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Magic Johnson’s New ASPiRE TV Network Goes Live ('Different Starts Now')

Television
by Tambay A. Obenson
June 28, 2012 10:14 AM
20 Comments
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Well... it actually went live last night, Wednesday, June 27th at 8PM, with inaugural distribution partners Comcast and Time Warner Cable, available in approximately seven million homes and in 16 of the top 25 African American markets including New York City, Atlanta, Chicago and Washington, DC.

So check with your local cable TV provider if you're a customer of either of the above 2. You just may have ASPiRE and not know it. 

The new television network from Magic Johnson Enterprises promises an "entertaining and inspiring mix of original and groundbreaking programming," with the likes of Laurence FishburneOmari HardwickEsperanza Spalding and Jonathan Slocumb hosting primetime series blocks focused on movies, comedy, original series, and music.

From the press release, the new network’s initial schedule will feature the following programming blocks: 

 - Groundbreaking Movies (Thursdays, 8 p.m.) – Renowned actor Laurence Fishburne (The Matrix, Boyz ‘n the Hood) will guide viewers through the background, cultural relevance and historical significance of each night’s selection. Currently scheduled films include Shaft, Rosewood, Bird, Sarafina!, Bustin’ Loose, The Defiant Ones and Lilies of the Field.

 - Groundbreaking Comedies (Tuesdays, 2 p.m., 8 p.m. & 11 pm) – Hosted by actor and comedian Jonathan Slocumb (Meet the Browns, “The Steve Harvey Show”), ASPiRE’s Groundbreaking Comedies will celebrate trailblazing Black funnymen and women with iconic TV series including “The Bill Cosby Show” (Chet Kincaid), “The Flip Wilson Show” and more. Slocumb will share with audiences the known and not-so-known facts about the shows, their stars, and their enduring influence on popular culture.  Groundbreaking and original standup comedy performances will also be featured.

 - Groundbreaking Music and Performance Specials (Fridays, 8 p.m.) –Hosted by one of the biggest breakout stars of 2011, Grammy Award®-winning jazz bassist and singer Esperanza Spalding (Chamber Music Society, Radio Music Society), this unique night of programming will present musical performances by pioneering and influential artists from every generation and genre. ASPiRE will also present examples of African-American theater, dance and visual arts, offering viewers a chance to enjoy the wide spectrum of talent in the African-American creative community. Programming will include “Jazz Giants of the 20th Century,” “Make It Funky!” and “Earth, Wind & Fire in Concert” to name a few.

 - “ABFF Independent” (Mondays, 8 p.m.) – This weekly two-hour original show, hosted by actor Omari Hardwick (Sparkle, I Will Follow), will present the best shorts and feature films from emerging African-American writers, producers and directors, selected from the American Black Film Festival (ABFF).

 - Groundbreaking Documentaries (Wednesdays, 8 p.m.) – Fascinating films chronicling the real-life events, people and places that shaped the course of African-American history and culture, currently scheduled documentaries include Academy Award® winner When We Were Kings, Rising from the Rails: The Story of the Pullman Porter and Oscar’s Black Odyssey: From Hattie to Halle, among others.

 - “I ASPiRE” Featurettes – These 30- and 60-second shorts offer intimate profiles of and by the next generation of groundbreakers and game changers across African-American culture. The short films feature a dynamic selection of creative talent including concert pianist Jade Simmons from Houston, painter Matthew Thomas from Memphis and surfer Marcos Chatman from Los Angeles.

It has been a long-held dream of mine to launch a television network that offers viewers inspiring and positive portrayals of African-American lifestyles, accomplishments and talent, while also creating opportunities for the next generation of artists and storytellers,” said ASPiRE Chairman and CEO EarvinMagicJohnson.

ASPiRE was selected by Comcast from among over 100 candidates as one of four new minority-owned independent networks, and expectations are that the new network will be available in over 12 million homes by the end of 2012 and in 20 to 30 million homes by the end of 2013.'

Original Content. Original Content. Original Content. It's a good time to be a content creator I'd say; although let's see how open all these new networks are, and how diverse their programming eventually becomes.

Check out the website HERE.

And watch Magic Johnson's preview of the network below:

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20 Comments

  • MW | May 18, 2014 6:08 PMReply

    I read this quickly and thought the post was referring to the ARISE network that I have seen online with the shows called AriseNews and Arise Entertainment 360.
    I apologize if this is too off topic, but I am wondering if anyone can tell me who is behind ARISE? I have watched some of their programming on youtube, but can't tell if it actually airs on television stations? (I dont have television, myself.) Thanks!

  • Carla D. Leftenant | May 17, 2014 6:31 PMReply

    I was very pleased to discover Aspire Tv , as one of the channels, provided by my
    Optimum Cable TV service. I am spreading the word.

