ABOVE PHOTO: Dr. Steve Perry, host of Save My Son
New York– Kicking off its first upfront season with President and CEO Wonya Lucas at the helm, TV One today unveiled ambitious plans to double the amount of original content during the 2012-2013 television year. In astar-studded presentation to advertisers at Cipriani, Ms. Lucas said the entertainment network for black adults planned to add 14 new series and specials during the upfront season, including three original sitcoms, two bio doc series that build on the legacy of its award-winning series Unsung, and nine non-fiction entertainment series.
During the presentation, Toni Judkins, TV One’s EVP of original programming, outlined some of the new and returning series, including:
Save My Son – is a powerful unscripted series that profiles the struggles of African American families to save their sons who have fallen victim to bad influences and bad choices. With the help of strong black male role models, these families, many of them led by single parents, will attempt to save these sons from leading a life estranged from their families and/orwith heightened chances of their becoming another black male statistic in the criminal justice system. This groundbreaking series will go to communities to rescue young men from a range of dangerous activities. Each program features an intervention staged by loved ones, a therapist and the series host, Dr. Steve Perry, renowned educator, author and TV commentator. They work together to design the best possible plan of action to get the young man in crisis back on track. Save My Son is slated to premiere in 3rd quarter 2012.
Unresolved: Celebrity Cases – This investigative series delves into controversial and sensational cases involving some of the most prominent entertainment figures of our time. Unresolved: Celebrity Cases seeks to uncover the truth behind headline-making events, such as celebrity homicides like the fatal hotel shooting of Sam Cooke or the murder of once up-and-coming R&B singer LaLa Brown; or unexplained mysteries, like the disappearance of basketball star Brian Williams aka Bison Dele and many more. Each episode introduces the case of a celebrated figure then it takes the audience through the rise of the celebrity’s life to an intimate exploration of their publicized tragedy or downfall. Through dramatic recreations surrounding the events, eyewitness accounts, culture experts, family, friends and/or colleagues, a clear picture emerges of the days leading up to the fateful moment and thereafter. Slated to premiere in 4th quarter 2012.
The Ladies of R&B –– is an hour long series that follows the current lives of R&B singers Faith Evans, Nicci Gilbert, Keke Wyatt, Monifah Carter and Syleena Johnson. They share their pain, suffering and joy as they work hard and lean on each other to put their lives back together. The series will follow them solo, together and in different combinations as they not only fight to get their lives on track but also to pay their good fortune forward. Divorce, parenting, drugs and alcohol, physical abuse and more – these ladies have survived it all and continue to deal with life’s battles each day. It is their personal mission to help other women in need. If women can learn from their mistakes, it was all worth it. They will love each other, fight with each other and celebrate with each other because there is one constant in their lives — their friendship. This sisterhood cannot be stopped.Slated to premiere in 3rd quarter 2012.
Unsung – TV One returns with eight new episodes of its widely acclaimed and NAACP Image Award-nominated bio series Unsung in 4th quarter 2012 and 16 new episodes beginning in 1st quarter 2013.This NAACP Image Award-winning series of one-hour biography specials celebrates the lives and careers of successful artists or groups who, despite great talent, over the years have been under-recognized or under-appreciated. TV One just completed its highest-rated season ever of Unsung on March 12, and, prior to 4th quarter, will debut eight new episodes beginning in June 2012, including Sly Stone, Gerald Levert, the Marvelettes, Kool Moe Dee, Angela Bofil, Arrested Development and Confunkshun.
Life After – TV One returns in 4th quarter 2012 with 10 new episodes of its buzzed about series Life After, the real, behind-the-scenes story of how some of America’s favorite celebrities have dealt with major turning points in their lives, be those moments public or private, triumphant or tragic. Personalities featured in Unsung in fall 2012 will include Olympic athlete Marion Jones, singer Karyn White, actress BernNadetteStanis, and legendary recording industry executive Andre Harrell.
Find Our Missing – TV One’s docu-drama designed to put names and faces on people of color who have disappeared without a trace is hosted by Emmy and Golden Globe Award-winning actress S. Epatha Merkerson (Law & Order). Each episode tells 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. Find Our Missing provides insight into these victims’ lives –their hopes and dreams, what makes them tick, and how they have touched those around them – from the people who know them best.
Washington Watch with Roland Martin – – TV One political editor, CNN and Tom Joyner Morning Show analyst Roland Martin hosts a weekly public affairs series on TV One that focuses on issues that are critical to African Americans, through interviews with officials from the Administration, Congress and other policymakers who represent black communities, as well as discussions with journalists and commentators, and a wide range of policy experts.
TV One Night Only: Live From the Essence Music Festival – This two-hour highlights celebration captures exhilarating performances from some of the biggest names in entertainment that occur over three nights on the main stage from the country’s largest annual gathering celebrating African-American music and culture. In previous years, performances have included such artists as Janet Jackson, Beyoncé, Alicia Keys, Mary J. Blige, LL Cool J, Ne-Yo, John Legend, Earth, Wind & Fire, Raphael Saadiq, and Gladys Knight. And, TV One Night Only takes the viewer where no other camera is allowed, to deliver the true emotion of the talent backstage.
TV One on One with Cathy Hughes – A series of specials hosted by Radio One Chairperson and former radio talk show host Catherine Hughes featuring interviews with some of the most intriguing and newsworthy public figures and celebrities in America today. Guests have included (then Senate candidate) President Barack Obama, Secretary of State (then Sen. Hillary Clinton), Minister Louis Farrakhan, Academy Award-winning actors Denzel Washington, Snoop Dogg, Beyoncé, Tyler Perry, Aretha Franklin and box office superstar Will Smith.
“Our original programming continues to resonate with the Black audience while providing an attractive environment for your brand messages,” Lucas told the advertising audience. “With that in mind, we will double the original programming on our network during this Upfront season.