All Articles Tagged "TV"
Picture this: Saturday mornings, a big bowl of Cookie Crisps nestled in your lap as you sat cross-legged on the couch in front of the TV. It was cartoon time at its finest. You worked hard all week at school, and now it was time to relax, get your munch on, and absorb all the colorful, funny characters and storylines weekend cartoons had to offer. Sure the cartoons today are cute and entertaining with its sometimes adult humor, but there’s something nostalgic about the hilarious, goober-goofy toons we grew up on in the 80′s.
La, la – la, la, la, la. Papa smurf and the rest of the tiny, blue gang had us rooting for them in their mushroom-housed village and booing the hated Gargamel and his pesky pet cat, Azreal.
By Caresse D. Spencer
I have my thoughts about Scandal, but doesn’t everyone?
I used to get on my high horse every week it aired because I’m bound to see something that rubs against the convictions that guide my own lifestyle. Nevertheless, I keep watching. Why? Because as I’ve written before, on my own blog, Scandal is the show that makes us all hypocrites. So, I can’t even go near a stone without seeing Jesus on the cross shaking his bloody head at me.
But, I did have to tune out for a little bit to regroup and consult my conscious. God forbid, I become bound by a dag on tv show! Come to think of it, those two-week breaks the network has thrown in at different times were probably answered prayers from all the saints who knew we were wrong for wanting Olivia and Fitz to go ahead and get back together (because her black suitor wasn’t smooth enough), but we couldn’t find a way out of watching!
Now that different stories are being thrown back into the mix, and at least for now Olivia and Fitz’s twisted affair isn’t the main event, I’m watching again. Yet, in the meantime I’ve realized the reason why “Scandal” has even those of us who reject “reality” tv and all the foolishness that often comes along with it fiending for Thursday nights and watching well-clothed and well-acted scandalousness. It’s because we love seeing black women in power. It’s the same reason Beyonce gets a pass for barely wearing clothes and being a sex symbol when she performs. ‘Cuz that girl can sang! And she can dance! But don’t let us see a woman walking down the street dressed like that. And of course we’re quick to shake our heads at video vixens. But these women on television are black women being fierce, and that’s inspiring!
Though I wonder, couldn’t it also be dangerous? I’m still waiting on Beyonce to drop a press release (sent to social media by “mistake”) explaining her latest single, but if that was on purpose, then it seems as though the power we’ve given her may be corrupting. Not to mention, being a good girl on TV seems to be a joke now. Porsha from “Real Housewives of Atlanta” recently got condemned for refusing to go to a strip club! Not to not vote or skip church. She didn’t want to go see unclothed women reducing themselves to objects and opted to also honor her husband (nevermind the current marital situation she’s in). Meanwhile women are still calling Alicia Keys a home wrecker, while Olivia Pope gets to pop her pea coat collar on our screens every week much to our delight. Where do we draw the line?
One thing all this proves to me (besides the fact that we all need Jesus) is that entertainment, especially black entertainment, needs a balance, and to be honest, the positive alternatives are not as good. Where’s the Claire Huxtable of this generation on television? Or Whitley, Freddie, and Kim trying to understand what doing the right thing looked like in college? Come on Tyler Perry, give us somebody (without all the antics), doing something right! Then again, I wonder, would we even watch shows that weren’t filled with drama and transgressions?
In the words of Lena James (A Different World), “9-1-1 emergency, reconnect the community!”
The stats have remained consistant—African Americans watch more television than other demographics. And finally networks other than BET are trying to lure in black viewers, who make up about 13 percent of TV households and watch almost seven hours of programming per day.
Many networks are seeking out black viewers, especially some of the networks that target women. “These are women who watch a lot of television and don’t find a lot of programming out there,” Lauren Gellert, WEtv’s head of original production, told Yahoo. The network is attracting African-American viewers with such shows as Braxton Family Values; Mary, Mary; and Tamar & Vince, WEtv is adding even more shows that will appeal to black women -- Glam & Gold, with Olympian Sanya Richards-Ross and her husband, NFL player Aaron Ross, premieres this summer.
Over at OWN about 30 percent of its audience is black, says network president Erik Logan. Black women are tuning in particularly to the Saturday night slate, when such programs as the self-help show Iyanla: Fix My Life and reality series Welcome to Sweetie Pie’s air. OWN is also beefing up its slate with the reality series Life with La Toya and Raising Whitley, both coming in April. According to Yahoo, OWN has seen double-digit ratings gains over the last year. And some analysts predict as much as a 10 percent ratings bump when the Tyler Perry sitcoms The Haves and the Have Nots and Love they Neighbor premiere on May 29.
