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  • Writer's pictureTHAheadline (Thai Lee)

TV One's Original Movie, 'MEDIA' Brings the Drama

TV One's MEDIA premieres February 25 8/7c

TV One is known for representing the African American community and providing viewers with great, original films. The latest film to hit your living room television screen is MEDIA, the all-new drama from the mind of media maven Cathy Hughes.

MEDIA is a riveting story of a wealthy family battling the competitive challenges of keeping their status and position in the communications industry. The drama is the latest addition to the network’s impressive slate of original films and is set to premiere February 25, 2017, at 8/7c on TV One.

Passion, intrigue, and murder become a lethal recipe for a powerful matriarch Jackie Jones and her children in this captivating urban production. Portrayed by Penny Johnson Jerald (Castle, 24). Jackie is the founder of Jones Universal Media Properties, known as JUMP, the world’s premier urban media conglomerate. A family tragedy forces her son, prominent lead city attorney and prosecutor Michael Jones, played by Brian White (Scandal, Chicago Fire, Stomp the Yard), to abandon his political aspirations and take over the company just as a ruthless rival challenges JUMP’s longtime domination in this lucrative industry.

“I am honored to portray this character and that Cathy Hughes trusted me to headline a project that she is so passionate about,” commented White. “There are few movies that show all shades and sides of the political and economic spectrums, in particular, films featuring persons of color, without catering to one side. Here we see everyone represented and every character has a purpose in this unique story. This family didn’t come from wealth; they built it.” When Michael Jones (White) steps up to run the company, he is confronted by the sins of the past, and the dangers of the present when Gary Dourdan (CSI: Crime Scene Investigation, Jumping the Broom, Love Under New Management: The Miki Howard Story) as Jabbar Randolph, CEO of JUMP’s biggest competitor, is released from prison. Grabbing back the reigns from his brother, Will, played by Stephen Bishop (Being Mary Jane, Moneyball, Battleship), he embarks on a mission of revenge, betrayal and corporate intrigue.

The Jones family, rounded out by the eldest son, Clay Jones portrayed by Pooch Hall (The Game, Ray Donovan) as the mercurial head of the family business; Chrystee Pharris (Passions, Scrubs) as the only daughter, Crystal Jones, JUMP's CFO, and hard-partying youngest brother Anthony Jones portrayed by Blue Kimble (Devious Maids, Fast Five) are caught in a deadly game of espionage, deception, and survival. When Michael (White) stands accused of a brutal crime, the family must band together to beat the forces gathering against them.

MEDIA Cast: (L to R) Pooch Hall, Penny Johnson Jerald, Denise Boutte and Stephen Bishop (pictured by: Keith McCalleb II)

MEDIA is an exhilarating peek behind the scenes of a glamorous but fiercely competitive world.

“This story-line has been in the works for over six years and I am thrilled to finally bring it to our audience,” said Hughes. “My entire life has been dedicated to creating media outlets to entertain and inspire our community. We know our audience loves drama and that’s what MEDIA is all about.”

MEDIA captures the power struggles, secrets and stakes surrounding a family-owned business,” added TV One President Brad Siegel. “The outstanding cast and production team delivered a truly excellent script. We are ecstatic with how it turned out and confident viewers will be riveted from the first minute of the movie to the end titles.”

TV One’s MEDIA also features Finesse Mitchell (Roadies, SNL, Brothers in Atlanta) as DJ Drive, JUMP’s most valuable asset; Denise Boutte (Meet the Browns, For the Love of Ruth) as Danielle Jones, Michael’s elegant, neglected wife; Jimmy Gonzales (Taken 3, Sin City: A Dame to Kill For) as Silvan Testa, a corrupt TV producer willing to resort to any means necessary to succeed; Stelio Savante (The Making of the Mob: New York, Ugly Betty) as Harold Boston, an underworld powerbroker sent to prison; Jillian Reeves de Ortiz (Let’s Talk, The 12th Night) as Gisele Marks, a resourceful and aggressive businesswoman whose personal life is undermining her professional accomplishments; Jasmine Kaur as Sofia Perez, JUMP'S General Counsel and longtime family friend, and Diane Kirby (Returned) as Steph, DJ Drive's quick-witted on-air sidekick.

Actor, Stephen Bishop describes MEDIA as a film based on, "tension, betrayal, and vindication." He hopes viewers can take away an aspiring message from the movie.

"The premise of it is, we have other images we can look at and aspire to. It is not just the rap world. It is not just the athletic world. It is a business. We (African Americans) have extremely creative minds and we have extreme amounts of intestinal fortitude based on the lives we have lived since we were children. We have what it takes to pursue any walk of life that we want, whether you want to be a doctor, a lawyer or a media mogul," said Bishop. He continued, "Whatever you want to do, get your education, put in the work, do not take 'No' for an answer. Do your thing! That is what I am hoping we can get from this, that we can do whatever we want. I am so happy that we are starting to see more positive images of our people in the media and I am happy that we are starting to see images of ownership in the media. That is where it is, the ownership. That way, you can put out the message you want to put out and not be subjected to the message that is forced upon you."

On February 13 in West Hollywood, the cast and crew held an exclusive screening and announced that MEDIA will become a series! This empowering yet scandalous show is inspired by stories of real-life African-American media dynasties, MEDIA is an exhilarating peek behind the scenes of a glamorous but fiercely competitive world. The film turned series, MEDIA premieres February 25 8/7c.

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