By: Jeff Simmermon at 05:10 pm
This is really exciting: we’re launching the ASPiRE Network tonight (June 27th) at 8PM. Earvin “Magic” Johnson is the network’s Chairman and CEO.
On Time Warner Cable, it will initially launch in NYC to digital subscribers on Channel 171. We will launch in additional markets in coming months.
According to their press release:
ASPiRE will offer a diverse slate of programming spanning five categories: movies (including features, documentaries and short films); music; comedy; visual and performing arts; and faith and inspirational shows. The network’s initial schedule will feature the following programming blocks:
- Groundbreaking Movies (Thursdays, 8 p.m.) – Renowned actor Laurence Fishburne (The Matrix, Boyz ‘n the Hood) will guide viewers through the background, cultural relevance and historical significance of each night’s selection. Currently scheduled films include Shaft, Rosewood, Bird, Sarafina!, Bustin’ Loose, The Defiant Ones and Lilies of the Field.
- Groundbreaking Comedies (Tuesdays, 2 p.m., 8 p.m. & 11 pm) – Hosted by comedian Jonathan Slocumb (Meet the Browns, “The Steve Harvey Show”), ASPiRE’s Groundbreaking Comedies will celebrate trailblazing black funnymen and women with iconic TV series including “The Bill Cosby Show” (Chet Kincaid), “The Flip Wilson Show” and more. Slocumb will share with audiences the known and not-so-known facts about the shows, their stars, and their enduring influence on popular culture. Groundbreaking and original standup comedy performances will also be featured.
- Groundbreaking Music and Performance Specials (Fridays, 8 p.m.) – Hosted by Grammy Award®-winning jazz bassist and singer Esperanza Spalding (Chamber Music Society, Radio Music Society), this unique night of programming will present musical performances by pioneering and influential artists from every generation and genre. ASPiRE will also present examples of African-American theater, dance and visual arts, offering viewers a chance to enjoy the wide spectrum of talent in the African-American creative community. Programming will include “Jazz Giants of the 20th Century,” “Make It Funky!” and “Earth, Wind & Fire in Concert” to name a few.
- “ABFF Independent” (Mondays, 8 p.m.) – This weekly two-hour original show, hosted by actor Omari Hardwick (Sparkle, I Will Follow), will present the best shorts and feature films from emerging African-American writers, producers and directors, selected from the American Black Film Festival (ABFF).
- Groundbreaking Documentaries (Wednesdays, 8 p.m.) – Fascinating films chronicling the real-life events, people and places that shaped the course of African-American history and culture, currently scheduled documentaries include Academy Award® winner When We Were Kings, Rising from the Rails: The Story of the Pullman Porter and Oscar’s Black Odyssey: From Hattie to Halle, among others.
- “I ASPiRE” Featurettes – These 30- and 60-second shorts offer intimate profiles of and by the next generation of groundbreakers and game changers across African-American culture. The short films feature a dynamic selection of creative talent including concert pianist Jade Simmons from Houston, painter Matthew Thomasfrom Memphis and surfer Marcos Chatman from Los Angeles.
We are thrilled to announce this launch – we at Time Warner Cable foresee some really great things for the Aspire Network, and we’re proud to be among the first MSOs to help give it a big push.
Categories: Content Delivery, Cool Stuff, Future of the Industry, In the Community, Programming, What's New