×

Aspire programs first original show

New cabler showcases black filmmakers in "ABFF Independent"

With its official on-air launch coming Wednesday, new cable network Aspire has announced its first original series, “ABFF Independent.”

The weekly two-hour show, hosted by Omari Hardwick, will serve as a showcase of feature films, documentaries and shorts from emerging black filmmakers. Title refers to the American Black Film Festival.

Though it will typically air new installments at 8 p.m. Mondays, “ABFF Independent” will debut on Wednesday, when Aspire goes on the air.

Aspire general manager Paul Butler, who was named to the post in May, said the series will “provide an outlet for some of the most creative and talented new voices in cinema to receive much-deserved national exposure.”

Among the projects to be featured on initial episodes of “ABFF Independent”:

• Kena Tangi Dorsey-directed “Jump the Broom: A Musical,” about a young bride confronted by an ex-lover on her wedding day.

• David Canady’s “Weekends in Brooklyn,” about a relationship in Brooklyn complicated by an unexpected pregnancy.

• Nefertite Nguvu’s “I Want You,” a whirlwind romance told through poetry.

• Another Dorsey endeavor, “Sistahs in the Name of Love,” about tensions between two sisters during a family visit.

• Pamela K. Johnson’s “Stitches,” about a teen displaced by Hurricane Katrina who has to adjust to living with a roommate.

• Dave Coleman’s “Father’s Day,” about a young girl who has to deal with an absent father.

Jeff Friday is exec producing “ABFF Independent” with Sean Joell Johnson and Ralph Scott of LeftCenter Entertainment.

Aspire is moving quickly to get on the air, its creation having only been announced four months ago. Backed by chairman of the board Magic Johnson in partnership with Ron Burkle’s Yucaipa, Aspire will be carried by Comcast across its systems, as part of fulfilling its pledge during merger negotiations with NBC Universal to add 10 indie outlets over the next eight years. The cabler plans to target African-American viewers with original and acquired programming.

More TV

  • Jody Madden Replaces Craig Rodgerson as

    Jody Madden Replaces Craig Rodgerson as CEO of VFX Firm Foundry

    Jody Madden has been upped to CEO at U.K.-based VFX outfit Foundry. She steps up having been chief product officer and replaces Craig Rodgerson, who joined the company in late 2017. Foundry was bought by U.S. tech firm Roper Technologies earlier this year in a £410 million ($509 million) deal. The London-based business provides software [...]

  • La Linea Invisible

    Mariano Barroso Shoots Basque Conflict Origins Story ‘La Linea Invisible’

    IRUN, Spain  — When- and why – do people begin to kill for a cause? Having created “What the Future Holds,” maybe the best reviewed to date of any Movistar + Original Series, Spain’s Mariano Barroso (“The Wolves of Washington”) tackles this question head on in “La Línea Invisible,” a six-part series, again from Movistar [...]

  • Writers vs Agents Packaging War WGA

    Writers Guild Leaders Warn Members About Contact With Fired Agents

    Leaders of the Writers Guild of America are warning members about being contacted by their former agents — asserting that such efforts are an attempt to undermine the WGA and its members. The missive, sent Tuesday from the WGA negotiating committee, came with the guild in a bitter three-month standoff with talent agents that appears [...]

  • Mike Fleiss

    ‘The Bachelor’ Creator Mike Fleiss Accused of Attacking Wife

    “The Bachelor” and “The Bachelorette” creator Mike Fleiss has been accused of attacking his wife Laura Fleiss at their home in Hawaii on July 4, according to documents obtained by Variety. The documents show that Laura Fleiss, who is currently pregnant, filed for an emergency domestic violence restraining order against her husband after he allegedly [...]

  • James Cordon Drag Race Handmaids Tale

    Emmys Trivia: 20 Surprising Facts From 2019's Nominations

    For a show that technically wasn’t eligible at the Emmy Awards in 2019, “The Handmaid’s Tale” did quite well this year. The Hulu drama picked up 11 nominations, including major ones like outstanding directing, writing, guest actress and guest actor, thanks to a quirk in the TV Academy’s Emmy rules. As previously noted, most of [...]

  • 'Schitt's Creek' Emmy Nominations Give Boost

    'Schitt's Creek' Emmy Nominations Give Boost to Pop's Profile

    The core executive team at Pop TV expected to be disappointed, but they still gathered at the CBS-owned cable channel’s Playa Vista offices early Tuesday morning for the reveal of this year’s Primetime Emmy Awards nominations. They were not disappointed. “Schitt’s Creek,” the quirky comedy series that has punched above its weight for Pop since [...]

  • Beyonce-HOMECOMING-Netflix

    Beyoncé, Sara Bareilles Vie for First Emmys as Ramin Djawadi Looks to Reclaim Throne

    Beyoncé and Sara Bareilles could add Emmy trophies to their awards shelves this year, having been nominated in key music categories Tuesday by the Television Academy. Beyoncé’s “Homecoming” special on Netflix was nominated in six categories, and four of those include a nod for the pop superstar herself. Only one of those is in a [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content