Add in Bounce, Aspire, TV One, and Centric and there is much more programming for African Americans.
“There’s always room for a well-programmed network targeting a specific audience, especially one with such loyalty to television,” BET’s market research chief Matthew Barnhill told the site. Not to mention money to spend. African Americans would rank 15th in spending power if they were a country, says Barnhill. “The media is waking up to this opportunity.”
Don’t count out BET even with the new competition. The network is still number one with black adults 18 to 49 years old(excluding sports). ”We’re repositioning our brand,” says Barnhill. In order to compete with the other networks’ efforts to entice black viewers, BET isn’t just counting on the successes of the new shows Real Husband of Hollywood — the number one Tuesday telecast among black adults with 2.1 million viewers — and Second Generation Wayans, plus The Game, which returns March 26. But it is looking to continue to add more programming for its core demographic. “Our audience knows that we’re here 24/7 for them,” Barnhill says, while “the networks… dip their foot in the pool one or two nights a week.”
It seems actress Meagan Good has a new hit on her hands. The new TV show she is starring in, Deception, pulled in respectable ratings on its debut and helped NBC win the first Monday of 2013. According to EUR, the season premiere of the drama drew in 5.6 million viewers.
In the new drama, Good plays a San Francisco police detective trying to solve the murder of her socialite best friend. Good has appeared on a variety of TV shows but never starred in one. So this ratings news will just confirm she can carry a show.
Good told Vibe shes ready for the comparison with Scandal, another TV drama with an African-American actress in the lead role. But she says the comparisons stop there. “[I]t’s a completely different story line and it has totally different characters. There are many different things happening with all of the characters on the show,” she tells the magazine.
In a show of support, Kerry Washington sent her congrats (via Twitter) to Good over the ratings success. Indeed, it’s great to see these two women encouraging and supporting each other when so often we hear about jealousy and backbiting. Kudos ladies!
But will Deception become as popular as Scandal? Did you watch?
Many viewers will soon be paying more for basic cable service. “Under a recent Federal Communications Commission rule change effective Dec. 10, millions of television owners who do not currently have a cable box will have to get one for every set, according to public service consumer resource guide Consumer World,” says the Huffington Post. This may also mean an additional monthly rental fee in order to access cable for some consumers.
Local cable TV operators can now scramble their signals, which means a set-top box will be required on every TV to view programs, reports HuffPo. And according to Consumer World, those boxes cost around $10 each per month.
Although cable will now cost users more, according to the FCC, the new rule will benefit consumers, not harm them. “By allowing cable operators to encrypt the basic service and require a cable box, cable services can now be activated and deactivated remotely rather than requiring a house call, according to the government agency,” writes the Huffington Post.
The measure will negatively affect “a small number of cable subscribers who use basic service without using a set-top box or other equipment,” admits the FCC.
The FCC will also now require cable operators to give two free convertor boxes to customers who have only basic service and one free convertor box to customers using higher tiers of service for two years. This will offset the price of the new required boxes. “After that, customers will be required to rent or buy boxes of their own,” explains the news site.
Cable has already increased over the past decade. The average cable TV subscriber paid close to three times as much for cable in 2011 than in 2001 – an increase in price, from about $48 a month to $128. More and more African Americans are watching cable as we reported, with popular shows on VH1, BET, and ESPN taking the top ratings. This upward trend in black cable viewing could be disrupted by the new charge. It’s already facing competition from TV on-demand offerings.
It was getting to the point that people were about to put out an Amber Alert for John Legend who has been pretty low-key these days since blowing away audiences when he hit the scene with Kanye-to-the in the early 2000s. But I don’t think anyone expected that when John resurfaced it would be with a television project instead of an album.
Well that’s the case according to Deadline.com, which is reporting that Fox just bought an untitled comedy project based around John Legend’s upbringing. The sitcom was written by Tommy Dewey and Greg Bratman who created “Sons of Tucson” and is reportedly “[a]bout a guy in his early 20s who becomes the guardian to his own siblings while having to manage his burgeoning career and social life.”
Not much is really known about the life of John Roger Stephens, a.ka. John Legend, pre-fame. The gifted 33-year-old was born and raised in Springfield, OH, his parents divorced when he was 10, which reportedly caused his mother to suffer a breakdown. At 12, John entered high school and four years later he graduated as Salutatorian at 16. He then went on to study English at the University of Pennsylvania which is around the same time his music career got it’s major start and after graduation things really began to take off. The rest is sort of history.
