or


[01/09/12 - 08:49 AM]
Smithsonian Channel Premieres "Black Wings" on Martin Luther King Day - Monday, January 16 at 8PM ET/PT
The one-hour special "celebrates the stories of black aviation with rich detail and character, proving that the dream to fly is an aspiration that transcends all boundaries."

[via press release from Smithsonian Channel]

MEDIA ALERT

GROUNDBREAKING AFRICAN-AMERICAN AVIATORS FEATURED IN BLACK WINGS PREMIERING ON DR. MARTIN LUTHER KING, JR. DAY, MONDAY, JANUARY 16 AT 8PM ET/PT ON SMITHSONIAN CHANNEL

From Tuskegee Airmen to NASA Astronauts to Pioneering Female Pilots, One-Hour Special Tells Story of How African-Americans Contributed to American Aviation

New York, NY - January 9, 2012 - For early aviators, conquering the forces of gravity was a daunting challenge. But black aviators had an additional challenge - the forces of racism. Men and women of color who took to the skies and demonstrated that skin color doesn't determine skill level are the subject of the new Smithsonian Channel one-hour special, BLACK WINGS, premiering Monday, January 16 at 8 p.m. ET/PT.

BLACK WINGS celebrates the stories of black aviation with rich detail and character, proving that the dream to fly is an aspiration that transcends all boundaries. Throughout the 20th century, the evolution of aviation paralleled the evolution of American race relations. In the space where these two stories intersect are rich and rarely-told stories of courage and innovation. For these adventurers, the attraction of flight was stronger than the distraction of racism, and by taking to the skies they helped America look beyond old stereotypes. From biplanes to commercial jets, from barnstormers to war fighters, pioneering black pilots opened the skies for all.

BESSIE COLEMAN was the first internationally-licensed black pilot in America... and a woman. How did she do it? Determination, personality, and the guts to learn French and move to Paris for training, as no one in the U.S. would take her. When barnstorming was the rage in the 20s, she was on the leading edge of aviation, smashing stereotypes along the way. Helping to tell her story is LA'SHANDA HOLMES, a Coast Guard helicopter pilot who overcame a troubled childhood to become an enthusiastic ambassador for flight.

WILLIAM POWELL was a pilot and social visionary. When aviation was the cutting edge technology of the day, Powell tried every means possible to get African Americans involved in flight in order to prove they could innovate alongside whites. Dubbed "a prophet of aviation", his goal was nothing less than complete equality. Framing this story is ROBIN PETGRAVE, who runs an aviation program for minority youths in Los Angeles. Powell and Petgrave are separated by 80 years, but their visions are strikingly similar.

While the exploits of Earhart and Lindberg became iconic, THE FLYING HOBOS, pioneering black aviators, showed just as much daring but were relegated to the shadows - famous only to the black community. Two pilots tried to change that by taking off for a cross country flight with $25 in their pockets - during the depths of the Great Depression -- hoping that good luck in the air and goodwill on the ground would propel them to be the first African Americans to fly coast to coast. Modern insight comes from GUS MCLEOD, an adventure pilot who was the first to fly to the North Pole in an open cockpit biplane.

TUSKEGEE AIRMEN is the most well-known of the stories recounted in BLACK WINGS, but rarely put into context. How did the black aviators of the 20s and 30s blaze the trail for these World War II fighter pilots? And after the war, how did military culture lead the rest of society into the battle over civil rights? Air Force pilot MATT QUY offers modern perspective, revealing how he fell into Tuskegee history quite literally by accident, but ended up honoring the Airmen in a very unique way.

JESSE BROWN was the first black pilot trained by the Navy. Flying combat in the Korean War, he was shot down. Fellow pilot Thomas Hudner crash-landed his own plane to try to save the badly injured Brown from encroaching North Koreans. THOMAS HUDNER himself recounts the harrowing episode, and its bittersweet ending with President Truman at a White House ceremony. This surprising story illustrates what a white man was willing to do for a black man in 1950.

CHAPPIE JAMES trained at Tuskegee, flew combat in Korea and Vietnam, and later became America's first black 4-star general. Our focus will be Vietnam, when he was vice commander of a celebrated Air Force unit led by Col. Robin Olds. Soon, they were nicknamed "Blackman and Robin" and together they helped shape a cohesive and successful flying force amid a war known more for its chaos. Framing this story is BENJAMIN ALVIN DREW, a military helicopter pilot in the 80s and 90s who became an astronaut and flew missions on the space shuttle.

While the military was hurtling towards successful racial integration at all levels, society dragged behind. At the dawn of the jet age, the new commercial airlines were routinely hiring retired military pilots - but not black pilots. MARLON GREEN changed that. His story starts with an application form that kept his race a secret, and ends with a historic Supreme Court decision that changed the airline industry. His family members offer a very personal account of this important civil rights pioneer whose story has never been told on film or television before.

