Lionsgate’s Debmar-Mercury has teamed with Night School and Girls Trip producer Will Packer for a new half-hour multicultural entertainment news magazine show Central Ave. The series will air live from Atlanta and is set to launch Nov. 4 on select Fox Television Stations for a five-week preview.
Central Ave looks to deliver entertainment and pop culture news through a provocative, socially conscious and diverse lens. Julissa Bermudez (106 & Park) will co-host the series with former Olympic track star and five-time gold medalist Sanya Richards-Ross. This marks the first time in the history that two women of color have been named co-hosts of an entertainment magazine news show.
The Fox stations will air the magazine strip in access and early fringe time periods following the conclusion of the World Series.
“We can’t wait to work with someone this successful who, when you ask how many syndicated strips they’ve worked on before, the answer is none.” said Frank Cicha, EVP of programming for Fox Television Stations. “I have to believe we’re going to get something fresh here. Will Packer doesn’t know what he can’t do in this space. That, to me, is invigorating.”
Central Ave is the latest new syndicated program the Fox Stations has picked up for a limited trial run over the past six months, joining talk shows hosted by RuPaul Charles and Jerry O’Connell as well as Breakthrough With Dr. Steve Perry.
“Will Packer brings an entirely new and vibrant vision to syndication with Central Ave,” adds Debmar-Mercury Co-Presidents Ira Bernstein and Mort Marcus. “We are excited to fill a need in the marketplace for a magazine show like this by partnering once again with our good friends at the Fox stations and a team headed by an A-List film producer of the caliber of Will.”
Will Packer Media and distributor Debmar-Mercury will co-produce the series, with Packer, Kelly Smith and showrunner Monique Chenault serving as executive producers.
“Central Ave will stand out in the newsmag space by presenting a unique first-person perspective on the culture-driving, trendsetting topics that mainstream audiences have a voracious appetite for,” Packer said. “Being fronted by fresh voices that happen to be diverse and female gives us license to do stories in a way no one else can.”
Packer Media and Debmar-Mercury sibling Lionsgate Television produce together OWN’s upcoming multigenerational family saga, Ambitions.