Hello, 2012. Glad to welcome you. As we delve into the New Year, we at the AmNews will continue to bring news and information of the quality and standards expected from our readers. Now that the pleasantries are out of the way, let’s go in.
Area promoters need to be mindful of when their shows are booked over the next few weeks, as TV One and BET are back with brand-new episodes of their most popular programs.
Jan. 2 began Season 6 of the biography series “Unsung” by featuring Vesta Williams. Viewers expecting a posthumous episode filled with stock interview footage and testimonials were thrown a curveball when they saw Williams actually participating in all her sassy, vibrant flair. It came across that Williams was poised to take full advantage of the attention she would have received as a result of the show, but unfortunately she passed before it aired.
The Jan. 9 episode sustains this momentum and may even raise the bar as it examines the life and career of Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee Bobby Womack. It’s must-see TV.
The rest of the season features Atlantic Starr, Freddie Jackson, Full Force, Millie Jackson, Ray Parker Jr., Sheila E., David Ruffin and Whodini. Expect to see in-depth coverage of a few of those artists in the coming weeks.
“There’s no better way for TV One to say Happy New Year to our viewers than with new episodes of ‘Unsung,’” said TV One Executive Vice President of Original Programming Toni Judkins. “We are honored that ‘Unsung’ has become a beloved classic and are confident that these talented artists and their stories will resonate with our viewers and continue to build on ‘Unsung”s legacy of helping to paint a richer portrait of Black music in America.”
Later in the month, TV One sheds light on the seldom-mentioned stories of African-Americans who have vanished without a trace in “Find Our Missing.” The 10-episode, hour-long docudrama begins airing Wednesday, Jan. 18 at 10 p.m.
Hosted by Emmy and Golden Globe Award-winning actress S. Epatha Merkerson, who for 16 years portrayed Lieutenant Anita Van Buren on NBC’s “Law & Order,” “Find Our Missing” is designed to put names and faces to those who have vanished and how the uncertainty of their plight impacts those who love them.
“Nearly one-third of the missing in this country are Black Americans, while we make up only 12 percent of the population. Yet, stories about missing people of color are rarely told in the national media,” said TV One President and CEO Wonya Lucas. “‘Find Our Missing’ will be dramatic television, but we also hope that TV One’s combined efforts on air, through digital and social media and through partnerships will also draw attention to a critical issue and bring new information to light for the loved ones of the missing featured in this series and for others.
“We hope these profiles will trigger the memory of someone who might have seen something and feel compelled to come forward and help these families who have suffered for so long,” she said.
Jan. 10 at 10 p.m., BET will again let the games begin as they unleash 22 new half-hour episodes of the top-rated scripted series “The Game” and “Let’s Stay Together.” Season 5 of “The Game” is heavily anticipated, as it brings superstar singer Brandy to the cast as well as a number of exciting new guest appearances, including Shawn Marion, Estelle, Selita Ebanks, DeRay Davis, NeNe Leakes, Rockmond Dunbar and the Emmy Award-winning Loretta Devine, among others.
In March, production begins on a spin-off of WE tv’s hit series “Braxton Family Values,” starring the show’s breakout stars, Tamar Braxton and her husband, music mogul and producer Vincent Herbert. WE tv has ordered eight hour-long episodes of the show, which will be called “Tamar & Vince,” tentatively scheduled to premiere in the fourth quarter of 2012.
“‘Tamar & Vince’ is a great addition to WE tv’s schedule, especially as we expand into a third night of original programming catering to the underserved audience of African-American women who love ‘Braxton Family Values,’” said Kim Martin, president and general manager of WE tv. “Tamar is a huge part of what’s made that show such a success; she is completely over the top, and our viewers just love her!”
“We are so very excited for this amazing opportunity,” said Braxton. “With our family series, ‘Braxton Family Values,’ we aim to show audiences the true meaning of family and sisterhood and with our new show, marriage. Our journey as two driven individuals who love as hard as we work is one we think audiences will relate to.”
Looking forward to checking out Joe this Sunday, Jan. 8 at B.B. King’s Blues Club (237 W. 42nd St.). The show starts at 8 p.m. and tickets are $35-hope to see you there. I’m out. Holla next week. ‘Til then, enjoy the nightlife.