Chernin Entertainment and John Legend’s production company Get Lifted will rake in the cash from this deal should it be successful.With the right actor — and writing — this could be an interesting sitcom to watch. What do you think?
Nicki Minaj is a star, whether you want to admit it or not. More than that, she is on the brink of ascending to new heights of celebrity. Television is the platform that will cement her “Icon of the Moment” status. An E! three-episode series, Nicki Minaj: My Truth will debut on Sunday, November 4 at 10:30 pm, preceding her debut as a judge on American Idol next year.
Her endorsements with Pepsi and Adidas, and the product deals with MAC and Elizabeth Arden fragrance are cute. But, her foray into television is a different ballgame. After being declared the clear winner in female rap, Minaj is working on pulling ahead of the pop star pack.
The next level of stardom for Nicki – true mainstream success, where parents and grandparents know your name – will require the star to face her most common criticism.
Minaj bristles at the mention of the dividing line between rap and pop in her image. She told Vibe magazine when promoting Pink Friday: Roman Reloaded, “I cannot break my album down into how the normal person like yourself would break an album down and say, well this is rap and this is pop. There is no rap or pop for me. It’s Nicki Minaj. It’s one collective body of amazing work.”
But, her collective body of work debunks her point. Both of Minaj’s album releases can be divided into separate rap and pop discs, and have been criticized for “exploring her musical identity… rather than perfecting one.” She even employs a two-face strategy to music videos, releasing them in pop- and rap-themed pairs.
Minaj’s decision to embrace her inner theater geek and follow the larger than life path Gaga paved has paid off for her. But, the wigs, makeup, outfits, and personalities could also be her undoing. To those who aren’t firmly in her fan base, and some who are, she can come off as a screaming wall of color. She makes an entertaining spectacle, but is hard to connect with.
For all the personalities in Minaj’s arsenal, we have yet to be introduced to the one that really matters. Even her fans debate her true identity. Is she “old Nicki,” the mixtape diva whose return was called for before her debut album could settle on the charts, or the opportunistic pop princess that rose out of a Taylor Swift co-sign? Minaj has gotten away with being two stars at once. But, creating a brand with universal appeal requires a cohesive image.
The hallmark of an American icon is having something real – whether it is a captivating story or sheer talent – that fans from all walks of life can connect to. Minaj’s decision to invite E! cameras into her life and set up shop in America’s living rooms every week is a sign that she is ready to forge that connection. The only question is, which Barbie will we get? It’s time for the real Nicki Minaj to stand up.
Her performance on E! and American Idol will give a hint of who Minaj wants us to believe she is. She may opt to appeal to a broader audience and risk alienating her hip hop base beyond repair. Her on-set feud with fellow Idol judge Mariah Carey shows Minaj brought Queens with her, but too much attitude could alienate the parents of the kids who love her.
Minaj has another option, one that she rarely manages sonically. She could find a balance between her two sides, and meld them together into some type of the-hood-meets-Candyland concoction that leaves everyone craving more.
Whatever direction she chooses, Minaj’s next moves will be among the most important she has made. Watching her find herself should make for good television. Her performance will be an important determinate of how much longer we’ll be seeing her around.
“The Cosby Show”? “The Jeffersons”? “Fresh Prince of Bel-Air”? If none of these shows sound familiar to you, then you’ve definitely missed a big chunk of television history. These TV shows represent some of the most successful television sitcoms ever. The fact that they all had long TV runs on major networks such as NBC, and CBS is a true testament to just how much of a phenomenon these shows became. What all of these shows share in common is that they starred a completely or majority black cast, something that has not always been easy to succeed with. That’s not the only thing these shows have in common. They all share certain formula’s that led to their success on large television networks and they also have avoided certain choices that typically lead to the downfall of many other black TV shows.
Firstly, Let’s have a look at history’s most successful black TV shows. Narrowing things down, these four shows appear to be the most successful black television shows of all time.
Originally a spin off from 1970s sitcom “All in the Family,” the show featured Sherman Hemsley and Isabel Sanford playing George and Louise Jefferson, a wealthy married couple who owned a chain of dry cleaners. The show aired from 1975 to 1985.
“The Cosby Show”
The Huxtables are still, till this day, one of the most memorable families on television. Featuring Bill Cosby and Phylicia Rashad playing a married couple that were both successful in their respective careers being a doctor and a lawyer. The show was on air from 1984 to 1992.
