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Bounce TV Unveils 1st Upfront Programming Slate: 5 New Original Series, Renewals, Acquisitions, More

Television
by Tambay A. Obenson
May 21, 2013 11:36 AM
17 Comments
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Bounce

Don't forget Bounce TV in the black TV network bustle. I'm working on a longer piece that takes a close look at all the black TV networks (those that already exist, and those that are coming) competing for your eyeballs. It's an interesting space, with BET still really in the #1 spot, but it's starting to get some competition - not only from other black TV networks, but also from the web space, where black content creators have gone to showcase their talents, as YouTube provides them with more revenue options.

Needless to say, I'm watching it all closely, and I'm anxious to see what the landscape looks like in another 5 to 10 years.

In the meantime... Bounce TV makes its own original content plays... via press release from the young network below:

Bounce TV Unveils its First Upfront Programming Slate: Five New Original Series, Two Series Renewals, Broadcast Premiere of New Revival of The Newlywed Game, New Sports Rights & More Movie Titles among Highlights

ATLANTA, May 21, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Bounce TV (www.bouncetv.com), the nation's only broadcast television network for African Americans, today announced its first-ever slate of upfront programming plans, including original new scripted and non-scripted series, series renewals, the return to broadcast television of one of the most-popular game shows in history, an exclusive new college sports rights deal and more theatrical motion pictures for its impressive library.

"Bounce TV's accelerated distribution growth, immediate popularity with viewers and strong initial ratings has made the network a new must-buy for brands seeking to reach the African American consumer," commented Bounce TV Executive Vice President of Advertising Sales, Dennis Ray. "We are expanding our original programming efforts ahead of schedule to meet the demand and offer advertisers attractive fresh new programming."

Bounce TV's first original non-scripted series, Forever Jones Presented by Walmart premieres Wednesday, June 5. The network's upfront programming announcements include the following:

New Original Series:

My Crazy Roommate is an original scripted sitcom in the tradition of 2 Broke GirlsLaverne and Shirley and The Odd Couple. Two young African American women, from vastly different backgrounds, are forced together as roommates while each struggles to find her fame and fortune in Los Angeles. Created and Executive Produced by Bentley Kyle Evans (MartinThe Jamie Foxx Show) through his Bent Outta Shape Productions. Premieres Fall 2013.

Step Wars is an exciting original unscripted series set in the world of step competitions at the country's top Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs). The show follows the fraternities and sororities as they prepare for their big Homecoming events, and prepare to beat their rivals on stage. A mixture of personalities, rivalries, coaching from famous alumni and the sheer exhilaration of top-notch step routines comes together in each episode. Produced by Atlanta-based CSE. Premieres first quarter of 2014.

The Keepsake is an unscripted reality dating competition series. From diverse backgrounds and from across the country, five gorgeous women come together to compete for the affections of one handsome man. Their goal is to meet the love of their life and receive "The Keepsake" necklace that comes with being chosen as the winner. This first-class look at dating through an African American perspective takes our viewers from high-end hotels and restaurants to glamorous locales, as our contestants strive to win the attention of a recognizable bachelor from the world of sports or entertainment. Produced by Bounce TV Productions. Premieres Spring 2014.

BRKDWN is an original half-hour series delivering to viewers the pop culture stories of the moment. BRKDWN hosts have their ears to the streets and eyes on the tweets, and pull no punches as they deliver their distinctive perspective on today's media-connected urban experience. Produced by Bunim/Murray Productions and Alchemy Networks. Premieres Fall 2013.

Bounce Beats: Profiles is a new half-hour series taking viewers backstage and behind the scenes with many R&B and contemporary urban musicians for candid conversations as they discuss their lives and careers. Beyonce, Alicia Keyes, Al Green, Wyclef Jean, and John Legend are featured among many others. Premieres Fall 2013.

Renewed/Returning Original Series:
Off The Chain, a half-hour family-friendly stand-up comedy series featuring the hottest African American comedians on the planet, has been renewed for a second season. OTC is hosted by Rodney Perry (The Monique Show) and produced by Bounce TV Productions. Season two premieres Fall 2013.

Bounce Beats is Bounce TV's top 10 countdown of the hottest R&B and soul music videos in the country. Season two premieres Fall 2013.

