which includes Investigation Discovery’s current docu
series Disappeared and the CBS procedural drama Without a
Trace, which aired in the late 2000s.
“Finding Our Missing is relevant to the African-American
community — nearly one-third of people who go missing are
African-American, and we only represent 12% of the population
— but from a media perspective, the focus is rarely on
African-Americans that are missing,” Lucas said. “It also has
an element of public service — we’ll be able to help find these
people and tell their stories, which aren’t being told on a national
Lucas said the justice/mystery genre plays well on television
in general and in particular to African American viewers.
“When you look at the justice/mystery shows, whether
its dramas or nonfiction, it’s a staple of good TV,” she said.
“One of the reasons why is that it features great storytelling
Lucas said the justice/mystery/survival genre will be one of
several genre pillars of the network’s original primetime programming
in 2012. The network hopes for a rebound after its
its primetime audience fell 9% in 2011 from 2010.
TV One will continue to tap the bio/documentary genre
with such shows as Unsung and Life After, and the comedy
genre with its sophomore original series Love That Girl! and
two other as yet unnamed sitcoms in development.
The network also has mined the love-and-relationships
genre with its dating show The Ultimate Merger and next
month will debut Love Addiction, in which individuals go
through an intervention process to cure their often destructive
TV One has also acquired Soul Food, which ran for five
seasons in the mid 2000s on Showtime, Lucas said.
“Our overall strategy is to think about the African-American
viewer and what theywatch on television, and to be the premiere
destination in a broad sense,” she said.