Black History Month: Networks Set Themed Programming In February

Black History Month 2021 is different from previous years, for obvious reasons. Broadcasters, cable channels and streamers are marking the annual celebration with themed programming including series, documentaries and specials. Here is a sampling of what viewers can look forward to in the coming weeks, alphabetized by outlet. Clink on the network name to check out all of its Black History Month programs (where applicable). Deadline will update the list as more schedules are set. To submit additions, email here.

ABC Owned Television Stations

ABC’s O&O outlets in New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Philadelphia, San Francisco, Houston, Raleigh-Durham, NC, and Fresno, CA, will air a number of programs, and its digital lifestyle brand Localish will broadcast hyperlocal stories celebrating Black culture.

Amazon Prime Video

Prime Video’s Amplify Black Voices page will be updated starting February 1 to feature a curated collection of titles across four weekly themes: Black Joy (Week 1), Black Love (Week 2), Black History Makers (Week 3) and Black Girl Magic (Week 4). All titles will celebrate the voices of Black actors, producers, writers, and filmmakers.

Apple TV+

The “Essential: Stories That Honor Black Families” collection features curated sets of films and TV shows that explore motherhood, fatherhood, iconic TV families, queer chosen families and more that spotlighting the multidimensionality of the Black family and its representation onscreen. Programming also includes The Oprah Conversation episodes “Caste: Part 1” and “Caste: Part 2” with author Isabel Wilkerson.

BET

BET and CBS News are teaming for two new projects under the net’s “Content for Change” initiative: BET and CBS News Present: Boiling Point (Feb. 21) and investigative documentary series Disrupt & Dismantle with Soledad O’Brien (Sundays starting Feb. 21.

CBS Sports

CBS Sports will feature Black athletes – including Earl “The Pearl” Monroe, Josh Gibson, Cheryl Miller, Alice Coachman, Doug Williams, Maurice Ashley and others – as the network debuts new original programming and vignettes and re-airs older documentaries.

Disney

Disney Channel, Disney Junior and Disney XD will present a variety of interstitials for kids and families, celebrating distinguished men and women who are rewriting history and influencing change around the world. The shortform videos will showcase the empowering stories of Vice President Kamala Harris, three-time NBA champion and social activist LeBron James, trailblazing ballerina Misty Copeland, teen chess champion Jessica Hyatt and 14-year-old painting prodigy Tyler Gordon. The new interstitials will premiere in February and throughout the year.

PBS

The pubcaster’s slate includes a pair of Independent Lens documentaries — “Cooked: Survival by Zip Code” (Feb. 10) and “Always in Season” (Feb. 24) — a “Slave Trade” episode of Finding Your Roots (Feb. 11) and the American Masters docu Miles Davis: The Birth of Cool (Feb. 25).

Revry

The Queer TV network has a full calendar of themed programming including original documentary films and docuseries, shorts and more.

Smithsonian Channel

The ViacomCBS cable net will premiere Black in Space: Breaking the Color Barrier, a documentary feature about the world’s first Black astronauts, on Feb. 24.

Tubi

Fox’s ad-supported streaming service has a full slate of Black-themed documentaries and narrative features, including Martin Luther King Jr: One Man and His Dream, Nelson Mandela: Resistance and Believe: The Barack Obama Story. 

YouTube Originals

The service will launch Black Renaissance on Feb. 26 that will showcase the Black creators, artists, writers, storytellers and history makers who have shaped our nation’s history and the next generation of Black voices who are reimagining our future. A new episode of Book Tube with Black Lives Matter co-founder Alicia Garza discussing her book premieres Feb. 25.

The Paley Center for Media is marking Black History Month with “A Salute to Black Achievements in Television.”

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