"We're thrilled to be joining forces with ABC in airing this dynamic series," BET chairman Debra Lee told Hollywood Reporter. "Scandal is a cultural phenomenon that has resonated with viewers for the past two seasons and we're excited to be part of it's continued journey." BET will kick things off with a Scandalmarathon this August. via Essence
Brooklyn BohemeDuring the 1980s and 90s, the Fort Greene area of Brooklyn was booming with talent. The black arts movement was underway with filmmaker Spike Lee, comedian Chris Rock, actress Rosie Perez, among other artists creating a community and paving their ways in the art world. Brooklyn Boheme tells the story of these creators.
Why We Laugh: Black Comedians on Black ComedyThe film chronicles the story of Black comedy, its roots, nature, and what social and political stances inform it. From minstrels and ‘Amos ‘n Andy’ to ‘In Living Color’ and the Original Kings of Comedy, it is all discussed. There is commentary from established comedians and clips from different periods of significance in comedy.
Harvest of ShameThe documentary was produced by CBS in 1960 as a part of a series by broadcast journalist Edward R. Murrow. In Harvest of Shame, Murrow exposed the plight of America's farm workers. It is interesting to see some of the issues of farm workers today mirroring that of those over 50 years ago. (Full Documentary)
The Black Power Mixtape 1967-1975Through the lens of Swedish filmmakers, viewers get a look at the Black Power Movement. In clips Huey P. Newton, Angela Davis, and Stokely Carmichael talk about what the movement means. There is also commentary by Erykah Badu and Harry Belafonte, among others.
Being ElmoElmo is an icon, but not many people know who is behind the puppet and makes him come to life. Kevin Clash is that man. In Being Elmo, Clash’s story is told. Viewers will learn how he got to where he is now and created the persona of Elmo.
Jean-Michael Basquiat: The Radiant ChildAt the age of 27, the artist Jean-Michael Basquiat left the earth. In this film, Tamra Davis brings an unreleased interview of the charismatic and controversial artist. The rise and fall of Basquiat is seen in the film, giving viewers a better understanding of the man behind the paintings.
A Man's StoryCelebrated menswear designer Ozwald Boateng gives a look into is life as a designer, tailor to Hollywood’s A-list, superstar, and family man. A Man's Story goes to the very heart of what Boateng has spent an entire career trying to distil: "what it is to be a man."
Where I'm From: Jay-Z Barclays Center DocumentaryThe Barclays Center is Brooklyn’s baby, in a sense. It's only right that the borough’s own, Jay-Z, performs there. In Where I’m From, Jay-Z takes viewers on a behind the scene journey of preparing for opening concerts at the arena. (Full Documentary) Fade to Black
TysonA mixture of original interviews, archival footage, and photographs shed light on the life experiences of Mike Tyson. Looking at the film may allow viewers to gain a better understanding of the professional boxer.
Which documentaries will you be checking out? Have any recommendations?
Diahann CarrollIn 1968, Diahann Carroll starred in the ground breaking series "Julia." Heralded as being the first series to star a black woman in a non-stereotypical role, "Julia" produced 86 episodes and Carroll earned herself a golden globe. The first major breakthrough for African American women in television.
Pam GrierIn the 70's, Pam Grier played a character that also went against the typical African American female archetype. In 1974, Grier starred as the title character in Foxy Brown, a sexy yet independent Black woman who was capable of running down criminals and saving the day. Another ground breaking role for Black women in television.
Phylicia RashadThe 1980's and '90's saw the birth of the black upper-middle class in entertainment. In The Cosby Show, Phylicia Rashad played Claire Huxtable, the epitome of a strong, dignified, and highly intelligent black woman that rarely was seen on television before and was noticeably absent. Even after The Cosby Show it was several years before we saw another Black woman playing a lead role outside of the media-bred stereotypes, but Rashad definitely broke the mold for a new generation to come.
Jada Pinkett-SmithJada Pinkett-Smith has been one of the most popular Black actresses since the early '90's. She has appeared in more than 20 films in a variety of genres and in 2009 created her leading television role in the TNT medical drama Hawthorne, of which she was executive producer. Although it was canceled after three seasons, it was definitely the first show of its kind with a leading Black actress, opening doors for many more to come.
Taraji P. HensonTaraji Henson has proved her versatility in a variety of movies like Baby Boy, I Can Do Bad All By Myself, The Family That Preys, Four Brothers and The Curious Case of Benjamin Button. Many may not know, however, that she has also appeared on many television shows before landing a major leading role in 2011 on the CBS crime-suspense series Person of Interest. Henson was a cast member on Lifetime Television's The Division and ABC's Boston Legal and guest-starred on several television shows, such as the WB Television Network's Smart Guy, the Fox series House, and CBS's CSI: Crime Scene Investigation. She has proved that hard work and persistence do pay off!
