TV One unveiled its 2017/2018 programming slate during its annual upfronts presentation in NYC, which includes several new and returning shows, as well as original movies. It a hefty lineup of both scripted and unscripted programming which the network’s audience should find intriguing.
Without further ado, here’s the long list, starting with original series (original movies follow after):
REPRESENTING THE COMMUNITY
— New Series — “Black America Today”
Beginning in late third quarter, NewsOne Now will expand to two hours and transition into Black America Today, the only daily news and lifestyle show that covers the issues that matter to the African American community. Hosted by Managing Editor Roland S. Martin, Black America Today will air weekdays on TV One from 7-9 a.m. ET. Each morning, Martin, guest panelists and contributors will cover breaking news, current affairs, entertainment, personal finance, business, health & wellness, and newsmaker profiles. Additionally, Black America Today will feature quarterly primetime specials to inform, inspire and uplift the Black community.
REPRESENTING FAMILY REALITY
— New Series — “The Manns”
The hour-long reality series reveals the often hilarious and sometimes controversial interactions between David and Tamela, their four grown children, eight grandchildren and a slew of friends, extended family and other characters that enrich the lives of the entertainment power couple. With recording careers, touring, filming and managing an outrageous family, The Manns often find themselves negotiating from the conference table to the kitchen table while showing viewers the day-to-day challenges, successes and joy that happen behind the scenes with this beloved couple who has been married for 29 years.
— Returning Series — Rickey Smiley For Real (Season 4)
Rickey Smiley For Real takes a humorous look at Rickey Smiley’s hectic life as he juggles his career as a nationally syndicated radio host, stand-up comedian, actor, TV personality and businessman along with his daily duties as a single father of five. Being a mega media mogul is not always as glamorous as it’s cracked up be, Smiley is constantly pulled in different directions between the demands of fatherhood and the needs of his work family. Nonetheless, he keeps them all laughing while they navigate new experiences together!
— Returning Series — “Unsung” (Season 11) and “Unsung Hollywood”
The five-time NAACP Image Award-winning series “Unsung” dives into the poignant and untold stories of trailblazing legends from R&B, gospel and hip hop. The series celebrates the lives and careers of artists or groups who despite unparalleled talent have been under-recognized. Upcoming icons set to be featured in the eleventh season of Unsung include Wyclef, Marvin Sapp, Jagged Edge, Switch, The Dramatics and Ice-T, the music artist.
“Unsung Hollywood” tells the full behind-the-scenes stories of the actors, actresses, shows and movies that you never get anywhere else. Previous icons featured include Sammy Davis, Jr., Pam Grier, Bernie Mac, Dick Gregory, Vivica A. Fox, Flip Wilson, Redd Foxx, Eartha Kitt, Meagan Good, Charlie Murphy, Hill Harper, Rudy Ray Moore, Joe Morton and Tim Reid. This season, the series will profile The Jeffersons and Ice-T, the actor.
REPRESENTING TRUE CRIME
— New Series — “Evidence of Innocence”
Hosted by famed civil rights attorney, Benjamin Crump, Evidence of Innocence profiles the unbelievable true stories of individuals who were convicted of crimes they didn’t commit. But, these real-life heroes successfully fought to have their guilty verdicts thrown out and win back their freedom. Post-incarceration, these men now must re-enter society to lead lives as husbands, fathers, business leaders and ultimately, champions of those who remain falsely imprisoned.
— New Series — “Two Sides of the Truth”
Two Sides of the Truth will generate controversy – but not for controversy’s sake. Executive produced by Viola Davis and Lemuel Plummer, with narration by Davis, the purpose of the show is to get people to look twice; to question what they’re sure they know; to entertain the idea that while they might be right, that doesn’t mean the other perspective isn’t also right. Two Sides of the Truth will take viewers on a can’t-look-away, thought-provoking, and emotional journey that will resonate with them the next time they see an unjust shooting. Because of Two Sides of the Truth, viewers across the country may think twice before drawing conclusions.
— New Series — “Hotlanta”
Hotlanta follows the real life stories of homicide detectives, Vincent Velazquez and David Quinn, two cops who have worked side-by-side for 15 years and know the city of Atlanta and the people on the streets as well as they know each other. “Vinny” and “Quinn” are the ultimate crime solving odd couple; Quinn’s voice starts rising as soon as he gets excited, while Vinny stays cool, calm and collected in any situation. Despite their obvious differences, they have one thing in common: their commitment to solve every murder and bring justice to their victims. Together they’re a force to be reckoned with.
— New Series — “#Murder”
Crime goes viral in this cutting-edge investigative series that examines crime with a deadly connection to technology and social media. Whether the killer met the victim online, posted incriminating details on his Facebook page, or the cops used social media to hunt down the perpetrator, each episode of #Murder examines how homicide – like everything else in this day and age – has gone digital.
— New Series — “Thou Shall Not”
Thou Shall Not is a one-hour true crime series that pulls back the curtain on individuals who commit the gravest of sins: breaking The Holy Bible’s Ten Commandments. Murders, scandals, cover-ups, and affairs are just a few of the unholy crimes featured in each episode’s portrayal of Godless behavior. Full of shocking reveals and heart-stopping twists, these sinners don’t just break the laws of man…they break the laws of God.
— Returning Series — Justice By Any Means (Season 3)
Hosted by Malik Yoba, Justice By Any Means plunges viewers into amazing true stories of brave African-American men and women who suffered unimaginable loss and then went toe-to-toe with the bad guys – and girls. The show delves not only into real crimes, but real people who fought to bring these crimes to light by any means necessary.
