TV One’s new original movie Media is packed with suspense, drama, death and plot twists.
The made-for-TV flick, which premiered Saturday night, follows the triumphs and turmoil within the wealthy Jones family dynasty. Matriarch Jackie Jones (the always strong Penny Johnson Jerald of 24 fame) runs her multi-media empire with an iron fist in Atlanta and depends on her four adult children to make her big dreams a reality.
But her son Michael (Brian White, Scandal), an assistant district attorney with political ambitions, is Jackie’s favorite and as viewers will learn, it’s a distinction that comes with a laundry list of expectations and demands.
Here are five reasons soap-opera aficionados will love Media:
The Drama: This small-screen movie is packed with sibling rivalries, corporate espionage, sex, revenge, murder and lies. With so much going on, some critics have already begun comparing Media to Empire, The Godfather, Romeo and Juliet, Dallas and Dynasty.
The Culture: Who knew the urban radio market could be so cutthroat and nasty? But that’s certainly how it is presented in this television offering. On the way to the top, the Joneses have made a lot of enemies, including their fresh-out-of prison industry rival Jabbar Randolph (Gary Dourdan). It’s not all drama and thankfully music is a big part of this world. Expect cameo performances from R&B star Tyrese and hip-hop hero T.I.
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The Cast: Johnson Jerald, White and Dourdan are not the only noteworthy names. Fans should also look out for memorable performances from Pooch Hall as Jackie’s eldest son Clay; Finesse Mitchell as an arrogant morning disc jockey named Drive; Chrystee Pharris as Jackie’s only daughter Crystal; and Stephen Bishop (Being Mary Jane) as Jabbar’s younger and more sensible brother Will.
The Glamour: There isn’t an unattractive, poorly dressed person on this whole show. Even the hired thugs are mildly appealing. Media, which is executive produced by radio mogul Cathy Hughes as well as Susan A. Banks and Sheila Duckworth, wastes little time on the hoi polloi and maintains a steady gaze on the rich and ruthless for an over-the-top melodramatic experience.
The Potential: Although Media is a made-for-TV movie, it is also a backdoor pilot of sorts. So if the social-media buzz and ratings are strong enough, this one-off endeavor could easily become a series.
Media premiered Saturday February 25 at 8 p.m. ET on TV One.