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TV One Announces 14 New Series & Specials For Next Season (Scripted Programs + Bernie Mac Tribute)

by Tambay A. Obenson
March 20, 2012 9:28 PM
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It's that time of the year... network upfronts, as each showcases what audiences can expect the following season.

I attended a couple last year, including BETs, right here in NYC; but I'm not scheduled to attend any this year (too much else to do right now).

But thankfully, I've got eyes and ears out there, so when I have anything worth sharing, you will know.

I just learned that TV One announced its upcoming slate of new and original programming in development (yay for original) that includes a special Bernie Mac tribute.

Here's a look at some of these new original series: Save My Son (which focuses on the struggles of black families to "save" their sons from the bad choices they've made in life; Unresolved Celebrity Cases (a series that takes a look at unsolved celebrity mysteries, like celebrity homicides; The Ladies Of R&B (follows Faith Evans, Nicci Gilbert, Keke Wyatt, Monifah Carter and Syleena Johnson as they work to put their lives and careers back together again); The Rickey Smiley Show (a sitcom starring Atlanta DJ as a single father with 4 adopted kids, which mirrors Smiley on real life); Destined (a spinoff of the network's very successful Unsung series which takes a look at the best of black actors in film and TV); Belles (A sitcom centered on an upscale soul food restaurant); and Church Folk (another sitcom, this one centered on a prestigious family forced to leave their life in Los Angeles and start over back home in the South);

Existing shows that will be renewed include, no surprise, Unsung, Find Our Missing, and Washington Watch With Roland Martin.

"Our original programming continues to resonate with the black audience while providing an attractive environment for your brand messages... With that in mind, we will double the original programming on our network during this upfront season. Developed strategically through our brand lens, our diverse slate represents the network's mission of delivering the breadth and depth of 'true black life' in America in an entertaining and engaging way," said president and CEO Wonya Lucas.

Gotta love the competition that seems to be brewing between TV One and BET; and let's not forget the handful of new black TV networks announced in recent months that will hopefully provide even more compeition (hopefully 1 or 2 of them); the audience wins in the end!

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  • glamourgyrl | April 10, 2013 4:53 PMReply

    i notice that what's happening is not on schedule to be shown. What's the deal pickle?

  • Judy | September 28, 2012 11:47 PMReply

    I will not watch anything with Tammi Rowland in it

  • SeanP | September 24, 2012 5:56 PMReply

    I can't wait for Belles to come out

  • Muse | March 21, 2012 10:30 PMReply

    That's wonderful. Now, onto the next order of business: a sci-fi/fantasy show, and a drama. The time has come. In fact, it's long overdue. If TV-One came up with something as compelling as Merlin or Being Human (the UK version) or Game of Thrones or True Blood or Breaking Bad, with an all-black cast, it would be a runaway hit.

  • Ivory Jeff Clinton | March 23, 2012 2:08 PM

    Wow, that's almost exactly what I was going to say. VERY happy to see TV One actually CREATING work for more black actors (and writers, directors, etc., I hope), rather than just complaining about what other networks aren't doing. But can we get a sci-fi show? A drama? Something of a hard-to-describe genre? I know nothing about the inner-workings of the TV world, but sometimes I wonder if black decision-makers at networks such as TV One, BET and Centric are resistant to doing anything edgy and out-of-the-box. Are they purposely bypassing more intriguing pitches from talented screenwriters, producers, etc., in favor of boring or conventional "castor oil" (to use Sergio's signature phrase) projects? Too busy chasing NAACP Image Awards? I'm referring to the kinds of series and movies that "reflerct a porsitive imarge of the Ah-frican-Americarn communirty" (all r's intentional, lol) with no regard for entertainment value and with no concern for whether the audience is bored out of its mind. For example, Don Cheadle has found a meaty role, a bona fide LEAD role, as a complex anti-hero on Showtime's House of Lies, my favorite new show of the year even if it does try too hard at times to push the envelope. A role where, in an industry where black characters are often sexless and romanceless, his Marty Kaan gets it in on the regular. I see that as progress. But I suspect that the Jack and Jill crowd -- no disrespect or offense intended, but I hope y'all get my meaning -- who wield power at black-run networks would say "hell no" to such a show since he's not some noble martyr. Maybe they're afraid of angering certain blacks who complain about every damn black character with a flaw, those who nitpick everything and constantly ask "why does the black man/woman HAVE to be (fill in the negative or dubious trait)," but I say forget them and let's stretch the boundaries for goodness' sake. You can never please everybody.

  • Dakevster | March 21, 2012 4:54 PMReply

    For the new sitcoms they should not be produced in front of a live audience. That format is so old now plus it makes writers lazy. If the joke doesn't work they just put a laugh track in. Look at 30 Rock and all of the sitcoms on NBC. Push the writers to be excellent!

  • Dakevster | March 21, 2012 4:37 PMReply

    Great because I am tired of seeing "Martin" reruns! Go TV One!

  • Dakevster | March 21, 2012 4:48 PM

    And I hope "Love That Girl" is axed!

  • Jmac | March 21, 2012 12:58 PMReply

    I also hope the two sitcoms are better than what they've done before. Potential for good stories if they have good writers.

  • Ash | March 21, 2012 11:26 AMReply

    Another show about a soul food restaurant maybe to compete with the one on OWN?

  • ChgoSista | March 21, 2012 11:12 AMReply

    Thanks for sharing this information, Tambay. I am excited about the majority of these listed, but I would be remiss if I didn’t say that I’m not excited about the premise of these sitcoms—and I agree with the other poster here that “Love That Girl” is just in the abyss of awfulness. Really looking forward to “Destined” and of course, “Unsung” will always be #1 in my book.

  • DH | March 21, 2012 10:18 AMReply

    Thank God TVOne finally found a if they could only bring back "Turning Up the Heat with G. Garvin", "I Married a Baller" with Taj and Eddie George, and "Living It Up with Patti Labelle".

  • Sonny | March 20, 2012 10:14 PMReply

    Uh oh BET & TV One will be having some serious competition.

  • JMac | March 21, 2012 12:56 PM

    No competition. TV One kicks BET's ass all day long ... and has been.

  • BG | March 20, 2012 9:40 PMReply

    Cool to see them developing more original programming. "Unsung" does a great job of showing the ups and downs of stardom. I just ask that their new sitcoms are well-written, and less like "Love That Girl" with Tatayana Ali. That show suffered from every sitcom cliche you could think of, and on top of it, awful writing.

  • kjmlm | March 20, 2012 9:36 PMReply

    Wow, I am really happy with what this channel is doing. If only I had cable

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