TV One is debuting a brand new television network, CLEO TV, debuting on Comcast Xfinity January 19, 2019, with more distribution agreements coming soon. The network, which gets its name from the iconic Egyptian ruler Cleopatra, is described as an “aspirational lifestyle and entertainment cable network targeting Millennial and Gen X women of color.”
“CLEO TV will offer quality content that defies negative and cultural stereotypes of today’s modern women,” as quoted from the official statement. “The network promises a unique and diverse lineup of short and long-form programming that reflects the multifaceted interests of this generation.” The network will focus on key areas such as travel, cooking and home design, relationships, talk shows, sitcoms, movies, docu-series and more.
“We’re at a pivotal moment in history where women are making a huge impact in our society and culture, especially women of color,” said TV One’s general manager Michelle Rice, who also spearheaded the development of the new network. “CLEO TV will offer a diverse mix of lifestyle and entertainment content through the unique lens of Millennial and young Gen X women of color, an audience segment currently underserved. CLEO TV will leverage the comprehensive media platform of our parent company Urban One, Inc. which includes digital, television and radio divisions that will each play an integral role in bringing this new network to the marketplace. We appreciate the support of our inaugural launch partner Comcast, as well as CURLS Beauty Brands for this tremendous opportunity to elevate new voices in our industry.”
“The best part about CLEO TV is that program formats will be both a mixture of old and new school, and viewers will find shows that have a modern twist,” said TV One’s vice president of original programming and production Robyn Green Arrington. “CLEO TV will bring to the forefront short-form and acquired programs that have only been in the digital space, which will give them more broad exposure and attract a new generation of viewers to the network. It will provide lifestyle, empowerment and entertainment lineups that mothers and daughters can watch together.”
Some of the original programming announced for CLEO TV include Living by Design with Jake and Jazz, hosted by siblings Jake and Jazz Smollett. Together, they will give deserving young women the chance to have the home of their dreams by pairing them with a team of professional designers. The day of home design will end with a special dinner to celebrate new beginnings.
New Soul Kitchen, starring Chef Jernard Wells and vegan chef Porsche Thomas, gives viewers tips on how to create soul food recipes that are healthy, but just as hearty. Joining New Soul Kitchen is Just Eats with Chef JJ, starring Harlem-based Chef JJ who cooks with his celebrity and influencer friends.
Travel fans can watch influencer Tai Beauchamp as she hosts a currently untitled travel and culture show, giving viewers “a unique travel experience to discover world-class destinations.”
CLEO TV has also acquired a collection of web series, including Giants, created by actor/writer/director James Bland and which initially streamed on Issa Rae’s YouTube channel. The series follows three Black Millennials as they approach 30 and battle their inner demons (or in this case, giants). Tough Love follows six Millennials in New York experiencing the ups and downs of dating, and Everything I Did Wrong in My 20s follows 35-year old Stephanie who tries to learn from her past mistakes and find the happiness she seeks. The Unwritten Rules, based on the book 40 Hours and an Unwritten Rule, follows Racey, an opinionated young woman who realizes she’s the only Black employee at her new job.
CLEO TV will also have talk show Sister Circle Live and syndicated sitcoms such as Eve and Girlfriends. Movies coming to CLEO TV include TV One’s original films Bobbi Kristina, Jean of the Joneses and Love Under New Management: The Miki Howard Story.