ABOUT SMITHSONIAN CHANNEL

Smithsonian Channel is owned by Smithsonian Networks, a joint venture between Showtime Networks Inc. and the Smithsonian Institution. Its programs are largely inspired by the assets of the world's largest museum complex. Smithsonian Channel features award-winning original documentaries, series, and groundbreaking programs highlighting America's historical, cultural and scientific heritage. Smithsonian Channel brings the American experience home in high definition and Dolby Digital 5.1 and is available to customers of DirecTV, Comcast, Time Warner Cable, Charter Communications, Cablevision, Verizon, AT&T, and more. Learn more at www.smithsonianchannel.com.





  [january 2012]  
S
M
T
W
T
F
S


· SHOWATCH
(series past and present)
· DEVWATCH
(series in development)
· MOVIEWATCH
(tv movies and mini-series)









[07/28/15 - 04:55 PM]
Syfy and Universal Cable Productions Bring the Grindhouse Genre to Television with New 13-Episode Scripted Series "Blood Drive"
Set in a near-apocalyptic future, the project centers around LA's last good cop who is forced to join a twisted, gory cross-country death race - with cars powered by blood and a dangerous femme fatale partner who sees people as fuel.

[07/28/15 - 03:55 PM]
Megastars Queen Latifah and Mary J. Blige Ease on Down the Road in NBC's "The Wiz Live!"
Queen Latifah stars as the titular Wiz with Blige as Evillene, the Wicked Witch of the West.

[07/28/15 - 02:18 PM]
Kari Byron and Tory Belleci Explore the Science Behind the World's Wildest Thrill Rides on Travel Channel's New Series "Thrill Factor"
In this 10-part half-hour series, hosts and thrill seekers Kari Byron and Tory Belleci take viewers along for the ride as they explore the exciting world of thrill rides, waterslides and heart-pounding experiences around the globe through a scientific lens.

[07/28/15 - 01:43 PM]
Animal Planet Promotes Andy Weissberg and Erin Wanner
Both have played crucial roles in establishing Animal Planet as a top-20 ad-supported network for men and the entertainment destination for viewers seeking a deeper connection to the wild world.

[07/28/15 - 12:36 PM]
Debut of NASCAR Drives NBCSN to Most-Watched July in the Network's History
NBCSN spins the numbers for the month to date.

[07/28/15 - 12:00 PM]
HBO NOW Available Today to Verizon Broadband Customers
HBO NOW is immediately available to all Verizon standalone broadband customers, including FiOS and high-speed internet customers, for a 30-day free trial.

[07/28/15 - 11:15 AM]
FOX Sports Reaches Agreement with Westminster Kennel Club to Bring Annual Dog Show to FOX Sports 1 and Nat Geo WILD
Beginning in 2017, the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show airs in primetime on FOX Sports 1 live from New York City's Madison Square Garden as the seven Best In Group selections are made on Monday and Tuesday night, leading up to Tuesday night's Best In Show announcement.

[07/28/15 - 10:55 AM]
The Lines Are Drawn in Netflix's New "Narcos" Character Posters
All 10 episodes of "Narcos" will premiere on August 28 at 12:01am PST exclusively on Netflix.

[07/28/15 - 10:54 AM]
"Income Property" Starring Scott McGillivray Premieres on DIY Network in August
"American Rehab: Charleston" and "Attic Gold" are also on tap beginning next month.

[07/28/15 - 10:33 AM]
TV Land Picks Up "The Soul Man" Starring Cedric "The Entertainer" and Niecy Nash for Fifth and Final Season
The sitcom is the network's highest-rated original series among African Americans 25-54 and African American Women 25-54.

[07/28/15 - 10:10 AM]
VH1's New Original Series "She's Got Game" Featuring Grammy Nominated Rapper Jayceon "The Game" Taylor Premieres Monday August 10th at 9 PM ET/PT
The new series "She's Got Game," follows him in his pursuit of the perfect love match as he embarks on a national tour.

[07/28/15 - 09:57 AM]
"48 Hours: Paradise Lost" Is Saturday's #1 Broadcast at 10:00 PM with Adults 25-54 and Viewers and Posts Year-to-Year Gains in Both Categories
CBS spins the numbers for Saturday, July 25.

[07/28/15 - 09:42 AM]
"Doctor Who" Returns to the Big Screen Nationwide to Feature Never-Before-Seen Prequel to Season Nine and Exclusive Interview with Peter Capaldi and Jenna Coleman
The event will feature "The Doctor's Meditation" - a special prequel scene to the first episode of season nine - and an exclusive interview with Doctor Who stars Peter Capaldi and Jenna Coleman, hosted by Wil Wheaton, in addition to the two-part season eight finale.

[07/28/15 - 09:29 AM]
The First Day of the Rest of Their Entrepreneurial Lives Begins Now on the Series Premiere of "Startup U," Airing Tuesday, August 11th, at 10:01PM ET/PT
It's a whole new game when ten savvy, creative and ambitious young adults get down to business and experience seven weeks of hard truths, tough lessons and plenty of drama on the series.

[07/28/15 - 09:28 AM]
ABC Family's Procedural Series "Stitchers" Brings on Damon Dayoub as Series Regular
He'll play Detective Quincy Fisher, an LAPD detective who is brought into the Stitchers program to assist with back-up and support for the team.