[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]



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.


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]  

(series past and present)
(series in development)
(tv movies and mini-series)

[10/26/16 - 03:23 PM]
Lifetime Partners with "The View" for Primetime Event Program, "The View Live Election Special"
The special will feature "The View's" co-hosts from their set with a live studio audience, election-themed Hot Topics, interactive election activities and up-to-the-minute results from key battleground states.

[10/26/16 - 02:01 PM]
Freeform Says Farewell to "Pretty Little Liars" with an Exclusive One-Hour Tell-All Following the Series Finale
Troian Bellisario, Ashley Benson, Lucy Hale, Shay Mitchell and Sasha Pieterse, as well as executive producer I. Marlene King, will sit down for an hour long unbarred and uncensored tell-all after show.

[10/26/16 - 01:31 PM]
Video: Showtime(R) Releases Poster and New "Presidential" Teaser for Stephen Colbert's Live Election Night Special
On election night, Colbert will be reacting in real-time to the election results as the state by state returns come in, making it the perfect election night destination for people who want to see all the latest news, without actually having to watch the news.

[10/26/16 - 12:45 PM]
New Comedy "The Mick," Starring Kaitlin Olson, to Premiere Sunday, January 1, After NFL Doubleheader, on FOX
The series will then regularly air Tuesday nights following "New Girl."

[10/26/16 - 11:42 AM]
Samantha Bee Interviews Her First Male President, Barack Obama
Said installment of "Full Frontal with Samantha Bee" airs Monday, October 31 at 10:30/9:30c on TBS.

[10/26/16 - 11:00 AM]
Starz Adds Michael Nyqvist, Nazanin Boniadi, Nicholas Pinnock and Sara Serraiocco to Spy Thriller "Counterpart"
The espionage thriller with a metaphysical twist also stars Oscar(R) winner J.K. Simmons, Olivia Williams and Harry Lloyd.

[10/26/16 - 10:32 AM]
Weinstein Television's Epic Scripted Event Series "Waco," Lands on Spike TV
Previously announced in August, the six-part event series is based on the harrowing true story of the 1993 FBI siege of a religious sect in Waco, Texas that resulted in the deadly shoot out and fire.

[10/26/16 - 10:32 AM]
"Broad City" Original Series Soundtrack Available Friday, October 28 via Milan Records in Association with Comedy Central Records
The album artwork and packaging is designed by artist Mike Perry, who is also the creator of the animated show opener for "Broad City," and features an insert with spliff-rolling instructions.

[10/26/16 - 10:23 AM]
The CW Gets Into the Spirit with Its Schedule of Upcoming Holiday Specials
New this holiday season, The CW will broadcast an original holiday special, "Terry Crews Saves Christmas," for five hour-long episodes across four consecutive nights, starting Tuesday, December 20.

[10/26/16 - 10:09 AM]
WGN America's Hit Supernatural Thriller "Salem" Returns Halloween Week Wednesday, November 2 at 9:00 PM ET/PT
In advance of the premiere, the network released a riveting new trailer featuring a gruesome twist on "Cats Cradle."

[10/26/16 - 09:26 AM]
Tuesday's Broadcast Ratings: World Series Opens on Top for FOX
The network's coverage is up more than 17% among adults 18-49 from last year.

[10/26/16 - 09:01 AM]
Disney Begins Production on New "Muppet Babies" Series, Slated to Debut in Early 2018
Geared towards kids 4-7, each episode will feature two 11-minute stories that follow the Muppet Babies on various adventures as they let their imaginations take them to the farthest corners of the universe.

[10/26/16 - 09:00 AM]
Esquire Network Teams Up with Nick Offerman and the Movember Foundation to Throw a "'Stache Bash" to Raise Awareness of Men's Health
Take a look at Nick chatting about moustaches and tune in to the marathon to see the best of the beards and flavor savers.

[10/26/16 - 08:56 AM]
Travel Channel Says Week of December 25 Is the Perfect Time for a "Chill-cation"
Travel Channel's favorite experts and explorers - Josh Gates, Jack Maxwell, Anthony Melchiorri, Don Wildman, Andrew Zimmern and Zak Bagans - will lead ultimate chilly escapes with ice-themed episodes of the network's most popular series.

[10/26/16 - 08:32 AM]
ABC Brings You "Home for the Holidays" with Series and Specials from Thanksgiving Through the New Year
Highlights include new seasons of "The Great Christmas Light Fight" and the re-monikered "The Great American Baking Show."