Exclusive: Five Upcoming TV Shows To Watch

Exclusive: Five Upcoming TV Shows To Watch

From dramas to documentaries, thrillers to talk shows, Samantha Ofole-Prince rounds up the upcoming must see TV shows.


THE NEW EDITION STORY

A music biopic on the 80s boy band, who released a string of hits such as “Candy Girl,” “Mr. Telephone Man” and “Cool It Now,” this three part miniseries follows the meteoric rise of the six-man band from their humble Boston beginnings to global mega stardom. Sanctioned by all six members of the group, it chronicles all the ups and downs of the all male group. Directed by Chris Robinson (“ATL”), the cast includes Bryshere Y. Gray (“Empire”), Elijah Kelley (The Butler, “The Wiz Live!”), Luke James, Keith Powers (“Straight Outta Compton”), Algee Smith (“Let It Shine”) and Woody McClain (“Autographs”).

The New Edition Story airs on BET January 24, 25, and 26.


MADIBA

Several actors from Idris Elba, Terrence Howard to Morgan Freeman have portrayed Nelson Mandela and in this latest offering, Laurence Fishburne steps into the role of the international icon. While many recognize Mandela as the face of the Anti-Apartheid Movement, this mini-series chronicles Mandela's incredible legacy and pays homage to the many lesser known men and women who also sacrificed and suffered alongside him in their quest for freedom. Directed by Kevin Hooks (“Prison Break”), Orlando Jones plays Oliver Tambo and David Harewood “(Homeland”) stars as Walter Sisulu, two of Mandela’s closest friends, while Terry Pheto rounds up the main cast as his second wife, Winnie Mandela.

This three-part saga miniseries airs February 1, 8 and 15 on BET.


PLANET EARTH  II

The idea of being in the middle of a swarm of a billion flying locusts might break most people out in a cold sweat, but not cameraman Rob Drewett.  From jungles to deserts, mountains to grasslands, this nature documentary which was shot in 40 different countries has already enthralled viewers internationally. Half of the U.K. population watched the show when it aired on BBC One late last year and the Planet Earth II trailer has been viewed nearly 60 million times around the world. Narrated by Sir David Attenborough, this one’s a jaw dropping landmark event that captures the natural world in ways that would have been impossible a decade ago.

Planet Earth II will simulcast across AMC networks: BBC America, AMC, and SundanceTV  February 18th, at 9:00pm (check local listings).


GENDER REVOLUTION: A Journey with Katie Couric


Are you born transgender? What causes a person to be transgender? Can it be reversed? This two-hour special explores the complexities of gender in everyday life, from the moment we are born through our twilight years. Journalist Katie Couric travels across the U.S. to talk with scientists, psychologists, activists, authors and families to learn more about the role of genetics, brain chemistry and modern culture on gender identity. With conversations that range from the scientifically enlightening to the deeply personal, Couric’s sheds light on countless untold stories of struggle, understanding and ignorance by talking with several trans gender activists including Sabel Samone-Loreca.

Gender Revolution: A Journey with Katie Couric premieres on February 6th on National Geographic.


THE DEFIANT ONES

Jimmy Iovine and Dr. Dre have been breaking rules in the music industry for decades. From Bruce Springsteen to Eminem, Tupac to U2, these two men have influenced and nurtured countless iconic artists and redefined the very way we listen to music. In this documentary, filmmaker Allen Hughes tells the stories of Jimmy Iovine and Dr. Dre – one the son of a Brooklyn longshoreman, the other straight out of Compton – and their improbable partnership and surprising leading roles in a series of transformative events in contemporary culture. Filmed over a three-year period by Hughes, it includes interviews with Lovine and Dre as well music icons Bono, David Geffen, Eminen, Nas, Ice Cube, Gwen Stefani, Jon Landau, Tom Petty, Stevie Nicks, Trent Reznor, Snoop Dogg, Bruce Springsteen and will.i.am.

The Defiant Ones will premiere this spring on HBO.


ANIMAL NATION WITH ANTHONY ANDERSON

Part talk show, part variety show, actor, producer, creator and comedian Anthony Anderson is the host of this weekly series where he talks with celebrities alongside their furry companions and showcases entertaining animal videos. Comedian and actress Tiffany Haddish (“Keanu”) serves as his witty co-host, Tina the Brain Coral. 
From snakes to camels, turtles to cats, there’s plenty of humor as field correspondents check out the latest hot spots for pets, and animal news.  “I wanted to have as much fun as possible on the show,” shares Anderson on the comedy-variety series celebrating animals. “I wanted to interact with as many animals as I could. And whether I was scared or not, that made for great television.”

"The Late Show" meets "Wild Animal Kingdom" with Anderson as your host is the apt description of this one.
Animal Nation premieres February 10 on Animal Planet.


Samantha Ofole-Prince is an entertainment journalist who covers industry-specific news. Follow her on twitter @SamanthaOfole

Activist Sabel Samone-Loreca
Animal Nation with Anthony Anderson
Cameraman Rob Drewett in the flight path of this super-swarm in south west Madagascar
Jimmy Iovine and Dr. Dre are the subjects of HBOs The Defiant Ones
The New Edition Story will air on BET