Disney and ABC are launching a new prime-time news show called ‘Soul of a Nation’ with ‘Black-ish’ star Marsai Martin to host.
Next month, the Disney-owned broadcast network’s news and entertainment divisions will launch a new prime-time newsmagazine, titled “Soul of a Nation,” exploring the “authentic realities of Black life.”
The show, which will explore ‘authentic realities of Black life, is set to air for six episodes on Tuesday nights beginning in March.
Former ESPN host Jemele Hill will also host the series that will also feature contributions from ABC News anchors and correspondents, including Linsey Davis, Deborah Roberts, Pierre Thomas and Byron Pitts, as well as “The View’s” Sunny Hostin and ESPN’s Michael Wilbon will also host the series.
“Soul Of a Nation” promises to “present viewers with a unique window into authentic realities of Black life and dive deeper into this critical moment of racial reckoning,” the network said with the announcement Thursday.
The newsmagazine will include episodes focused on racial reckoning, sports activism, faith, and the “power of the next generation of Black Americans.”
Every episode of the show will bridge the past, present and future through a variety of voices and experiences from athletes, entertainers, performers and screenwriters, including Carmelo Anthony, Nick Cannon, Deon Cole, Kim Coles, Tommy Davidson, Danny Glover, David Alan Grier, Wood Harris, Janaya Future Khan, Sylvia Obell, Chris Paul, John Ridley, Saweetie, Michael Yo and ESPN’s Lisa Salters and Maria Taylor.
Performances from musicians and spoken word artists will also be featured.
Tony, Grammy and Emmy award winner Cynthia Erivo, set to portray late, great Queen of Soul Aretha Franklin in National Geographic’s new anthology series, will perform on the series.
“We’re excited to expand enterprising Black storytelling and the celebration of Black culture beyond the month of February,” co-executive producer Eric Johnson said with Thursday’s announcement. “Viewers of all backgrounds, regardless of race, will be moved, educated and inspired by the broad range of stories and topics shared on this show.”.
“It’s time,” co-executive producer Robe Imbriano added. “‘Soul of a Nation’ arrives as the country is eager for a show like this, and the mix of intimate and insightful storytelling with performance will bring some serious joy.”
“Soul of a Nation” will also be available on Hulu the next day after airing.
Last summer amid nationwide Black Lives Matter protests, ABC News came under fire when high-ranking executive Barbara Fedida became the subject of an investigation after a Huffington Post exposé detailing numerous accounts of racism and other problematic workplace behavior.
In July, the Walt Disney Company parted ways with the longtime employee, who lauded over her role as the senior vice president of talent relations and business affairs at the network.
Martin, known for playing sassy Diane Johnson on ABC’s “Black-ish,” recently broke a Guinness World Record as the youngest Hollywood executive producer to work on a major production for the Issa Rae/Regina Hall comedy “Little.”
At 16 years old, the Plano, Texas-born powerhouse has already won seven NAACP Image Awards and 2 BET Awards.
Congrats to Marsai! She’s destined for even greater things.