  • trae | February 27, 2013 12:28 PMReply

    hes the best

  • Ricci Toney | January 11, 2013 5:08 PMReply

    Wow Aspire TV, Just discovered it TODAY... I love it...
    My fiancee Darryl W. Glenn was the first African American actor on the TV Series Wagon Train. He was 9yrs old at the time, and played the charactor Daniel. It was the Ben Courtney Story that aired 1958. The entire story is available on YouTube. Darryl's father Roy Glenn Sr. was an actor as well. He played Sidney Portier's Father's in the Classic Movie, Guess Who's Coming to Dinner, also Porgy & Bess, A Rasin in The Sun, Carmen Jones, The Stage Play Golden Boy with Sammy Davis Jr. , He played an Attorney in the Planet of the Apes, A few Afred Hitchcok Shows, and many, many more movies and TV Shows... you can find all of his movies and TV show appearences on IMDB.com. He was also the orgianal voice of Tony the Tiger for Kellogs. Darryl's mother Jackie Glenn was a Pianist for the all African American Female Orchestra International Sweethearts of Rhythm Band around the 1940's. This Black female Orchestra had a TV show which you can find on YouTube. This Orchestra is now in the Smithsonian Hall of Fame. The Video is a must see. Darryl Glenn, aka Duffy, is a Vocalist and Keyboard player, who is a Blues entertainer as well as a Gospel singer. He has performed all over the world and has played with some of the best Musicians and is Currently with the Blues Band Joe Kincaid & The Soul Brothers Band...Featuring Mr. Darryl "Duffy" Glenn. Darryl Glenn is also Choir Director, Lead Vocalist and Organist At the New Samaritan M.B.C. for 27 years in Los Angeles, Ca. Just a little bit of Black History for you Mr. Johnson and Aspire TV that maybe should get a little attention. I would love for some one in your organiszation to contact me. There is so much more to this African American Family that was such a part of Black History that should be seen or told. Thank you Ricci Toney... 1/11/13

  • Andre | January 9, 2013 10:16 AMReply

    Well I have watched Magic Johnson's Aspire TV for some time now and I am trying to give it time but: WTH They have 7 shows a day and they consist of Flip Wilson the bad Cosby show, I spy, Soul Train. I don't see much that "ground breaking" about that line up. Are we giving this a pass because it's Magic Johnson? We sure did not give Oprah this much rope, and she had better show and up to date shows. Are we just giving Magic a pass because he is Magic? Take a minute and look at the network. I Spy, you got to be kidding

  • keisha | November 16, 2012 1:01 AMReply

    I would like to see more episodes of soul train. Stop re'running the same episodes.

  • AS | January 28, 2013 9:51 AM

    Stop running the same old shows! Everytime i check i see the same shows and keisha is right its like you have 15 soul train shows and you keep showing them over and over.

  • Ser | January 20, 2013 9:33 AM

    I'm with you on that. Very shocked about how bad this channel is. Magic Johnson is getting a pass. Oprah was talked about like a dog after one week. Aspire just run the same old shows. Even if they are good you will get bored at some point. Try Bounce, more shows and more shows from the 90's and now.

  • Sano Daniel | November 4, 2012 9:25 PMReply

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PaOjcIlD4eo&feature=youtube_gdata
    My 12 year old son Cimeon Daniel is a one of a kind aspiring hip hop dancer that would love to be on Aspiring TV.

  • Barbara Lamb | October 28, 2012 5:50 PMReply

    I am 70 years old and I am loving it, keep it coming

  • beatrice thompson | October 27, 2012 4:10 PMReply

    I love your network! It's so nice to be able to watch wholesome, creative, and positive TV programs. It reminds me of my youth, there weren't many Black programs on but most of them viewed us in a positive light. None of us could have imagined to route Black programming would taken. Not only do we live in communities where violence and hatred are the norm, now we watch it on TV. I love the independent films, and movies. I would like to see Black series other than Julia and I Spy. Thanks a million times over. I love being an African American wouldn't change that if I could. We all know we need help as a community saving our Black youth. Your programs help by showing what we were like back in the day. Keep on doing what you're doing!

  • Jay & Lady A McKnight | October 24, 2012 4:50 PMReply

    Wow...what an amazing breath of fresh air, we look forward to seeing the old with the new, we need more of this for our viewing and educational awareness of how far we've come in cinema, stage, music and dance Beautifully done...Thank You, Magic Johnson and continued success.

  • Upfront | July 29, 2012 11:51 AMReply

    Dear Magic Johnson and Aspire Executives:

    You forgot about Young World Record Holding Aviator Jonathan Strickland.
    He has Six World Record and is preparing to fly a LearJet around the World.
    Not to mention he is also one of the youngest commercial airline pilots.
    Ck. out his story: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4m5SsW6u3oE&list=UUbpMb3nL_LXRfjzltI8kTCQ&index=6&feature=plcp

  • Ty Thomas | July 23, 2012 11:07 AMReply

    how do i get in contcact to suggest concepts for programming

  • Bentra | July 22, 2012 11:30 AMReply

    I am truly loving this new station ASPIRE, I love the old black and white movies, short stories and all the ASPIRING comments in between the programs, I enjoyed church on Sat. morning, but Dr.Charles Blake was awesome this AM. Keep up the good work Magic and Cookie and always know you are loved. Oh! Can't forget Nat King Cole,Loved the program!

  • Jai | June 28, 2012 7:43 PMReply

    I'm looking forward to this network.

  • Dankwa Brooks | June 28, 2012 4:30 PMReply

    The line up sounds very intriguing

  • Adam Scott Thompson | June 28, 2012 11:34 AMReply

    As a hungry writer/producer, I'm anxious to know what kind of programming the network is seeking and how to submit. I know that Magic wants to portray us in a positive light and keep the focus on "clean" entertainment, but what we really need is a network where all kinds of minority programming can be showcased -- to show people of color in 360 degrees. Would a show like "The Wire" -- considered to be one of the best TV shows every produced -- be welcomed on this network? What about an "Awkward Black Girl?" Just a couple of examples. I think we need all of it, not just church and family stuff. (imo)

  • Dankwa Brooks | June 28, 2012 4:29 PM

    Agreed.

  • VC | June 28, 2012 12:43 PM

    Amen

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