It's that time of the year… network upfronts, as each showcases what audiences can expect the following season.
I attended a couple last year, including BETs, right here in NYC; but I'm not scheduled to attend any this year (too much else to do right now).
But thankfully, I've got eyes and ears out there, so when I have anything worth sharing, you will know.
I just learned that TV One announced its upcoming slate of new and original programming in development (yay for original) that includes a special Bernie Mac tribute.
Here's a look at some of these new original series: Save My Son (which focuses on the struggles of black families to "save" their sons from the bad choices they've made in life; Unresolved Celebrity Cases (a series that takes a look at unsolved celebrity mysteries, like celebrity homicides; The Ladies Of R&B (follows Faith Evans, Nicci Gilbert, Keke Wyatt, Monifah Carter and Syleena Johnson as they work to put their lives and careers back together again); The Rickey Smiley Show (a sitcom starring Atlanta DJ as a single father with 4 adopted kids, which mirrors Smiley on real life); Destined (a spinoff of the network's very successful Unsung series which takes a look at the best of black actors in film and TV); Belles (A sitcom centered on an upscale soul food restaurant); and Church Folk (another sitcom, this one centered on a prestigious family forced to leave their life in Los Angeles and start over back home in the South);
Existing shows that will be renewed include, no surprise, Unsung, Find Our Missing, 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… 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," said president and CEO Wonya Lucas.
Gotta love the competition that seems to be brewing between TV One and BET; and let's not forget the handful of new black TV networks announced in recent months that will hopefully provide even more compeition (hopefully 1 or 2 of them); the audience wins in the end!