— Returning Series — Fatal Attraction (Season 6)
Fatal Attraction dives into real-life stories of criminal acts committed under the guise of love that lead to consequences of deadly proportions. Recounting stories of love-gone-wrong, each episode consists of first-person interviews from loved ones, accounts from investigating officials, interrogation footage, and recreations with haunting cinematography.
— Returning Series — “For My Man” (Season 3)
According to the Bureau of Justice Statistics, more than 200,000 women in the United States are living behind bars, making women the fastest growing population in the penal system. For My Man is a true crime series featuring the shocking stories of women who have been arrested for crimes they committed in the name of love. From committing a killing spree across the Midwest to acting as an inside informant at the DEA, these women have no limits in terms of how far they will go to support their men.
— Returning Series — “For My Woman” (Season 2)
Coming off the hit For My Man, For My Woman explores the dramatic and often deadly decisions made by men who are blinded by love, abused – physically or mentally – or get the unequivocal thrill that comes with pleasing their woman, often ending in long-lasting consequences they never imagined.
And the network’s upcoming slate of new original movies follows below:
REPRESENTING BLACK MUSIC
— “Bobbi Kristina”
Premiere: Summer 2017
Bobbi Kristina is the made-for-TV biopic, inspired by the life of Whitney Houston and Bobby Brown’s only child. Bobbi Kristina Brown grew up in the shadow of her uber famous/rockstar/superstar parents’ spotlight. This film offers an intimate look at the highs and lows/ebb and flow of parental, familial and romantic love complicated by fame through the eyes of a sensitive, vulnerable young woman. Her high-profile life – and death – may have been shrouded in mystery, but this film will reveal her humor, her quirks, her deepest fears and longings as well as her fight to be seen, heard, loved, and to survive. The narrative structure takes the viewer on a dramatic journey of memories, conflict, perseverance, faith, friendship, visions and ultimately love — the love of a man and a woman…the love of a father and a daughter…and the bond between a mother and a child.
— “Who Can I Run To: The Xscape Story”
This original film is based on the story of 90s R&B quartet Xscape, whose rise to fame and group implosion was told on an episode of TV One’s award-winning docu-series, Unsung. Comprised of sisters LaTocha and Tamika Scott, and classmates Kandi Burruss and Tameka “Tiny” Cottle, the R&B quartet formed a sisterhood as strong as their sound, recording the #1 hits “Just Kickin’ It,” “Understanding” and “Who Can I Run To?” Since their breakup in 1998, attempts to reunite the group have failed with lingering bitterness and deep seeded anger playing out on public forums. The film is being produced in partnership with legendary music producer and So So Def founder Jermaine Dupri, the label that produced Xscape’s three platinum albums.
— “All This Love: The DeBarge Family Story”
Premiere: Fall 2018
This original film focuses on the story of the DeBarge family, one of the most popular family groups in American music history, as told by the family matriarch, Etterline Abney. After her marriage and family with Robert DeBarge, a handsome white soldier, goes through a turbulent unraveling, she relocates her children to Illinois. The children begin singing in her brother’s church. Two of the brothers record a demo tape that, with the help of Jermaine Jackson, falls into the hands of Motown founder Berry Gordy – and the rest is history. DeBarge is a story whose tale is woven with music, fame and success, romance, drugs, sibling rivalry – and bonded by the glue of Abney’s love that strains to keep them all together.
REPRESENTING REAL PEOPLE
— “When Love Kills: The Falicia Blakely Story”
Premiere: September 2017
Inspired by an episode of TV One’s original series For My Man, this is the tragic story of Falicia Blakely (Lil Mama), a teen mom who grows up in the fast-lane. When she becomes an exotic dancer, she attracts the attention of local pimp and predator, Dino (Lance Gross). His empty promises of a life together turn Falicia into a pawn in his dangerous games; and she’s forced to prove her love for him at the expense of innocent lives. Tami Roman (Basketball Wives, Belle’s), Floyd Mayweather, Jr., Big Freedia, and Lil Zane round out the cast. The movie also marks the directing debut of acclaimed actress Tasha Smith (For Better Or Worse, Empire). The screenplay is executive produced and written by industry veteran Cas Sigers-Beedles, who previously wrote and executive produced the TV One movies Welcome to the Family and “Girlfriends Getaway” 1 &2.
REPRESENTING OUR LEGACY
— “Behind the Movement: The Rosa Parks Story”
Premiere: February 2018
Written by noted screenwriter and author Katrina O’Glivie (Saints and Sinners), this is the unique and fast-paced retelling of how Rosa Parks’ refusal to give up her seat launched the history-making Montgomery Bus Boycott. This film recounts the inner workings and the behind the scenes preparation that took place in three intense days of December 1955, to launch the most successful boycott of its time.
REPRESENTING NEW VOICES
Premiere: August 2017
Ebony (Nicole Ari Parker) and Michael (Boris Kodjoe) were forced into a modern “shotgun” wedding after becoming teenaged parents, putting their personal goals on hold in order to support their family. Amazingly, the two high school sweethearts managed to overcome the odds and establish a seemingly ideal life for themselves. However, the success that initially was meant to strengthen their family has become the very thing that is driving them apart. As a result, Michael desperately tries to hold onto everything he’s worked his entire life to gain. This leads the family on an unconventional adventure to restore the faith, hope, and trust that initially brought them together. The original film is written by Michelle McKissic, a finalist in the 2016 TV One Screenwriting Competition at the American Black Film Festival.
And now that you’ve read or at least skimmed through the list, what are you most excited about?