TV One, known for its commitment to highlighting and showcasing the diversity of Black culture and entertainment, turns 20 years old today.
Established on January 19, 2004, on Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, by Radio One (now Urban One), TV One was founded to provide a platform for stories and voices often underrepresented in mainstream television. Today, the network serves over 44 million households.
Take a look at some of the network's defining moments.
In its early years, TV One introduced a variety of shows that became instant hits. Series like "Unsung" delved into the lives and careers of underrated musical talents, shedding light on the contributions of artists who may not have received the recognition they deserved.
"R&B Divas" and "Love That Girl!" were other early successes that conveyed the network's commitment to diverse storytelling, while "NewsOne NOW," the network's daily news program, provided a unique perspective on current events and issues affecting the Black community.
As TV One continued to evolve, it expanded its programming to include movies, documentaries, and reality shows that addressed social issues within the Black community. The network became a platform for discussing important topics such as politics, education, and health, reflecting the broader spectrum of Black culture.
Now in its sixth year, TV One's staple awards show, URBAN ONE HONORS: Best in Black, is an important showcase that recognizes and celebrates people in the Black community who have made significant contributions to the arts, media, music, and broader society. This year's show premieres on February 25.
Also noteworthy, TV One’s sister channel, CLEO TV (named after Cleopatra, a strong woman of color), is celebrating its fifth anniversary this month as well. CLEO TV targets millennial and Gen X women of color, and was created as a complement to TV One. The network offers content centered around travel, home design, relationships, finances, cooking, talk shows, movies, docuseries, sitcoms, and more.
Exciting Lineup Ahead
Audiences can look forward to special programming throughout the year on TV One in honor of the 20-year milestone, including interviews with key figures who helped to shape the network and a series of iconic moments that have defined the network the last two decades.
Its upcoming slate of programming includes the return of its hit docuseries, “Uncensored,” and new shows and specials including “The Al Sharpton Story,” "Raising Fame" featuring Lucille O'Neal (mother of Shaquille O'Neal) and Sonya Curry (mother of Stephen and Seth Curry), "COLLAB"--a music series featuring an undiscovered artist being paired with a legendary R&B or Hip Hop icon, and "In the Kitchen with Tamar & Evelyn Braxton," a mother-daughter duo sharing family recipes.
An Enduring Mission
"TV One continues to represent the best of Black entertainment and culture with a diverse offering of both new and nostalgic programming – for us by us," said TV One and CLEO TV President Michelle Rice.
Looking ahead, TV One remains committed to celebrating and amplifying the voices of the Black community, ensuring that its impact continues for years to come.
Happy Anniversary, TV One!