Upfronts ’16: Family business, dating come to TV One

The African American-skewing U.S. cable net has unveiled seven new unscripted series and is increasing its primetime schedule to four nights of original programming.
April 15, 2016

U.S. cable net TV One has unveiled seven unscripted series set to make their debut in 2017, as well as its intention to up its original programming to four nights of primetime.

The channel, skewed towards an African American audience, presented the non-fiction series as well as plans to air an original movie every week for 14 straight weeks in the summer of next year, at an upfront event in New York City on April 14.

Upcoming unscripted series include Sneaker Pawn, following 17-year-old Chase Reed and his family as they contend with the challenges and triumphs stemming from Chase’s sneaker pawn shop. Another “family business” docuseries, Family Bond, is also on the slate, and follows the operators of North Carolina-based Bail Bonding by CJ.

A dating format will also make its debut on the network next year. The Dating Games, billed by the net as a cross between The People’s Couch (or Gogglebox) and Love Connection, turns competing participants into voyeurs, watching real dates and then commenting on and answering questions about the dates as they unfold.

Crime and justice programming plays a big part in the upcoming TV One slate, with four new series announced, including: #Murder, which looks at crimes with a social media connection; For My Woman, which follows up TV One’s previous series For My Man and examines crimes committed by men for the women they love; Thou Shalt Not, which applies a biblical perspective to true crime content by focusing on crimes that contravene the Ten Commandments; and Evidence of Innocence, which looks at cases of wrongful conviction.

Returning series for the net include Unsung, Unsung Hollywood, Hollywood Divas, Rickey Smiley For Real, Fatal Attraction, For My Man, and Justice by Any Means.

The network, owned by Radio One, also announced plans to enter into the scripted drama space, which, according to original programming and production SVP D’Angela Proctor, “is a logical and necessary next step for TV One.”

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Jonathan Paul is a Toronto-based writer into creativity, content, advertising, tech, comics, video games, film, TV, time and space travel.