“A Different World”
As a spinoff from “The Cosby Show,” the show was designed by Bill Cosby to follow the lives of college students at historically black Hillman College on the verge of successful careers. The show aired from 1987-1993.
“Fresh Prince of Bel Air”
Just the fact that you can recite the entire opening song for this show just proves how successful the “Fresh Prince of Bel Air” was. The show was about a rich family in Bel-Air, who brings in cousin Will to keep him off the streets in Philadelphia. It aired from 1990-1996.
Okay, so what exactly do all these shows have in common? Well, the most painfully obvious one would be that they all feature families or characters that are well off. Either they already have successful careers or they are about to embark on successful careers. Secondly, they all featured characters growing up in positive environments and any reference to drugs, poverty or racism is minimal. Third, they all featured characters that were great role models as the characters always made the right decision in the end.
By looking at the most successful shows on major television networks, it appears as though most black families are doing well, and that families who suffer financially are the minority. Unfortunately these portrayals are not an accurate reflection of society.
One in three black men will go to prison at least once in their lifetime. Black teens have the highest pregnancy rate. Black people have 21% less married couples than the average Americans, as well as more than double the amount of single parent homes than the average American.
So what happens when a black television show attempts to accurately portray some of the hardships facing black Americans today?
Well, in most cases, the television show does not last. Examples of these would be shows like “My Wife and Kids” or “The Hughleys.”
“My Wife And Kids” seemed to be on its way to having long term success after having major success on ABC. So what caused this show to suddenly lose ratings? Some critics argue that the son Jr. getting his girlfriend pregnant on the show led to a decline in ratings and its ultimate cancellation.
Now, let’s look at “The Hughleys” which had a successful first season on ABC, however, soon got cancelled by the big next after two seasons. Although, it was picked up by UPN for an additional two seasons, this doesn’t hide the fact that it failed on a major television network. So what exactly was wrong with the show?
Despite the show having many comedic aspects, one of the underlying themes of the show was tumultuous race relations. Darryl Hughley would constantly get accused of losing his “blackness,” the neighbors not being used to having a black family and his kids having identity issues at school. Is this the reason that viewers lost interest in the show? Not necessarily, but considering that historical black shows always had a way of hiding the reality of the situations, it wouldn’t be surprising if these blatant race related story lines were often too “real” for viewers who watch such a large network like ABC.
This is not to dismiss the fact that there have been a lot of successful black shows on smaller networks such as UPN, The WB, TBS, and BET. These shows include “Moesha,” “Girlfriends,” and “The Parkers” as a few examples. Shows like “Living Single,” and “Martin” also enjoyed some success on FOX; however, these shows had a primarily black audience limiting its crossover potential.
It is still blatantly apparent that crossover into major US networks such as NBC, CBS, and ABC is still greatly limited. Essentially, to have success on any major television network, the show must portray a black family to not only be successful and but to also not fall victim to any of society’s troubling issues or fit into any typical African American stereotypes.
To create a black sitcom that deals with any of society’s hardships such as poverty, the economy or racism appears to be television suicide in mainstream America.
You may have caught Rickey Smiley’s latest entertainment venture, The Rickey Smiley Show, on TVOne, or heard about Terrence J leaving his mainstay, BET’s 106 & Park to pursue other hosting and acting gigs. These celebrities are now coming from behind the mic of their hosting jobs and onto the big screen of television and movies.
Before they were known for the Fast & Furious movie franchise, their upcoming fashion or make-up line or their OWN television network, these 15 celebrities paved their way to stardom as television and radio hosts.
As the star of his own syndicated morning radio show, The Rickey Smiley Morning Show, Rickey Smiley has more to smile about. He is now coming from behind the mic and onto the television screen with the premiere of his TVOne sitcom, The Rickey Smiley Show.
Remember the TV show Baldwin Hills? That show about young African American teenagers who come from rich families? In other words, it was the black version of Laguna Beach that aired from June 2007 to March 2009 on BET. Yes, many people thought it was corny and partially scripted, but the show was actually success and lasted three seasons. In fact, a lot of people grew fond of some of the characters on the show. It’s been three years since the show ended, and we know we’re not the only one’s curious what these young entertainers ended up doing with their lives. Most of them have completely disappeared into obscurity, while others are still trying to make their mark in various fields. Let’s have a look at what some of the most memorable characters are up to now.