SPiRE, the new television network from Magic Johnson Enterprises, debuts today, Wednesday, June 27 at 8:00 pm EDT with a unique mix of original and groundbreaking programming aimed at African-American viewers. The network will launch with inaugural distribution partners Comcast and Time Warner Cable. At launch, ASPiRE will be available in approximately seven million homes and in 16 of the top 25 African-American markets including New York City, Atlanta, Chicago and Washington, DC. ASPiRE also will launch on FAVE TV and with five charter brand partners: The Chrysler Group, L'Oreal USA, Nationwide Insurance, Coca-Cola and Walmart. ASPiRE will celebrate its historic kickoff tonight with a private, star-studded event at Cipriani Dolci in New York City.
Groundbreaking Movies (Thursdays, 8 p.m.) â" 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) â" Hosted by actor and 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.) â"Hosted by one of the biggest breakout stars of 2011, Grammy AwardÂ®-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.) â" 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.) â" 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 AwardÂ® 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 â" 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 Thomas from Memphis and surfer Marcos Chatman from Los Angeles.http://www.streetroachpics.com/4844/4844.html
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