New Acquisitions:
The Newlywed Game will be back on broadcast television on Bounce TV. Hosted by The View's Sherri Shepherd, this new version is as wild and hilarious as the one viewer's remember – but with a decidedly sassy and contemporary flavor. The Newlywed Game is produced by Embassy Row for GSN. Broadcast television premiere, debuts Fall 2013.

New Sports Rights:
Bounce TV announced a new exclusive sports right agreement with the  Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SIAC) which consists of Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU) located in the southern United States for regular season football games in October and November plus the SIAC Conference Championship Game on November 16. The network also televises both football and basketball games from the nation's largest African American athletic conference, the Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association (CIAA.) 

Theatrical Motion Pictures:
Bounce TV has acquired the television rights to nearly 40 African American-skewing motion pictures in a multi-year licensing agreement with Warner Bros. Domestic Television Distribution.  Among the titles Bounce TV lands in the new agreement: The 11-time Academy Award®-nominated The Color Purple (1985) featuring the Oscar®-nodded performances by Whoopi Goldberg, Oprah Winfrey and Margaret Avery; a trio of Denzel Washington films including his Academy Award®-nominated turn as Malcolm X  (1992) directed by Spike Lee, John Q (2002) and the 1993 thriller The Pelican Brief; the critically-acclaimed story of the search for justice by the widow of slain Civil Rights leader Medger Evans, Ghosts of Mississippi (1996); Morgan Freeman in Lean On Me (1989); Whitney Houston's breakout performance in 1992's The Bodyguard; LL Cool J and Samuel L. Jackson in Deep Blue Sea (1999); The Wesley Snipes thrillers New Jack City (1991) with Ice-T and 1997's Murder at 1600;  Menace II Society (1993), the originalShaft (1971) and two subsequent sequels and others.

"In the midst of Bounce TV's first upfront, we continue to acquire a wide-ranging and unmatched volume of African American theatricals designed to drive sampling to our slate of new original series," commented Ray.

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17 Comments

  • Dankwa Brooks | May 22, 2013 8:37 AMReply

    Oh I'm also I interested in that larger piece Tambay. There are so many "black networks" out here now. I hope you'll also include who has majority black ownership and who doesn't.

  • Dankwa Brooks | May 21, 2013 7:18 PMReply

    I meant to say that the only thing that really got me excited about these upfronts WAS the licensing of the old movies. Really great movies there and quite a step up from 'Black Mama, White Mama' (O_O) No shade on the film, never saw it, but the title made me LOL when I saw it listed.

  • FactChecker | May 21, 2013 4:26 PMReply

    I think the biggest problem with some black creatives is that they don't have a desire -- or ability -- to create work that is exemplary and of the highest caliber. Instead of rising to the levels of the Shonda Rhimes, Spike Lee's, Matt Weiner's and Ava DuVernay's of the world, the seek the level of TP. Those who want to be EXCELLENT in their work are seeking to work with networks and studios. Those who don't give a Fuck (excuse my French) seek to be on TV One, BET, BOUNCE, etc. ...

    And, of course, some black audiences seek excellence in their entertainment, while others seek the lowest common denominator.

  • starry118 | May 22, 2013 7:53 PM

    * "... there's no rule that the programming on Black networks cannot be that."

  • starry118 | May 22, 2013 7:46 PM

    The majority of network TV is not "exemplary and of the highest caliber," and there's no rule that TV One & Bounce cannot be that. It makes sense that a Black creative would seek to get their content on Black networks that are interested in developing shows featuring Blacks and other people of color.

  • JDB | May 21, 2013 11:03 PM

    I don't think it's fair to say filmmakers who get their content on TV One and Bounce don't give an "F". Networks like ABC that Shonda Rhimes work for aren't looking for the type of content that other filmmakers create. They're not interested in black shows. These channels are. Whose to say something on TV One couldn't be as good as something like Scandal "budget discrepancy considered". Also, you should know that Ava Duvernay's Middle of Nowhere is going to BET. Again, just because those are the channels that produce black content doesn't mean they're lesser in quality and just because filmmakers go there doesn't mean they're not doing their best.

