Upfronts 2012: TV One To Double Original Series Programming


TV One will double its original programming output over the next year as it looks to expand further into scripted series and reality docu-dramas, the network announced during upfront presentation here March 20.

With more cable networks developing content for African-American viewers, TV One president and CEO Wonya Lucas told Multichannel News that the network's new programming slate will provide its viewers with content that reflects all aspects of African-American life and culture.

"The full vision of the network is representing the breadth and depth of true Black life," she said prior to the network's upfront presentation to advertisers, which featured a musical performance from R&B singer Ne-Yo.

"I think during the third and fourth quarter we'll really be hitting our stride," she added.

The network will continue to mine the crime and justice genre for its target adult 25-54 African-American audience with the fourth quarter launch of Unresolved: Celebrity Cases, which investigates the controversial and sensational cases involving such prominent entertainment figures as soull/R&B singers Sam Cooke and  Allaiyah, and rap artist Jam Master J, said network officials. Unresolved: Celebrity Cases follows the launch this past January of TV One's crime and justice series Find Our Missing.

Other new docu-dramas include Save My Son, hosted by educator, author and TV commentator Dr. Steve Perry and which profiles the struggles of African American families to save their sons who have fallen victim to bad influences and bad choices and The Ladies of R&B, a hour long series that follows the current lives of R&B singers Faith Evans, Nicci Gilbert, Keke Wyatt, Monifah Carter and Syleena Johnson.

The network will also develop a spinoff of its popular Unsung series dubbed Destined, which takes nostalgic look at the best, brightest and most beloved African American television and film actors, said network officials. TV One is also developing for 2013 a special, Bernie Mac: A Tribute To A Comedy King, to coincide with the five-year anniversary of the popular comedian's death.

On the scripted side, the network is developing such comedy sitcoms as The Rickey Smiley Show, loosely based on the life of the comedian and radio personality who plays on the show a single father to four adopted children; Belles, which centers around a recently widowed father who has to take over the operations of his wife's restaurant; and Church Folk, which follows a family that is forced to leave their newly built mega-church in Los Angeles and start over back home in their native South.