Kerry WashingtonKerry Washington has played almost every role imaginable from a struggling single mother in Save the Last Dance, a lesbian in Spike Lee's She Hates Me, a wife in Ray, a slave in Django, and finally to our favorite professional political fixer in Scandal. ABC’s Scandal was the first time in more than 30 years that a television show starring a black actress appeared on a major television network. Kerry Washington as Olivia Pope, portrays a powerful woman who runs a crisis management firm that the political elite trust to solve their problems, including murders and extramarital affairs. Based on the real life fixer, Judy Smith, Washington brings an edge to television that has never before existed.
Shonda RhimesWe cannot celebrate the amazing Black women on-screen without recognizing the powerful Black women that work off-screen creating more opportunities for other women of color. Producer, screenwriter, and director Shonda Rhimes has taken over television, giving us some of the best shows networks have seen in decades including Grey's Anatomy, Private Practice, and Scandal. Rhimes is a Golden Globe winner and was also named Time Magazine's "100 people who help shape the world". She continues to shape the television world as we know it. These women have broken through barriers, set new standards and proven that African American women, too, can be successful in the entertainment industry and any other field chosen. These breakthroughs have also allowed others like Tyler Perry to make his mark in television, by featuring Black women as his leading characters. These women have without a doubt changed the face of television, opened several doors, and changed many perceptions in the process!
Where do you think television would be without these women from then and now? Who else are some of your favorite Black women of television?
As we close out 2012 and prepare for the emergence of 2013 TV networks are rolling out their mid-season lineup. Get ready to set your DVR’s as we give you a sneak peek of what to watch in the New Year. These are the shows that everyone will be talking about once they premiere.
Do No HarmJanuary 31st on NBC
"Do No Harm" starring Steven Pasquale, “Rescue Me” as neurosurgeon Dr. Jason Cole, who has a strange secret that erupts every night at the same time- his sinister alter ego named Ian Price. Think Beyonce and Sasha Fierce meets "House" on prime time. The show also stars TV veteran Phylicia Rashad from “The Cosby Show”.
May 2013 on ABC
“Mistresses” is remake of the British TV show with the same name. The show has been dubbed a “modern day version of Sex and The City”. It follows the lives of four girlfriends as they journey through their own paths of self-discovery, scandalous affairs and relationships. Everyone loves a good scandal, especially through the eyes of the "other woman".
The Carrie Diaries
January 14th on CW
“The Carrie Diaries” follows 16-year-old Carrie Bradshaw, “Sex and The City” during her senior year in high school. As she moves from her hometown in Connecticut to intern at a New York law firm during the summer. We discover how Carrie falls in love with Manhattan, fashion, and writing. This is a must watch for all Sex in The City lovers!
January 1st on TLC
Atlanta has brought us a steady stream of must watch TV for the last few seasons (Love and Hip Hop ATL, Housewives of Atlanta). This time is no different as we follow the lives of five “First Ladies” as they navigate the responsibility of being a preacher's wife, each woman having a different and distinct idea of those responsibilities. Jesus, fix it!
February 4th on TNT
“Monday Mornings” is based on the novel by Sanjay Gupta. The medical drama follows a group of doctors based in Portland “as they push the limits of their abilities and confront their personal and professional failings.” The title refers to the hospital’s weekly morbidity and mortality conference, when doctors gather with their peers for a confidential review of complications and errors in patient care. A touchy subject that will definitely be groundbreaking and controversial compared to other hospital shows.
Brace yourself, 2013 will definitely be a year for amazing, mind blowing television. Be the first to put your friends on to these new shows, they'll thank you once they can't get enough... and you can thank us later!
Excited about these shows? Have another show coming in 2013 that you're looking forward to? Tell us below...
- Andrea Kelly (VH1's Hollywood Exes) - “Don’t be a fool and you won’t get fooled”,” Be a living example"
If it's been 10 days since you've witness your favorite ratchet programming on VH1, BET or more - then your wait is finally over. Viacom and DirecTV announced this morning that they have reached a deal, putting aside their dispute and allowing programming to return to the airwaves.The agreement ends a dispute that has interrupted programming since July 10. Viacom had blacked out channels for 20 million customers of DirecTV (DTV, Fortune 500). Among the channels affected were Nickelodeon, Comedy Central, MTV, Spike and VH1. "It's unfortunate that Viacom took the channels away from customers to try to gain leverage, but in the end, it's clear our customers recognized that tactic for what it was," said Dereck Chang, executive vice president of DirecTV. And by customers, that includes displaced reality TV / New Jersey Nets Blake Griffin... Viacom was seeking what DirecTV claimed was a 30% boost, or an extra $1 billion, on top of its prior deal. Viacom countered that the hike it sought was just "a couple of pennies per day per subscriber." The companies did not provide a dollar figure for the new deal. via