Biopics on the lives of Xscape, Bobbi Kristina, The DeBarge Family and Civil Rights Icon Rosa Parks Among Network’s Original Film Offerings
SILVER SPRING, MD – APRIL 21, 2017 – TV One has announced its 4Q17-2018 slate of original movies, focusing on storytelling that will promote culturally authentic stories that inspire as well as entertain viewers and further strengthen the network’s goal to be the premiere destination for relevant programming geared toward the African American community.
“We are so excited to produce and present such a wide range of original films that expand the narrative of our community,” said D’Angela Proctor, TV One’s SVP, Original Programming & Production. “Because music is in our DNA, it plays an integral part of our original movie programming strategy.”
Capitalizing on the success of last year’s original movie offerings, TV One will produce a well-rounded offering of films ranging from bio-pics, historical films and holiday fare.
For the music lover, TV One celebrates three films inspired by musical artists, including Who Can I Run To: The Xscape Story, a film inspired by the R&B quartet’s episode of Unsung, which was the most popular episode aired in the series’ history. The film is being produced in partnership with legendary music producer and So So Def founder Jermaine Dupri, the label that produced Xscape’s three platinum albums. All This Love: The DeBarge Family Story, based on the book, “Other Side of Pain” by Etterlene “Mama” DeBarge, focuses on the rise and fall of one of the most famous music families of the late 70s and 80s. Additionally, the highly-anticipated film, Bobbi Kristina, is the made-for-TV biopic, inspired by the life of Whitney Houston and Bobby Brown’s only child. The film stars Vivica A. Fox, Demetria McKinney, Hassan Johnson and Joy Rovaris in the title role.
Previously, TV One turned heads when it produced the bio-pic on the life of acclaimed singer Miki Howard, inspired by her fan-favorite episode of Unsung. Similarly, the new film When Love Kills: The Falicia Blakely Story, is a true crime tale inspired by an episode of the network’s popular True Crime & Justice series, For My Man. Scheduled for a Labor Day premiere, the film marks the feature-length directorial debut for Tasha Smith (For Better Or Worse, Empire) and stars Lil Mama, Lance Gross, Tami Roman, Big Freedia, Lil Zane, and Floyd Mayweather.
In keeping it’s goal to support the film community, aspiring writers and introduce new voices, TV One proudly presents Downsized, an original film written by Michelle McKissick, a 2016 TV One/ American Black Film Festival Screenwriting Competition finalist. Starring real-life couple Nicole Ari Parker and Boris Kodjoe, the film depicts a Suburban couple whose life is first thrown for a major loop when they become teenaged parents. Forced into a modern “shotgun” wedding, they must put their personal goals on hold in order to do what is best for their family.
Additionally, TV One will commemorate Black History Month with a film inspired by the life of a Civil Rights legend. Behind The Movement: The Rosa Parks Story depicts how Parks’ refusal to give up her seat in the “whites only” section of a bus launched the history-making Montgomery Bus Boycott in December 1955.
A full overview of upcoming original movies is below:
TV One 2017 – 2018 Movie Programming
REPRESENTING BLACK MUSIC
Premiere: Summer 2017
Bobbi Kristina is the made-for-TV biopic, inspired by the life of Whitney Houston and Bobby Brown’s only child. Bobbi Kristina Brown grew up in the shadow of her uber famous, superstar parents’ spotlight. This film offers an intimate look at the highs and lows of parental, familial and romantic love complicated by fame through the eyes of a sensitive, vulnerable young woman.
Her high-profile life – and death – may have been shrouded in mystery, but this film will reveal her humor, her quirks, her deepest fears and longings as well as her fight to be seen, heard, and loved. The narrative structure takes the viewer on a dramatic journey of memories, conflicts, visions, perseverance, faith, friendship, and ultimately love — the love of a man and a woman, the love of a father and a daughter, and the bond between a mother and a child.
