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Interactive One launches HB Studios to create original programming for online channel

(February 25, 2015) Interactive One, the leadling online platform for the African American community, announced today the launch of HelloBeautful Studios. This move marks a major expansion of iOne's Women channel, which includes HelloBeautiful.com.  

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 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."

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.

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.


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