This morning at the Television Critics Association’s (TCA) Summer Press Tour, Reelz announced new programming coming to the network and introduced the gathered journalists to an one of America’s most talented and charismatic families.
Stan E. Hubbard, President and CEO of the independent, family-owned network announced that NBC’s Natalie Morale’s will host a 2-hour documentary, Jackie: Behind Closed Doors, which will examine the dynamic of one of the most enigmatic and fascinating women of the 20th Century. The doc will feature interviews with historians, biographers and contemporaries of the glamorous — but lonely — former first lady. The special is slated to premiere November, 2015.
Hubbard also announced that the network is currently in preproduction on a follow-up miniseries to 2011 Miniseries, The Kennedys. Katie Holmes will reprise her role as Jackie Kennedy and explore her post-Camelot life. The 4-part miniseries will be based on J. Randy Taraborrelli’s best-seller, After Camelot: A Personal History of the Kennedy Family 1968 to the Present, and is scheduled to premiere in 2016.
Hubbard also expressed his pride in his network stepping up to broadcast the 2015 Miss U.S.A. Pageant after NBC cancelled due to inflammatory comments made by the pageant’s co-owner, Donald Trump. Hubbard emphasized that he doesn’t condone Trump’s actions and comments, but he is “Proud to stand with the women of the Miss USA pageant,” and the community of Baton Rouge, Louisiana, who had “rolled out the red carpet” in preparation of the event. “We saw this as a pageant of young women who had made this their life’s ambition,” he said and didn’t want to penalize or discount their dreams because of someone else’s doing.
Then Hubbard introduces the ballroom to the stars of the networks new reality series, Master P.’s Family Empire, which will follow entertainment mogul Percy “Master P.” Miller and five of his extremely talented children. Miller said that he’s excited to introduce both the entertainment and business side of hip-hop and showcase the family’s strong values. “We’re going to be positive, but we’re not going to be perfect — we’re going to be us,” Miller shares.
The show has been in the works for over a year, Miller is thrilled to have found a home on Reelz. “This is about our empire, sometimes you have to make sure the deal is right, the people are right … it’s happening when it’s supposed to be happening,” he says. Other networks wanted them to invent drama, “Go on crazy dates,” says eldest son Romeo, and hide the family’s faith. He reveals that weekly bible study is one of the family’s most powerful and favorite traditions.
The series is scheduled to premiere November, 2015 and will follow Miller and his children Romeo, Veno, Cymphonique, Hercy and Mercy as they achieve their dreams of stardom in fields ranging from acting and music, to modeling and basketball. When asked if it’s difficult to follow in the success of his talented siblings, 12-year-old Hercy shrugged, “It runs in the family.” Romeo was a rapping child mega-star, Cymphonique is a vocalist who has been compared to Beyonce, Veno is a top male model and Hercy and Mercy are top-ranked basketball players.
Miller and his family have studied other families who have oprned their lived to reality TV’s cameras. Miller pledges that his family won’t change under the lens of fame; partially because they’re not trying to be anything other than who they are. Other networks wanted the Miller family to invent drama, “Go on crazy dates,” says eldest son Romeo, and hide the family’s faith. Romeo reveals that weekly bible study is one of the family’s most powerful and favorite traditions.
Miller calls himself, and his family, “The real Empire. This isn’t make believe — we come from struggle.” Romeo joked the only thing wrong with Empire, FOX’s smash series about a fictional musical dynasty, is “The didn’t cast me.”
Miller revealed the series will highlight his love of philanthropy. “That’s what makes me happy as a person — giving back.” Miller says he has a love for mentoring at-risk kids, “like I was.” Son Veno said that his favorite episode was when the family traveled to Miller’s childhood home, a three-room apartment where as many as 15 family members lived. It was a humbling moment for the children and allowed them to appreciate how far hard work, determination and education has brought his family.
I sat down with Miller kids, Romeo, Veno and Cymphonique and can’t wait to share more about this charming and talented trio. In the series, you’ll quickly learn how talented and driven they are, but what awed me most, is their humbleness, gratitude and their love of giving back.
Master P’s Family Empire > REELZ > Saturdays at 10pmET/ 7pm PT beginning Nov. 28