If you remember the dramatic story of the DeBarge singing family from their Unsung episode, it should be no surprise that the network has decided to produce a DeBarge biopic. That’s just one of the scripted TV movies and shows that the network announced at this week’s upfront presentation, where TV networks announce their plans for the next TV season. TV One also announced that they will be running Empire episodes, which will start airing this summer after the season finale on Fox.
“By expanding our programming genres and archetypes that represent the black community, we offer advertisers the opportunity to be seen in an environment that is both positive and unique,” said TV One president Brad Siegel. “Furthermore, with a 26-movie slate and our plan to air an original movie each week for 14 straight weeks during summer 2017, TV One provides both tent pole programming and continuity.”
“We’ve generated a sizable audience for our movies and we hope to build upon that same audience through our very first foray into a scripted drama,” said D’Angela Proctor, TV One’s SVP, Original Programming and Production. “As a general entertainment network, entering into the scripted drama space is a logical and necessary next step for TV One.”
Here’s a list of the full lineup:
Seventeen-year-old Chase Reed’s sneaker business turns him into the hottest mogul in New York City, with the industry’s elite on speed dial. But, his family won’t let it go to his head. Sneaker Pawn is the story of an entrepreneurial family in Harlem with big ideas, big dreams and even bigger personalities that has set out to take the sneaker industry by storm. Their hunger to succeed is only surpassed by a love for each other and the hope that they can conquer the inevitable growing pains, conflicts and drama that lie in the path on the way to what could be astonishing success.
This new docu-series centers around “Bail Bonding by CJ,” a family-owned bail bonding company based in North Carolina, and the clients they fight for. Running their highly lucrative 19-year-old business out of their brand new headquarters in downtown Winston-Salem, Princess and CJ Jones and they’re beautiful twin ball-busting daughters have a solid lock on the city’s bail bonding business. However, the family members don’t always agree on where the buck should really stop.
Five-time NAACP Image Award-winning series Unsung dives into the poignant and untold stories of trailblazing legends of 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 or under-appreciated. Upcoming icons set to be featured in the ninth season of Unsung include Kwame, Kelly Price, Next, E-40, Howard Hewitt and Monifah.
Back for a new season of amazing stories, Unsung Hollywood is the show to get the full story on the actors, actresses, shows and movies that you never get anywhere else. Previous icons featured include Sammie Davis, Jr., Pam Grier, Bernie Mac, Dick Gregory, Vivica A. Fox, Flip Wilson, Red Foxx and Joe Morton. New episodes will focus on Eartha Kitt, Megan Good, Charlie Murphy, Hill Harper, Rudy Ray Moore and Tim Reid.
This one-hour reality series highlights the ups and downs of black actresses trying to navigate career, family and relationships, while attempting to remain relevant and stay on top in an unpredictable entertainment industry known for overlooking black talent. For season three, Malika Haqq (Keeping Up With the Kardashians), who is best known for her breakout role in ATL, is joining the cast. This season will also catch up with leading ladies’ Countess Vaughn, Golden Brooks, Lisa Wu and Paula Jai Parker, as they take their growing success to new heights.
Rickey Smiley For Real
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!
The Dating Games
In The Dating Games, a revolutionary game show meets dating show format, groups of friends, family, cast members, teammates and everyday people compete against each other while being voyeurs of real dates. The participants are captured by hidden cameras as they answer thought-provoking and often intimate questions about the daters. Each correct answer earns a cash prize for the collective. It’s a brilliant mix of The People’s Couchmeets Love Connection.
New Original Movies
All This Love: The Debarge Family Story
The world-famous DeBarge siblings sought to escape a life of abuse and rejection to become one of the most successful families in R&B music, second only to the Jacksons. From Switch and DeBarge to solo acts, the DeBarges enjoyed fame, wealth and gold-record status, but behind the scenes, the siblings were haunted by the ghosts of their past and deeply scarred by years of emotional and physical abuse. They inevitably fell prey to promiscuity, violence and drug addiction, sending their careers into a downward spiral from which they never fully recovered. All This Love will be the second installment of the Unsung Film Series.
Ella & Marilyn
This original film tells the true story of the unexpected yet authentic friendship between Ella Fitzgerald and Marilyn Monroe. Kindred spirits, the women shared similar relationship issues with their husbands and found solace in each other. The movie also follows the fight the women took on to desegregate the nightclub business. Against all odds, the clever and talented women enlisted the help of “A-List” Hollywood in their endeavor, including Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, Burt Lancaster, Peter Lawford, Cary Grant, Sammy Davis Jr., Judy Garland, Nat King Cole and more. Ella and Marilyn’s mission would ultimately give rise to perhaps the greatest jazz recordings in history.
Grown & Sexy
A romantic dramedy that will have viewers laughing, crying and “rooting for love,” Grown & Sexy focuses on the love story of Nye and Julius. Having had her heart broken by her cheating fiancé, Nye puts all of her energy into chasing her dreams of starting her own whiskey label. Complications arise when she falls in love with her business partner, Julius, who just so happens to also be her sister’s ex-boyfriend.
A newly single travel agent is through with Valentine’s Day. She’s just plain over it, and understandably so. When one of her regular clients needs to cancel a last-minute trip to Italy, instead of forfeiting the trip, he gives it to her as a gift. After a comedy of errors getting there, and finding her swanky Airbnb has been double booked, she decides to share the pied-à-terre with the handsome man who is equally over Valentine’s Day. The two decide to see the town together, but will love find its way to these weary travelers? Sometimes, love can unexpectedly be found in unexpected places.