Cast of ‘R&B Divas LA’: (Top Left, counterclockwise) Kelly Price, Lil’ Mo, Chante Moore, Dawn Robinson
*TV One announced Monday that its reality series “R&B Divas Atlanta” will return for a third season and “R&B Divas LA” for its second season, both set to premiere in 2014.
“R&B Divas Atlanta,” which launched the brand, will begin season three production this month in the ATL with cast members Syleena Johnson, Angie Stone, Monifah Carter and Keke Wyatt.
“The most recent seasons of the Atlanta and Los Angeles series, as well as their post-season reunion specials, enjoyed stellar ratings success in 2013-marking some of our highest-rated telecasts in network history,” said D’Angela Proctor, SVP of Programming and Production for TV One. “The divas are not only wildly talented and celebrated music artists, but relatable women with joys and struggles that resonated strongly with our viewers. We look forward to chronicling more of their stories, and drama, in these upcoming seasons.”
*The reality series “R&B Divas,” which followed Faith Evans, Nicci Gilbert-Daniels, Monifah Carter, Syleena Johnson and Keke Wyatt working together to produce a compilation album, begins production in Atlanta this month for a second season on TV One, and will be joined on the network by a spinoff series to take place in Los Angeles.
The original “R&B Divas” will return this spring with its original cast in tact for eight-episodes, while “R&B Divas: LA” (working title), which will follow the lives and careers of five yet-to-be-named Los Angeles based R&B performers, is scheduled to premiere in the third quarter of 2013, also with an eight-episode order.
“R&B Divas has definitely struck a positive chord with viewers,” remarked Toni Judkins, executive vice president programming and production for TV One. “Week-after-week, the series continued to build on its audience and we’re thrilled to provide another season and a new franchise of a dynamic program that is clearly resonating with audiences.”
TV One has also announced the addition of half-hour sitcom “Family Time” to its Friday night classic comedy block beginning this week.
Created by Bentley Kyle Evans (“The Jamie Foxx Show,” “Martin,” “Love That Girl”), the series centers around the life and times of the Stallworths, a working class African American family who gets lucky with a scratch-off lottery ticket and makes the leap to middle class status overnight. Omar Gooding and Angel Conwell star as parents Anthony and Lisa Stallworth, while Jayla Calhoun and Bentley Kyle Evans, Jr. play their children.
“The Stallworths represent a true-to life African American family working to pursue the American dream,” TV One says in a press release. “The series follows the family as they move to a middle class community in Southern California resulting in classic comedic moments tinged with humorous drama.”
“Family Time” will premiere Friday (Jan. 25) at 9 p.m. with two episodes back to back and then settle into its regularly scheduled time slot of Fridays at 7:30 p.m. beginning Feb. 1. Watch clips below.
*The ladies of “R&B Divas” are determined to change the pace of reality television by generating a positive alternative to shows like RHoA and all them other drama-filled shows about backstabbing and gossip.
Starring singers Faith Evans, Nicci Gilbert-Daniels, Monifah Carter, Syleena Johnson and Keke Wyatt, the new TV One reality series will follow the ladies as they work together to solve their issues… instead of scrap.
“We all know that life has drama,” Faith said, according to the Associated Press. “But what we wanted to showcase was that the drama doesn’t always have to be resolved in violence or fighting, that there can be some inspiring (going on) as well through reaching resolutions.”
The network today announced that the show, which follows Faith Evans, Nicci Gilbert-Daniels, Monifah Carter, Syleena Johnson and Keke Wyatt as they work on a comeback, earned 479,000 viewers during its Monday, 10 p.m. debut – becoming the most watched original premiere in the history of the network.
Nearly 900,000 total viewers tuned in if you factor in the encore airings as well.
“We were confident in the quality of production and that the compelling storytelling deriving from the Divas’ willingness to present their lives so openly and honestly would result in an entertaining series,” said Toni Judkins, TV One EVP of Programming and Production. “We’re pleased that the ratings reflect the viewers’ interest in and support of the show and TV One.”
Wonya Lucas, TV One President and CEO added, “As TV One continues to invest in original programming that reflects the breadth and depth of true Black life, it is encouraging to see the strong viewer response to quality entertainment programming.”
Monifah Carter speaks at the “R&B Divas” discussion panel during the TVOne portion of the 2012 Summer Television Critics Association tour at the Beverly Hilton Hotel on August 1, 2012 in Beverly Hills
*You’ve seen the clip – now hear what Monifah Carter of TV One’s new reality series “R&B Divas” has to say about her homosexuality, how she and her girlfriend are depicted on the show and what she thinks about her daughter’s unease regarding their relationship.
Monifah, who appeared with her cast members Faith Evans, Keke Wyatt, Nicci Gilbert and Syleena Johnson at the TCA Summer Press Tour on Aug. 1, said she believes her sexuality will be a tough subject for black audiences in particular to watch on television.
“We have been walking around with blinders on and with a lot of things, sexuality being one of them, period, whether you’re gay, straight, transgender, or whatever,” she said regarding the black community. “I just I felt that it was time, or I feel my truth is what it is, and that’s what I came on this show to do, to help people to relate; especially the youth, people that are struggling with their identity. I figured I’m supposed to tell my truth.”
Monifah’s daughter Akima in a scene from TV One’s “R&B Divas”
In the show’s trailer, Monifah’s teen daughter Akemi makes it clear that she is not feeling her mother’s lesbian relationship, telling her “I don’t support it.”
At the press tour, Monifah said it’s time to start addressing these issues on television — and viewers will see it in the scenes with her daughter.
“We’re dealing with what I think the world is dealing with, as far as tolerance and acceptance, on a global level,” she said. “I’m dealing with that on a personal level, and how we are working through that to agree to disagree because maybe our belief systems are different. But she is my child. I’m her mother, and again, we have to start addressing these things.”
Monifah and her girlfriend in a scene from TV One’s “R&B Divas”
And how does the rest of the cast feel about Monifah’s sexuality? Below, hear what Nicci Gilbert (who speaks first) and Syleena Johnson had to say. Monifah ends the clip with additional thoughts.
“R&B Divas” premieres Aug. 20 on TV One. Watch the trailer below.