Over the weekend, at the Television Critics Association’s Winter Press Tour, TV One announced the expansion of its programming with the introduction of monthly original films throughout the year, beginning in February.
The first 2 of this new original movie lineup will be: “White Water” and “Hear No Evil.”
“White Water,” airing Saturday, February 7th at 8PM/ET, is described as a riveting and culturally relevant film exploring the complex experience of a child’s first encounter with racial tension during the civil rights era. Directed by Rusty Cundieff, it stars Sharon Leal, Larenz Tate and more.
Meanwhile, “Hear No Evil,” which premieres on Saturday, March 14, at 8PM/ET, captures the journey of a hearing-impaired teenage girl, who when impacted by two phenomena, begins to challenge the world that she came to rely on and shocks every person she encounters. The film is directed by Russ Parr, and stars Jill Marie Jones, Richard T. Jones and others.
This new original movie programming comes on the heels of what the network says was a strong 2014 that ended with the series premiere of “Hollywood Divas,” and the original movie premiere of “Second Chance Christmas,” as the network continues to maintain its position as one of cable’s top 10 networks among Black Women 25-54.
“Last year, we celebrated ratings successes in the performances of our original movies, including the premieres of Girlfriends Getaway and Second Chance Christmas. Increasing our rollout of original movies to an unprecedented number for the network provides us with the opportunity to offer our audience thoughtful and engaging content while working with talented filmmakers and actors,” said D’Angela Proctor, SVP of Programming and Production. “Our upcoming slate will showcase our talented Hollywood Divas, build upon our signature brand Unsung with biopics and deliver films that will have theatrical releases in the near future.”
Additionally, the network announced the premiere dates for two fan-favorite series returning as part of Black History Month observance. “Unsung Hollywood” premieres an all-new season on Wednesday, February 11th starting at 8PM/ET, providing revealing portraits of notorious stars like Vivica Fox, and other captivating people and moments within the entertainment business. Then, at 10PM/ET, the network’s highest-rated docu-series, “R&B Divas LA,” rounds out the night as two new Divas – Christina “Brave” Williams and Stacy Francis – join the cast.
Lastly, Black History Month programming content will also include The 23rd Annual Trumpet Awards, honoring Jamie Foxx and Lou Brock, among others, airing on Saturday, February 21st at 8PM/ET, hosted by Laila Ali and Dolvette Quince, as well as the previously announced 46th NAACP Image Awards, hosted by Anthony Anderson, airing on Friday, February 6th at 9PM/ET.
The announcements were among remarks made today by Brad Siegel, President of TV One, during the network’s presentation at the 2015 Winter Television Critics Association Press Tour.
Details on TV One’s new films and returning series are included below.
“Hear No Evil”
In this edge-of-your seat thriller, a freak accident jolts Shelby Carson (Jahnee Wallace) — a 15-year-old hearing impaired student — from her peaceful world of silence and seclusion into the world of the hearing. When she begins to hear messages from God, Shelby discovers that more than just her hearing was restored in the accident. Filled with chaos and confusion, Shelby struggles to cope with her newfound circumstances. She battles with what she should do with the knowledge of startling realities — including compromised health and well-being — facing the people around her. What initially seems to be a blessing on the surface could very well be a curse that unravels the bond between her dearest loved ones. Relationships are tested and secrets are revealed in this compelling story of family, faith and the resolve of a young girl.
“Hear No Evil” also stars Jill Marie Jones (Girlfriends) as Kate, Richard T. Jones (Why Did I Get Married?) as Samuel and Jackie Long (ATL) as Jason.
Russ Parr, from Up To Parr Productions, serves as the Director and Screenwriter. Eric Tomosunas serves as Producer. Lamar Chase is Producer for TV One. Executive In Charge of Production and Programming is Tia A. Smith. D’Angela Proctor serves as Executive Producer for the network.
Based on true events and set in Opelika, Alabama, during the summer of 1963, “White Water” is an imaginative tale of Michael (Amir and Amari O’Neil), a seven-year-old black child who becomes obsessed with the desire to taste water from the “whites only” drinking fountain. Michael sets out on a quest to do the unthinkable: to drink from it. His loving and protective mother, Annie (Sharon Leal), and free-spirited father, Terrance (Larenz Tate), learn of Michael’s obsession with tasting the “white water” and make several attempts to steer him away from this risky adventure. All of Michael’s friends, the local police and the KKK are also against Michael’s mission. His unwavering determination to ignore racial limitations leads him to finally understand the true dangers of his quest. During the film, Michael applies a child’s logic to decipher the conventions of racism. His insights are consistently more practical than the logic of the closed-minded adults that created the customs of the segregated South, but as Michael quickly matures, he must consider whether the risks involved are worth the reward.
“White Water” was Directed by Rusty Cundieff of White Water Productions. The film is produced by Dwayne Johnson-Cochran and the screenplay by Michael C. Brandy and Eric Stein. Jubba Seyyid serves as Executive in Charge of Production for TV One, and D’Angela Proctor is Executive Producer for the network.
“R&B Divas LA”
With continued success as the network’s most-watched series, “R&B Divas LA” has been picked up for a third season. Each episode will follow the cast of exceptional artists as they balance a series of personal matters while fighting to rise and stay on top of the R&B charts. Cast members Chanté Moore, Lil’ Mo, Michel’le, Chrisette Michele and Leela James reunite as this season introduces the story of two new Divas on the rise: Christina “Brave” Williams and Stacy Francis. The group will also show their philanthropic side as they use their musical talents for good by coming together to collaborate on a special charity project. The season will conclude with a two-part reunion special.
“R&B Divas LA” is produced for TV One by Thinkfactory Media. Executive Producers are Leslie Greif, Adam Reed, Adam Freeman, Phil Thornton, Paul Coy Allen, Aaron Fishman, Mykelle Sabin, Faith Evans and Nicci Gilbert. Lamar Chase is Producer for TV One. Executive in Charge of Production is Jubba Seyyid. D’Angela Proctor is Head of Programming for the network.
“Unsung Hollywood” shines a spotlight on groundbreaking entertainers who devoted their lives to making their mark in movies, television, comedy and sports — and in the process, helped elevate and transform our world. This season will highlight the cult classic Baby Boy, aspirational college-hit TV series “Different World” and legendary comedian and actor Redd Foxx, with behind-the-spotlight stories that have never or rarely been told.”Unsung Hollywood” continues the legacy of the flagship series Unsung by being a vehicle in which to answer questions through in-depth personal interviews and exclusive footage, along with revelations from industry associates and loved ones. Season two of “Unsung Hollywood” will premiere on Wednesday, February 11th at 9PM/ET.
“Unsung Hollywood” is Executive Produced by Arthur Smith, Kent Weed, Mark Rowland, and Frank Sinton of A. Smith & Co. Production for TV One. Henry Schipper is Co-Executive Producer. Lamar Chase serves as Producer for TV One. Executive In Charge of Production is Robyn Greene Arrington. D’Angela Proctor is Head of Programming for the network.