Interactive One Launches HB Studios To Create Original Video Content For Women Of Color

New L.A. Based Studio to Greatly Expand Programming on Interactive One’s Women Channel, Including Flagship Destination HelloBeautiful.com, as well as on YouTube

LOS ANGELES and NEW YORK, Feb. 11, 2015 /PRNewswire/ – Interactive One (iOne), the number one online platform for the African American and New Urban community, announced today the launch of HB Studios.  This marks a major expansion of iOne’s Women channel, which includes HelloBeautiful (hellobeautiful.com), the premier online destination for women of color. The new digital video studio will be based in Los Angeles, with a new production space dedicated to creating compelling original series for Black females. This new space will complement the content creation already taking place in New York, with HB Studios set to produce more than 10 original series in 2015.

HB Studios

HB Studios will focus on creating content that celebrates stories of real women and the diversity of their experiences. Content will cover news, entertainment, lifestyle and beauty & fashion. Both scripted and unscripted programming will be rolling out beginning this quarter on the iOne Women channel, including HelloBeautiful.com – which grew its unique monthly visitors to 2.9 million, up +78 percent in January 2015 vs. January 2014.  Additionally, some series created specifically for YouTube.com/HelloBeautifulTV.

“HB Studios will fill a void by creating content that focuses on a fresh look at today’s multidimensional woman,” said Leigh Davenport, Editorial Director of iOne’s Women channel, and Senior Director of HB Studios. “We are seeing more images of Black women but they seem to be so focused in creating one specific narrative. Black women deserve content that speaks to them in all of the areas that are important to them.”

The first of the studio’s inaugural series will be a short straight talk documentary titled Women on Top, which features top celebrities such as Soledad O’Brien, Lisa Leslie, Tia Mowry, Chrisette Michele, Beverly Johnson, Jody Watley, Jurnee Smollett, Anika Noni Rose and Eve. These top influential Black women discuss what power means to them, womanhood and the intersection of gender and influence.

Reality content will also be included in HB Studios programming, kicking off with an eye-opening original series titled Power on Point.  The series looks in on the intense and delicate world of ballet as seen in The Dance Theater of Harlem as the company prepares for its second year of touring, and rebuilds its 45-year legacy following a 10-year hiatus.   Power on Point, which began shooting this month, is co-produced by HB Studios along with Walk The Talk Productions and will premiere in March 2015.

Additionally, iOne will continue to produce new episodes of its music series Interludes as well as HelloBeautiful Interludes Live! – the latter being a quarterly showcase that was launched online in 2013, and soon became a staple on sister television network TV One.  Through intimate concerts and behind-the-scenes interviews with artists most loved by Black women, HelloBeautiful Interludes Live, from cities around the country, features artists as they share the motivations and inspirations that influence their music.  John Legend, Alicia Keys, Jennifer Hudson, Ledisi, Trey Songz and more have already starred, with the next installments taking place in Los Angeles (February 23) and Las Vegas (Q2 2015).

Other new series currently in development by HB Studios include news/talk, original long- and short-form content, music, entertainment, fashion and beauty advice shows, such as:

  • #BeatCancer – This short-form docu-series follows two childhood friends who find their passion for music when one is diagnosed with a rare cancer and receives a very special gift from the Make-A-Wish Foundation. #BeatCancer a story of friendship and music and life.
  • A Dream Deferred – This reality show provides mothers an opportunity to relive a life dream they once had but stopped pursuing for their families. Many women sacrifice their passions to be wives, moms and primary caregivers, but with the help of Tai, our lucky moms will have a chance to have their dreams fulfilled.
  • Becoming Queen – A look at the behind the scenes world of pageant season on historically Black college and university campuses. What does it take to make the cut, prepare for the pageant and score the win? This reality series follows contestants though pageant day as they attempt to win over the audience, judges and their classmates to earn the right to be called the Queen.
  • People Behind The People – Ever wondered what it’s really like to be a stylist to the stars? It may not be as glamorous as you think. This reality series will you give you inside access to the crazy and sometimes glamorous lives of Hollywood’s emerging super stylists.
  • Remember The Time – Artists, DJ’s, producers sound-off on the biggest pop culture moments that changed attitudes, shifted norms and influenced discourse about women in the last 25 years, from Janet Jackson’s “Rhythm Nation” and En Vogue’s “Funky Divas of Soul” to Lil Kim’s notorious VMA moment with Diana Ross and much more.
  • He Said/She Said – Boys vs. Gals vs. Food! Celebrities join weekly hosts in this funny talk series about sex, love and marriage, while indulging in culinary experiences that will make viewers try to eat their screens.
  • The Tea w/StuffFlyPeopleLike & GorgeousinGrey – This weekly recap of all the top fashion and gossip news is hosted by Rae Holliday and Ty Alexander who bring the critique, snark and humor to the best and worst moments in fashion and pop culture.

Original series being created exclusively for YouTube.com/HelloBeautifulTV include:

  • The Star Treatment – This visual only video series highlights celebrity style, trends, home decor and services. Including shopping with celebs; digital cover shoots, celebrity home invasions, red carpet prep videos, high-end service reviews and behind-the-scenes with stylists and service providers.
  • Fix Your Face – How-to & DIY make-up is made simple in this easy step-by-step video series. Get tips from your favorite bloggers and celebs on how to achieve a flawless face.
  • Nailed It – Keep up with the latest fabulous patterns, sparkles and shapes in the trendy world of nail art. Learn how to create celebrity styles at home.
  • Haute Hair – A video encyclopedia of hairstyles for all textures, lengths and cuts. Short, long, wavy, curly, relaxed, here’s our how-to-guide to create perfectly coifed tresses.
  • RAD: Get, Right, Get Tight – HelloBeautiful.com fitness expert Robbie Darby provides 10-minute weekly workouts for the fitness savvy girl on the go.

In addition to online, select HB Studios series will be available for viewers on mobile and tablet devices.

About Interactive One

Interactive One (interactiveone.com) is the fastest growing and definitive digital resource for Black and Latin Americans, reaching millions each month through its suite of social, local radio and content offerings. It owns and operates a number of branded destinations, including GlobalGrind (Millennials), HelloBeautiful (Women), News One (Affluent), TheUrbanDaily (Men) and ZONA de Sabor (Latino), as well as social networking sites such as BlackPlanet, BlackPlanet RADIO and MiGente. Interactive One was launched in 2008 by Radio One, Inc. [NASDAQ: ROIA and ROIAK, radio-one.com] to complement its existing portfolio of media companies targeting Black Americans. Since its formation, Interactive One has quickly become the #1 online platform for the African American and New Urban community, reaching 29.4 million unique monthly visitors as of January 2015 (up 138 percent from the prior year).

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