TV One 20th Anniversary

Who would have imagined the idea and determination of a 16-year-old would turn into a media powerhouse?

This year, TV One celebrates its 20th Anniversary.

That 16-year-old was none other than Urban One CEO Alfred Liggins, III. What else could be expected when his mother, media mogul Cathy Hughes, founded the conglomerate that is Urban One today? Perfect equation.

For 20 years, TV One Networks has been an industry leader in the space of representing Black and Brown culture with a portfolio of nostalgic and original programming.


Whether your vibe is an insightful docu-series, a heartwarming original movie, a mysterious true-crime drama, or Black classics — TV One is your one-stop destination!

With an award-winning programming slate including Urban One Honors, Unsung, Uncensored, and sitcoms like Good Times, A Different World, Sanford & Son and more, the network is a trusted storyteller, a fresh and dynamic brand that REPRESENTS everything Black Excellence.

And there’s nothing better than content for the culture, by the culture!

In 2004, Liggins expanded Radio One’s media sphere when he launched TV One, a cable network for African American adults. Liggins has been the recipient of numerous awards including Ernst and Young’s Entrepreneur of the Year.

Created to fill a void of quality content for adult African Americans, TV One continues its commitment of highlighting and showcasing the diversity of Black culture and entertainment.

Here are some 20th Anniversary timeline highlights:

  • Jan. 2004 – TV One launched on MLK Day in approximately 2.2 million household in 16 markets
  • Sept. 2004Turn Up the Heat with G. Garvin premiered
  • Oct. 2004TV One on One with Cathy Hughes premiered with first guest, Senator Barack Obama
  • Jan. 2005 – TV One ends its first year with nearly 20 million subscribers
  • Aug. 2008 – TV One presents first live nightly coverage of the Democratic National Convention, DNC Live
  • Nov. 2008Unsung premiered over 4 nights with episodes featuring: Donny Hathaway, The Clark Sisters, Phyllis Hyman, and Debarge
  • Jan. 2009 – TV One offers 24 hours of programming devoted to the inauguration of America’s first Black president, Barack Obama
  • Sep. 2009 – Weekly public affairs show Washington Watch with Roland Martin premiered
  • Jan. 2010Love That Girl, TV One’s first original scripted sitcom premiered
  • Jan. 2012 – Groundbreaking series Find Our Missing hosted by S. Epatha Merkenson premiered
  • Aug. 2012R&B Divas premiered, became the highest rated reality series in TV One history
  • Sep. 2012The Rickey Smiley Show delivered the highest rate original premiere in TV One history
  • Mar. 2013 – TV One airs its first original movie, The Undershepherd, written and directed by Russ Parr
  • Nov. 2013News One Now, TV One’s first live one-hour weekday morning news program premiered, hosted by Roland Martin
  • Feb. 2014 – TV One airs the NAACP Image Awards live. The award show aired on the network fro 2014-2019
  • Feb. 2015 – TV One is available to approximately 57 million pay television households in the U.S.
  • Mar. 2015 – Urban One announced deal to buy out Comcast’s 47.9% shared of TV One for $550 million, making TV One the largest Black-owned TV network
  • Feb. 2016 – TV One updated its logo, along with a new tagline “REPRESENT”
  • Feb. 2018  – TV One’s autobiographical docuseries UNCENSORED premiered with Tiffany Haddish
  • Jan. 2019 – CLEO TV launched, a network for Millennial and GenX women of color
  • Feb. 2019 – First annual Urban One Honors premiered

For two decades, our stories have flipped the script, defied the odds and changed the game.

TV One is known to celebrate the good times, key cultural moments, and our heroes without capes. Join us as we continue to show who we are! Cheers to 20 years!

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