March 20, 2012 1:54pm PT by Lesley Goldberg
Upfronts 2012: 'Ladies of R&B,' Bernie Mac Tribute Among TV One Slate
TV One is continuing to expand into original offerings, announcing plans to add 14 new series and specials Tuesday at its first upfront presentation under president and CEO Wonya Lucas.
The Comcast-owned network which focuses on offerings for African-American adults announced a development slate that includes docuseries, unsolved mysteries an R&B-set reality series and plans for a tribute special to late funnyman Bernie Mac.
In addition, the network gave renewal order to eight series, including Find Our Missing, Unsung and Washington Watch With Roland Martin.
"Our original programming continues to resonate with the black audience while providing an attractive environment for your brand messages," Lucas said. "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 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: The 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. Premieres in the fourth quarter.
• The Ladies of R&B: The hourlong series 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. 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: The 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 the widowed patriarch Big Bill Cooper.
• Church Folk: A sitcom centered on The Hunters, a prestigious family forced to leave their newly built mega-church in Los Angeles and start over back home in the South.
In addition to, TV One's eight renewals include Unsung, Life After, Find Our Missing, Washington Watch With Roland Martin as well as specials including TV One Night Only: Live From the Essence Music Festival and TV One on One With Cathy Hughes.
Email: Lesley.Goldberg@thr.com; Twitter: @Snoodit