Who Can I Run To: The Xscape Story
This original film is based on the story on of 90s R&B quartet Xscape, whose story of their rise to fame and group implosion was told on an episode of TV One’s award-winning docu-series, Unsung. Comprised of sisters LaTocha and Tamika Scott, and classmates Kandi Burruss and Tameka “Tiny” Cottle, the R&B quartet formed a sisterhood as strong as their sound, recording the #1 hits “Just Kickin’ It,” “Understanding” and “Who Can I Run To?” Since their breakup in 1998, attempts to reunite the group have failed with lingering bitterness and deep seeded anger playing out on public forums. The film is being produced in partnership with legendary music producer and So So Def founder Jermaine Dupri, the label that produced Xscape’s three platinum albums.
All This Love: The DeBarge Family Story
Premiere: Fall 2018
Original film All This Love: The DeBarge Family Story focuses on the story the DeBarge family, one of the most popular family groups in American music history, as told by the family matriarch, Etterline Abney. After her marriage with Robert DeBarge, a handsome white soldier, goes through a turbulent unraveling, she relocates her children to Illinois. The children begin singing in her brother’s church. Two of the brothers record a demo tape that, with the help of Jermaine Jackson, falls into the hands of Motown founder Berry Gordy – and the rest is history. All This Love is a story whose tale is woven with music, fame, success, romance, sibling rivalry, drugs and bonded by the glue of Abney’s love that strains to keep them all together.
REPRESENTING REAL PEOPLE
When Love Kills: The Falicia Blakely Story
Premiere: Labor Day, 2017
Inspired by an episode of TV One’s original series For My Man, this is the tragic story of Falicia Blakely (Lil Mama), a teen mom who grows up in the fast-lane. When she becomes an exotic dancer, she attracts the attention of local pimp and predator, Dino (Lance Gross). His empty promises of a life together turn Falicia into a pawn in his dangerous games; and she’s forced to prove her love for him at the expense of innocent lives. Tami Roman (Basketball Wives, Belle’s), Floyd Mayweather, Jr., Big Freedia, and Lil Zane round out the cast.
The movie also marks the directing debut of acclaimed actress Tasha Smith (For Better Or For Worse, Empire). The screenplay is executive produced and written by industry veteran Cas Sigers-Beedles, who previously wrote and executive produced the TV One movies Welcome to the Family and Girlfriends Getaway 1 & 2.
REPRESENTING OUR LEGACY
Behind the Movement: The Rosa Parks Story
Premiere: February 2018
Written by noted screenwriter and author Katrina O’Glivie (Saints and Sinners), this is the unique and fast-paced retelling of how Rosa Parks refusal to give up her seat launched the history making Montgomery Bus Boycott. This ticking clock styled film recounts the inner workings and the behind-the-scenes preparation that took place in three intense days of December 1955, to launch the most successful boycott of its time.
REPRESENTING NEW VOICES
Premiere: August 2017
Ebony (Nicole Ari Parker) and Michael (Boris Kodjoe) were forced into a modern “shotgun” wedding after becoming teenaged parents, putting their personal goals on hold in order to support their family. Amazingly, the two high school sweethearts managed to overcome the odds and establish a seemingly ideal life for themselves. However, the success that initially was meant to strengthen their family has become the very thing that is driving them apart. As a result, Michael desperately tries to hold onto everything he’s worked his entire life to gain. This leads the family on an unconventional adventure to restore the faith, hope, and the trust that first brought them together.
The original film is written by Michelle McKissic, a finalist in the 2016 TV One Screenwriting Competition at the American Black Film Festival.
ABOUT TV ONE:
Launched in January 2004, TV One serves more than 60 million households, offering a broad range of real-life and entertainment-focused original programming, classic series, movies and music designed to entertain and inform a diverse audience of adult black viewers. The network represents the best in black culture and entertainment with fan favorite shows Unsung, Rickey Smiley For Real, Fatal Attraction, Hollywood Divas and The NAACP Image Awards. In addition, TV One is the cable home of blockbuster drama Empire, and NewsOne Now, the only live daily news program dedicated to black viewers. In December 2008, the company launched TV One High Def, which now serves 14 million households. TV One is solely owned by Radio One [NASDAQ: ROIA and ROIAK, www.radio-one.com], the largest African-American owned multi-media company primarily targeting Black and urban audiences.
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