It’s been almost two years since the tragic death of Bobbi Kristina Brown, the daughter of two R&B titans, and TV One is planning a made-for-TV movie about her brief, 22 years of life in the spotlight. The teaser clip from the film Bobbi Kristina, set to debut this summer, was one of the many standouts during TV One’s annual “upfront” presentation, where the network announced new and expanded programming for 2017 and 2018.
Armed with a vow to “represent” the black community, TV One President Brad Siegel took the stage Friday to emphasize the network’s commitment to the news and stories that matter in our community. Siegel, along with other executives and talent from the network, promised that TV One would continue to provide authentic, relatable and unscripted programming that tells the true story of our people.
Other standouts from TV One’s upfront include the following:
A film about civil rights legend Rosa Parks, coming in 2018: TV One will be giving us a behind-the-scenes look at the inner makings of the Montgomery Bus Boycott in Behind the Movement: The Rosa Parks Story. It will spotlight Parks’ famous refusal to give up her seat, the act that launched the boycott.
Crime series #Murder: In this show, social media is the culprit as viewers are taken on a journey in stories revolving around crime and social media. The show will take viewers on a wild ride as families, along with detectives, piece together online clues to find out the truth behind their loved ones’ murders.
Changes at NewsOne Now: After six seasons of growth, TV One announced that Roland Martin’s program NewsOne Now, the only morning show helmed by a person of color, will be extended to become two hours long and will transition to the name Black America Today.
“What we’re trying to do by expanding to two hours is go beyond with what we’ve done in the past,” said D’Angela Proctor, senior vice president of original programming and production, during a presentation on the show.
Proctor said that Martin will continue to be a voice for African Americans and that this extension will give him more time to share the news that matters most to the black community. Black America Today will cover breaking news, business, personal finance, entertainment, health and wellness, and news-maker profiles.
More time with David and Tamela Mann: TV One knows how important family night is, and with this knowledge it has launched a new docuseries called The Manns, starring entertainers David and Tamela Mann. This hourlong series will show the couple, who have been married for 29 years, in many different lights, from day-to-day challenges to successes and joys. Rickey Smiley for Real will air the same night, Tuesday, when it returns for its fourth season in July.
Continued success with Unsung: Entering its 11th season, Unsung will continue to take a dive into the untold stories of legends of R&B, hip-hop and gospel. Unsung will continue to celebrate those who have made an impact in our musical lives and will bring much-needed attention to talent that has been underrecognized for far too long. Upcoming artists to be profiled include Wyclef, Jagged Edge, Marvin Sapp and Ice-T. I myself am waiting for an Unsung that’ll include the original two members of Destiny’s Child. Now, that would be quality television.
Other tidbits: The network announced that it will be adding a new night of programming, on Sunday, to the true-crime-and-justice category, which traditionally airs Monday night. That programming will include the new limited series Evidence of Innocence, unscripted crime docudrama Hotlanta and Two Sides of the Truth (co-produced by Viola Davis).