Culture

‘Rick Smiley Show,’ ‘Ladies of R&B,’ ‘Bernie Mac Tribute’ Among New Shows on TV One

Sat., Mar. 24, 2012 11:08 AM EDT
by Rolling Out

Actress S. Epatha Merkeson, TV one's president and CEO Wonya Lucas and singer Faith Evans

If “Unsung” and “Find Our Missing” are on your list of favorite original shows on the TV One network, then you can stand up and cheer. They will be returning along with six others — “Life After,” “Washington Watch With Roland Martin,” “TV One Night Only: Live From the Essence Music Festivaland “TV One on One With Cathy Hughes.”

The Comcast-owned network is continuing to expand with original offerings including a docu-series, unsolved mysteries an R&B-set reality series and plans for a tribute special to late funnyman Bernie Mac. They announced plans to add 14 new series and specials during their first upfront presentation with their new leader, president and CEO Wonya Lucas.

“Our original programming continues to resonate with the black audience while providing an attractive environment for your brand messages,” Lucas offers. “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.”

New series announced at the TV One 2012-13 Upfront include:

. Save My Son – Profiles the struggles of black families to save their sons who have fallen victim to bad influences and bad choices. Hosted by Dr. Steve Perry, the series will premiere in the third quarter.

. Unresolved: Celebrity Cases – This investigative series further examines headline-making events including celebrity homicides — like the fatal hotel shooting of Sam Cooke or the slaying of R&B singer LaLa Brown — and unsolved mysteries. It premieres in the fourth quarter.

. “The Ladies of R&B” -  An hourlong series that follows the lives of singers Faith Evans, Nicci Gilbert, Keke Wyatt, Monifah Carter and Syleena Johnson as they work to put their lives back together again. It premieres in the third quarter.

Meanwhile, TV One put into development:

. “Bernie Mac: A Tribute to a Comedy King” -  The network has inked a development deal with Ultraware Vision to pay tribute to the late comedian.

. “The Rickey Smiley Show” -  A sitcom starring radio personality Smiley as a character loosely based on his own life as an Atlanta radio DJ and single father to four adopted children.

. “Destined” -  This project is described as a spinoff of TV One’s Unsung, taking a look at the best, brightest and most beloved black actors in film and television.

. “Belles” – A sitcom revolving around an upscale soul food restaurant owned by widowed patriarch Big Bill Cooper.

. Church Folk” – Centered on main characters The Hunter family, this series is about a prestigious family forced to leave their newly built mega-church in Los Angeles to start over back home in the South.