Viola Davis Investigated Series for TV One

TV One is amping up their programming in a huge way this year.

The network — known for hosting the NAACP Image Awards and airing popular documentary style series like Unsung and True Crime — is rolling out a fresh line-up of content that will start this fall. The shift will include two hours of talk show programming in the morning, family-focused reality shows and a slew of original films.

The popular NewsOne Now will also be renamed Black America Today.

“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.”

One of the films due in the fall is the Tasha Smith directed-tale, When Love Kills: The Falicia Blakely Story. The film tells the real-life story of an Atlanta dancer who fell into the prostitution business as a teenager, which lead to her eventually killing three men. 

“This isn’t just a Black story, this is a universal story,” Smith said in a sit-down with ESSENCE about the film. “Her love committed crimes. Her love committed a crime against herself and people. And women do this every day. There’s a big message here.”

“I learned how important your prep was in a different way. We took four days, sat in a room and broke down the script, and we prepped like I haven’t experienced before. Every scene had a name —insanity, fear, etc— so we knew what we wanted to get out of the scene,” she added.

In addition to Smith’s film, there will also be a Rosa Parks documentary, a scripted film starring Nicole Arie Parker and Boris Kodjoe, a Bobbi Kristina biopic and an Xscape film about the group reuniting. The morning line-up will also include a one-hour talk show with four unannounced female hosts and an investigative series featuring attorney Benjamin Crump and executive produced by Viola Davis.

“Our goal is to provide our discerning audience of information-conscious influencers with more of what they are looking for in original films, family reality, true crime and justice content,” said Brad Siegel, TV One’s President. “This will offer advertisers more opportunities to be seen in the positive environment of our popular, quality appointment television offerings.”