*TV One has picked up Tegna Media’s “Sister Circle,” a daily roundtable talk show aimed at African-American women and co-hosted by Quad Webb-Lunceford (“Married To Medicine”), singer Syleena Johnson, sports reporter Rashan Ali, and standup comedian Kiana Dancie.
The show will premiere on Sept. 11 as part of the network’s expanded morning news and lifestyle programming block, with daytime TV vet Helen Swenson tapped as showrunner. The four-woman panel will chat about lifestyle and relationship issues as well as topical subjects. They’ll be joined by DJ Q, who’ll spin records and add a male perspective to the conversation.
The hourlong show will also blend in celebrity guests and expert commentary. It will air live in East Coast markets at 9 a.m. ET, originating from Tegna’s Atlanta outlet, NBC affiliate WXIA-TV.
“Sister Circle” is seen as a good fit with TV One’s morning lineup of news and lifestyle programing, which is expanding to three hours in the fall with the 9 a.m. ET telecast of “Sister Circle,” reports Variety. The newsmagazine “NewsOneNow” will be relaunched as “Black America Today” in a two-hour format.
“This was a perfect opportunity to expand our morning block into a destination for our audience,” said D’Angela Proctor, TV One’s senior VP of original programming and production.
The goal is to make the daily discussion on “Sister Circle” stretch from linear TV to social media platforms.
“Our shows don’t get a greenlight without a live component and a multiplatform component,” Sullivan said. “I don’t mean ‘Oh we’ve got a website.’ I mean a plan for activating these personalities every day on digital and social. Every day we need to have moments on this show that will continue the conversation throughout the day on social platforms.”
Tegna plans to launch the show on 12 of its 46 stations. The company is not looking to expand the show’s lineup outside those stations. Instead, the focus is on fine-tuning the show during its first season on the limited Tegna footprint and TV One, in the hopes of developing a stronger series to offer in syndication in year two.
Bob Sullivan, Tegna’s senior VP of programming, said the company learned from its experience last season with the talk show hosted by T.D. Jakes. That show lined up about two dozen non-Tegna stations in its first year, which made it harder for the show to find its footing.
“This way we can control the gas pedal and the brake pedal” without having to meet the expectations of outside station partners, Sullivan said.