... we are past passive, symbolic gestures from multinational corporations and media conglomerates. We need real dedication to diversity in our newsrooms ...

- Danielle Belton -

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Channel Zero: Retuning Black TV

Actor's break on the set of "Meet the Browns"
Actor's break on the set of "Meet the Browns"

Word around the campfire is that Viacom has plans to bring a new BET-type station, for middle-aged adults to the airwaves. What that means in plain English remains to be seen. If TV One is any indication, it means re-runs of 70's era sitcoms with all the shucking and jiving in HD, so now you can cringe in stereo.  The things is, when TV One does original programming, it's good. But it rarely does it, preferring to stay with tried and true formulas. I'm always perplexed why we have to stay in that box: why can't black people get television right?

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The rundown of show ideas for Viacom's new channel, called  "Centric," looks like a bunch of low-budget reality fare, and that's exactly what black people need: more reality, right? I wonder if this isn't just another attempt to cash in on Barack Obama and the New Black. I wouldn't have a problem with that if the programming was well-rounded, but I don't think I can take another Tyler Perry mistrel show. Can I get a black "Seinfeld," or a brown "House?"

Please?

Why can't we get some smart black TV? What kind of shows would you like to see on Viacom's new channel? Pitch some show ideas in the comments section.

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Single Father, Author, Screenwriter, Award-Winning Journalist, NPR Moderator, Lecturer and College Professor. Habitual Line-Stepper

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