Robert L. Johnson-Backed ‘Alright TV’ Set to Launch March 3113 Feb, 2013 By: Erik Gruenwedel
YouTube channel seen as precursor to Image Entertainment digital rollout
Alright TV, the joint venture between BET founder Robert L. Johnson and Tracey Edmonds, will launch on Easter Sunday, March 31, on YouTube — featuring family-oriented and faith-friendly comedies, talk, reality, music and online streaming of Sunday church services from around the country.
Johnson, whose RLJ Companies owns home entertainment distributor RLJ Entertainment (Image Entertainment and Acorn Media), said ad-supported Alright TV will also feature inspirational messages, gospel and Christian-themed musical videos on demand and ministries from well-known speakers and spiritual leaders.
“Tracey is an award-winning producer and I am confident that viewers will enjoy the new digital series that she and her team have developed featuring well known artists and personalities from the faith-based, reality, sports and entertainment industries,” Johnson said in a statement. “Alright TV's content and collaboration with YouTube represents the spectrum of new and exciting opportunities for consumers and advertisers.”
Johnson envisions Alright TV as a blueprint for a future digital channel incorporating Image Entertainment’s content, and focusing on the urban market.
In an interview with Home Media Magazine last year, Johnson said he wants to emulate Tyler Perry’s appeal in the black market through the launch of an urban-based subscription video-on-demand service (through YouTube) featuring Image’s catalog fare and third-party content.
“The key to all of this is compelling programming with a marketing strategy that gets the consumer aware of the product,” Johnson told HMM.
Alright TV’s initial slate includes:
• “The Choir,” a comedic series about the personal, spiritual and often controversial dynamics of a revered church choir from Issa Rae, the creative mind behind Web series “The Misadventures of Awkward Black Girl.”
• NFL Hall of Famer Deion Sanders debuts two reality series, “Sports Dads,” counseling families of sports-obsessed parents about pushing their children too hard, and “Truth,” a show about inspiration.
• “Take Action” features Cheryl “Action" Jackson transforming the lives of families in need.
• “Walk This Way” is a sketch comedy series in which parishioners seek advice from their pastor for some of the most unusual problems. It features Michael Kenneth Williams (“Boardwalk Empire,” “The Wire”).
• Webisodes “Ms. Right” and “Mr. Right” explore dating from both the male and female perspectives. YouTube’s comedy trio, “The Playmakers” — Kevin Fredericks, Jason Fredericks and Anthony Davis — bring faith-friendly comedy on some of the most recognizable church-related topics.
• “The No-Budget Gourmet” features Chef Brian Hill, Bravo’s “Top Chef” alum who also appeared on Food Network’s “Private Chefs of Beverly Hills,” as he teaches America how to eat well and spend less on meals.
• Dr. James Meschino headlines “Pure Health,” an in-depth look at the natural ways to approach health and living.
• “Dormtainment” showcases You Tube’s popular six-man Atlanta comedy sketch troop who deliver webisodes on the trials and tribulations of college and young adult life.
• Celebrity lifestylist AJ Johnson shows viewers how to attain a better mind, body and soul in “The AJ Zone.”
• “Preach On, Teach On,” is an amateur blog series where rising inspirational speakers offer words of encouragement and inspiration that empowers.
• Finally, “Vurch” will live-stream weekly church services and sermons of pastors from around the country, featuring spiritual leaders such as Bishop T.D. Jakes, Reverend Michael Beckwith, Bishop Paul S. Morton and Apostle Frederick K.C. Price.