Online platform Interactive One (iOne), announced today the launch of HB Studios – a new digital video studio that will be based in Los Angeles, with a new production space dedicated to creating compelling original series for Black women. Per the press release, HB Studios will produce more than 10 original series in 2015, both scripted and unscripted, each celebrating stories of real women and the diversity of their experiences, with content that includes news, entertainment, lifestyle, beauty & fashion.
The series will begin rolling out this quarter on the iOne Women channel, including HelloBeautiful.com – Interactive One’s premier online destination for women of color – which grew its unique monthly visitors to 2.9 million, up +78 percent in January 2015 vs. January 2014. Additionally, some series created specifically for YouTube.com/HelloBeautifulTV.
This marks a major expansion of iOne’s Women channel, which includes HelloBeautiful.
“HB Studios will fill a void by creating content that focuses on a fresh look at today’s multidimensional woman,” said Leigh Davenport, Editorial Director of iOne’s Women channel, and Senior Director of HB Studios. “We are seeing more images of Black women but they seem to be so focused in creating one specific narrative. Black women deserve content that speaks to them in all of the areas that are important to them.”
The first of the studio’s inaugural series will be a short documentary titled “Women on Top,” which features celebrities like Soledad O’Brien, Lisa Leslie, Tia Mowry, Chrisette Michele, Beverly Johnson, Jody Watley, Jurnee Smollett, Anika Noni Rose and Eve, each discussing what power means to them, womanhood and the intersection of gender and influence.
Reality content will also be included in HB Studios programming, kicking off with an eye-opening original series titled “Power on Point.” The series looks in on the intense and delicate world of ballet as seen in The Dance Theater of Harlem as the company prepares for its second year of touring, and rebuilds its 45-year legacy following an 8-year hiatus. “Power on Point,” which began shooting this month, is co-produced by HB Studios along with Walk The Talk Productions, and will premiere in March 2015.
Additionally, iOne will continue to produce new episodes of its music series “Interludes” as well as “HelloBeautiful Interludes Live!” – the latter being a quarterly showcase that was launched online in 2013, and soon became a staple on sister television network TV One.
Through intimate concerts and behind-the-scenes interviews with artists most loved by Black women, “HelloBeautiful Interludes Live,” from cities around the country, features artists as they share the motivations and inspirations that influence their music. John Legend, Alicia Keys, Jennifer Hudson, Ledisi, Trey Songz and more have already starred, with the next installments taking place in Los Angeles (February 23) and Las Vegas (Q2 2015).
Other new series currently in development by HB Studios include news/talk, original long- and short-form content, music, entertainment, fashion and beauty advice shows, such as:
“#BeatCancer” – This short-form docu-series follows two childhood friends who find their passion for music when one is diagnosed with a rare cancer and receives a very special gift from the Make-A-Wish Foundation.
“A Dream Deferred” – This reality show provides mothers an opportunity to relive a life dream they once had but stopped pursuing for their families.
“Becoming Queen” – A look at the behind the scenes world of pageant season on historically Black college and university campuses. What does it take to make the cut, prepare for the pageant and score the win? This reality series follows contestants though pageant day as they attempt to win over the audience, judges and their classmates to earn the right to be called the Queen.
“People Behind The People” – Ever wondered what it’s really like to be a stylist to the stars? It may not be as glamorous as you think. This reality series will you give you inside access to the crazy and sometimes glamorous lives of Hollywood’s emerging super stylists.
“Remember The Time” – Artists, DJ’s, producers sound-off on the biggest pop culture moments that changed attitudes, shifted norms and influenced discourse about women in the last 25 years, from Janet Jackson’s “Rhythm Nation” and En Vogue’s “Funky Divas of Soul” to Lil Kim’s notorious VMA moment with Diana Ross and much more.
“He Said/She Said” – Boys vs. Gals vs. Food! Celebrities join weekly hosts in this funny talk series about sex, love and marriage, while indulging in culinary experiences that will make viewers try to eat their screens.
Original series being created exclusively for YouTube.com/HelloBeautifulTV include:
“The Star Treatment” – This visual only video series highlights celebrity style, trends, home décor and services. Including shopping with celebs; digital cover shoots, celebrity home invasions, red carpet prep videos, high-end service reviews and behind-the-scenes with stylists and service providers.
“Fix Your Face” – How-to & DIY make-up is made simple in this easy step-by-step video series. Get tips from your favorite bloggers and celebs on how to achieve a flawless face.
“Nailed It” – Keep up with the latest fabulous patterns, sparkles and shapes in the trendy world of nail art. Learn how to create celebrity styles at home.
“Haute Hair” – A video encyclopedia of hairstyles for all textures, lengths and cuts. Short, long, wavy, curly, relaxed, here’s our how-to-guide to create perfectly coifed tresses.
“RAD: Get, Right, Get Tight” – HelloBeautiful.com fitness expert Robbie Darby provides 10-minute weekly workouts for the fitness savvy girl on the go.
In addition to online, select HB Studios series will be available for viewers on mobile and tablet devices.