*TV One gets more mileage out of its “Unsung” franchise with the Feb. 26 premiere of “Unsung Hollywood,” a spinoff that expands the parameters beyond just music.
As previously reported, Pam Grier kicks off the 8-episode season Wednesday at 10 p.m., followed by Robin Harris (March 5), “What’s Happening!!” (March 12), Dick Gregory (March 19), Flip Wilson (March 26), “Cooley High” (April 2), Bill Duke (April 9) and The Harlem Globetrotters (April 16).
“Hopefully, we have many years to go because there really are so many stories to be told,” says the franchise’s executive producer Frank Sinton. “Having been able to do ‘Unsung Music’ for the past six or seven years…and now to be able to expand that to actresses, comedians, the Harlem Globetrotters. There are so many inspiring stories.”
So how does Sinton and the network choose which of these inspiring stories to highlight in the series?
“We start with these hundreds of names and we go through them and we talk about, we debate and we try and figure out if this person really qualifies for being unsung,” says TV One’s Senior Vice President of Programming and Production D’Angela Proctor, “which we kind of defined as haven’t been recognized as much as they should have been for their craft and for what they’ve done for our community or what they’ve done for the entertainment world.”
If any actress has not been recognized as she should, it is Pam Grier. The North Carolinia native, 64, never really got her props as the dominant female action star of the 1970s – black or white. She had been in films for three years before her breakthrough “Coffy” was released in 1973.
Below, Grier says the title role was written for a white actress…until the filmmakers saw what she could do with a gun.
“Unsung Hollywood” airs Wednesdays at 10 p.m. on TV One. Watch the trailer below.