Martin Luther King III to Host New Docuseries With Calabasas Films (TV News Roundup)

Martin Luther King III will host a new docuseries produced by Calabasas Film and Media, the company announced Monday.

Titled “Protect/Serve,” the series sees King, the oldest child of revered civil right activist Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., moderate a series of conversations with law enforcement officials, activists, grass-roots organization founders, DAs and other prominent figures. The conversations will focus on the role of police in America and the origins of institutional racism, with a goal of finding solutions to these problems. The first episode will feature a one-on-one conversation between King and Los Angeles county sheriff Alex Villanueva, whose tenure as sheriff has been plagued with controversy.

Wendy Eley Jackson directs the series and executive produces with Sam Pollard and Kapil Mahendra and Paul Beahan for Calabasas Films. Calabasas produces the series after having recently produced the Discovery+ reality series “Restaurant Recovery” with Raising Cane founder Todd Graves.

“It is such a pleasure and honor to serve with Martin Luther King III,” Mahenda said in a statement. “As a lifelong philanthropist, I see no better cause than doing my part in carrying on the legacy of Dr. King.”

Also in today’s TV news roundup:

PREMIERE DATES

“The Sessions,” a half-hour documentary special about NBA player Draymond Green, will premiere June 17, Prime Video has announced. The special sees Green, famous for his intense attitude on the court, will sit with wellness experts Deepak Chopra and Devi Brown to discuss his mental health and wellbeing. Amazon Studios and Religion of Sports co-produce the special, which is directed by Gotham Chopra. Green, Chopra, Tom Brady, Ameeth Sankaran, and Giselle Parets executive produce. Amazon also released a trailer for the special. Watch below.

TRAILERS

Disney+ released the trailer for its upcoming original series from National Geographic, “America the Beautiful.” All six episodes of the nature docuseries, narrated by Michael B. Jordan, will stream July 4 exclusively on Disney+. Each episode of the series takes viewers into a different animal landscape that represents the diversity of America, from the wetlands of the southeastern U.S. to the northern prairies. The series is executive produced by Vanessa Berlowitz and Mark Linfield (“Planet Earth,” “Frozen Planet”) at Wildstar Films, and the showrunner is Dan Rees (“Frozen Planet,” “Atlantic”). Ashley Hoppin is executive producer for National Geographic. Watch the full trailer below.

HBO Max dropped a teaser for “Rap Sh!t,” a comedy series from Issa Rae that will premiere on July 21 with two of eight episodes. The series follows two former high school friends from Miami, Shawna (Aida Osman) and Mia (KaMillion), who join forces to form a rap group. The series also stars Jonica Booth, Devon Terrell and RJ Cyler and is executive produced by Issa Rae and showrunner Syreeta Singleton, as well as Montrel McKay for Hoorae, Jonathan Berry and Dave Becky for 3 Arts Entertainment, and Deniese Davis. Rae also wrote the premiere episode and co-wrote the finale episode with Singleton. Yung Miami and JT of City Girls are co-executive producers, along with Kevin “Coach K” Lee and Pierre “P” Thomas for Quality Control Films and Sara Rastogi for Hoorae. Rae’s audio content company Raedio handles music supervision for the series. Watch the teaser below.

AWARD SHOWS

Sean ‘Diddy’ Combs will be honored with the lifetime achievement award at the 2022 Bet Awards, Bet announced today. The award honors industry giants who have shaped culture through their careers, setting a true standard of excellence through influential leadership. Hosted by Taraji P. Henson, the Bet Awards will air live on Sunday, June 26 on Bet at 8 p.m. from the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles.

STREAMING

Former CNN Headline News host Jane Velez-Mitchell has launched “UnchainedTV,” a new, free, global, streaming TV network. Per UnchainedTV, the service “offers hundreds of documentaries, cooking shows, travelogues, talk shows and music videos as a portal to a healthier, more environmentally sustainable, and more compassionate lifestyle.” The streamer also announced the launch of its first reality show, “Pig Little Lies,” which stars a family of pigs and involves intrigue, drama and comedy. The streamer is available to download for free on iPhones, Androids, Apple TV, Roku and Amazon Fire Stick, in addition to other platforms.

INITIATIVES

Publicis Media’s APX Content Ventures awarded today a portion of its $25 million Inclusion Investment Fund to 10 diverse-owned and operated companies, including Alpha Precision Media, AspireTV, Canela Media, Complex Networks, DAX & Breakbeat Media, Fuse Media and Hip Rock Star Media. The fund, part of the company’s “Once & For All Coalition,” will help this group of partners develop over 20 programs spotlighting diverse voices and storylines. Selected programs span a number of formats from documentaries to reality programming. Fuse Media’s “We Need to Talk About America,” which is currently on-air, is the first project to be released. Additional programs will continue to roll out throughout the summer, with more recipients and funding to be announced in the coming months.

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