“Television is hard,” remarked Rahsan-Rahsan Lindsay at TV One’s Upfront presentation in New York this morning. Lindsay, the network’s evp of ad sales and marketing, expressed that sentiment after the extensive work that went into unveiling TV One’s very ambitious programming lineup for the upcoming season of television.
Fulfilling its tagline “Represent,” the executives and talent from the black community-focused network spoke about a variety of new and returning series and specials, both scripted and unscripted, which cater to “the many facets of black culture, past, present and future,” said TV One president Brad Siegel during today’s presentation.
TV One announced a major change in its news programming at the upfront. This fall, the network’s daily morning show, NewsOne Now, will transition into Black America Today, and it will air for two hours live from 7 a.m. to 9 a.m.
“What we’re trying to do by expanding to two hours is go beyond with what we’re doing right now. Yes, we’ll do politics, but we will be doing more on personal finance, fitness, health, business and so many other different subjects,” said Martin. “This extra hour also allows us to have more time for our newsmakers, many of whom are now calling us directly with a desire to appear on the program.”
Martin also touted the influence of his particular program on black Americans of all ages.
“The reaction I’m getting from people all over this country has been stunning,” he continued. “People tell me, ‘finally, I have something that is for me that I can watch every single day,’ and I hear this from millennials as well as from people in their 70s. We’re presenting news from our own perspective, and we’re not apologizing for it.”
The network will also present a third hour of news programming in the mornings. The 9 a.m. hour will consist of a live, multi-platform talk show hosted by a panel of four women. More details are forthcoming.
TV One previously aired true crime and justice programming on Monday nights, but the network will soon present shows of this genre across two nights, Monday and now Sunday. These include the new limited series Two Sides of the Truth (co-produced by Viola Davis), Evidence of Innocence and Hotlanta, which will join the sixth season of Fatal Attraction and the third season of For My Man.
Tuesday night is “family reality” night at TV One. The network is launching a new docuseries called The Manns, which follows the lives of music and recording stars David and Tamela Mann as they interact with their family of four grown children and eight grandchildren. The Manns will join Rickey Smiley For Real, which returns for its fourth season in July.
Then there’s the slate of original movies, the majority of which are music-themed.
“We’re so excited to produce and present such a wide range of original films that expand the narrative of our community,” said TV One’s svp of programming and production D’Angela Proctor said this morning. “Because music is in our DNA, it plays an integral part of our original movie programming strategy.”
TV One also has the TV rights to the NAACP Image Awards.
There’s a lot going on at TV One, and those at the top feel now is as good of a time as any for brands to get involved.
“Our goal is to provide our discerning audience of information-conscious influencers with more of what they’re looking for in original films, family reality, true crime and justice content,” said Siegel. “This will offer advertisers more opportunities to be seen in the positive environment of our popular, quality appointment television offerings.”