  • Dankwa Brooks | May 21, 2013 7:11 PM

    'Unsung' is one of the best shows on television. I was really surprised at their great production values. I'd put it against any similar show on any network. And unfortunately we can't say that about many.

  • ALM | May 21, 2013 6:31 PM

    I'm not sure if it's fair to throw TVOne in that pile. TVOne started strong with a variety of lifestyle shows, i.e. "Divine Restoration", "Living with Soul", "Livin' It Up with Patti LaBelle", "Turnin' Up the Heat with G. Garvin", and a makeover show.

    Something happened with TVOne's funding along the way. I'm not sure what happened, but I would like to know what happened. I am still holding out hope that Ms. Hughes will hire T J Holmes to start a nightly news program. They need to place the show in Atlanta, where production costs will be lower, but the quality of the news can still be high.

  • Terence Nance | May 21, 2013 1:58 PMReply

    One other thing that fascinates me is that all these TV stations rush to license movies like LEAN ON ME and JOHN Q and SHAFT knowing they will resonate with their audience. BUT they are completely unwilling to develop an original scripted series about a Black principal at a struggling school using self love, the arts, and discipline to turn around the schools reputation (LEAN ON ME) or a show about a working class black family dealing with the corrupt health insurance industry (JOHN Q) or god forbid an action noir thriller about a Black detective taking on the Mob (SHAFT)

    If you are going to copy shit why not copy work like this? Content you clearly have faith in?

  • starry118 | May 22, 2013 7:14 PM

    AMEN Terence Nance.

  • Dankwa Brooks | May 21, 2013 7:08 PM

    It's probably WAY cheaper to license than to fund and develop their own shows. Maybe eventually.

  • ALM | May 21, 2013 6:27 PM

    Great point Terence

  • ALM | May 21, 2013 1:53 PMReply

    Whoever does the voiceovers for Bounce Beats has an AMAZING voice.

  • Terence Nance | May 21, 2013 1:43 PMReply

    This is a travesty. Really? All we can get is Black versions of mediocre mainstream white shows. If your business model is to copy the template of successful TV franchises and "Blackify" them then make a Black Boardwalk Empire or a Black Game of Thrones or a Black Walking Dead or a Black Mad Men! Not a Black 2 broke girls or the Bachelor!

    This vapid, culturally depraved, creative wasteland of a programming schedule is evidence of 2 crisis among us.

    1. The (presumably) Black development execs at Bounce, or BET or wherever don't have a creative bone in their body and have discarded the most valuable idiosyncrasy of Black culture - MAKING UP NEW SHIT!

    2. These development execs at bounce are actually creative but have an intense and irrational fear that if they develop shows that are (gasp) ORIGINAL they will risk losing their jobs.

    3. There is an ever widening cultural chasm between Black writers, directors, and (creative) producers and the Black OWNED corporate TV development establishment. On their side they want to make the same old boring bullshit, and we want to make exciting new shit. This chasm is marked by a cultural dissonance - the execs don't make it their business to know every Black creative of note and the creatives make no effort to get to know the execs because they keep churning out bullshit like the above, making it clear they aren't open to new, original, or progressive content.

    I was going to say that "making boring, copycat, medicore TV is an industry wide problem" But you can no longer say that with the rise of AMC, HBO, and now NETFLIX. There is no longer an excuse to make shitty TV that is conceptually indistinguishable from other shitty TV.

    All that said the HBCU step competition reality show looks respectable. I wouldn't watch it but I'd watch the highlights.

    Tambay when Jim puts you on the phone with the Bounce execs read this post to them.

  • Miles Ellison | May 21, 2013 11:17 PM

    Where is the audience for this non-shitty TV? You make very good points, but the black audience wants shitty TV, for the most part.

  • Dankwa Brooks | 'Nother Brother Entertainment | May 21, 2013 7:05 PM

    WOW Terence while I don't agree with everything you said, I feel you. I started screenwriting because I got tired of seeing expertly written white shows like 'Taxi', 'Cheers' and 'L.A. Law' and black shows—not.

    I started directing to have more control over my vision so it WOULDN'T get watered down.

  • Jim Weiss | May 21, 2013 12:56 PMReply

    Tambay -I oversee PR for Bounce, please email me to discuss your bigger story; I can help and put you on the phone with Bounce execs. Thnx, Jim

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