Will Packer continues expanding his media empire. According to Variety, his company, Will Packer Media, is partnering with Lionsgate’s Debmar-Mercury to bring the weekly entertainment news magazine show Central Ave to Fox Television Stations twice a week. It’s scheduled to begin airing in a weekly format sometime in September.
Central Ave presents pop culture, news and other topical subjects through a “socially conscious and diverse lens,” said a statement from Debmar-Mercury. The format makes it a possible successor to BET’s news programs and the sorely missed Teen Summit. Sex educators, criminal justice experts and economic advocates have all been featured on the show.
“With our consensus being shows like this rarely come along, and with an unusually crowded weekday market this fall, we looked toward the weekends,” said Debmar chiefs Ira Bernstein and Mort Marcus. “We believe ‘Central Ave’ has a good chance to thrive airing in strong weekend time periods with all original episodes and ultimately return as a weekday strip.”
BET’s Julissa Bermudez and Olympic five-time gold medalist Sanya Richards-Ross host the half-hour show and served as the hosts during its successful initial test run last November.
Monique Chenault will be at the helm of the program as showrunner. She will also serve as an executive producer alongside Packer and Packer Media’s Kelly Smith.