AMC Networks will rename the Robert Johnson Jr.-created Urban Movie Channel (UMC) subscription streaming service ALLBLK beginning in January 2021, the company announced Tuesday.
UMC, which Johnson launched in 2014 to feature African-American targeted movies, specials and series, was acquired by AMC Networks in 2018 as part of its acquisition of RLJ Entertainment. Subscription numbers for the $4.99 per month streaming service were not made available.
The new ALLBLK will look to build on UMC’s content lineup with new, original scripted series in 2021, said AMC officials. New programs scheduled to launch on ALLBLK in 2021 include multi-cam comedy Millennials, sitcom Partners In Rhyme, legal drama Lace, haircare makeover series My Mane Problem, and the Datari Turner/eOne reality series Notorious Queens.
“As our SVOD services continue to develop loyal subscription bases, establishing strong brands that cater to the targeted interests of our viewership is highly imperative,” said AMC Networks SVOD President, Miguel Penella in a statement. “UMC’s rebranding as ALLBLK speaks to the need for curated entertainment experiences immersed in authenticity and targeted to the viewing interest of Black Americans, specifically the Black female audience.”
Added Johnson: “UMC began as a distribution model for Black creatives to directly reach the then largely underserved African American audience without the restrictions of legacy content development and traditional broadcast models. As technology advances and programming demands from our community evolve, the rebranded ALLBLK will be well positioned to breakout as the preeminent streaming destination for viewers seeking Black entertainment.”
The move comes on the heels of AMC naming former UMC COO Brett Dismuke as general manager of UMC and WE tv. “While we’re revamping our brand, what remains constant is our commitment to providing a home for Black creatives in front of and behind the camera to find opportunity and tell captivating stories," Dismuke said. "As we enter a new era of diversity and reflection in the entertainment industry, we’re excited for audiences to experience what will soon be ALLBLK.”
The smarter way to stay on top of the multichannel video marketplace. Sign up below.
R. Thomas Umstead serves as senior content producer, programming for Multichannel News, Broadcasting + Cable and Next TV. During his more than 30-year career as a print and online journalist, Umstead has written articles on a variety of subjects ranging from TV technology, marketing and sports production to content distribution and development. He has provided expert commentary on television issues and trends for such TV, print, radio and streaming outlets as Fox News, CNBC, the Today show, USA Today, The New York Times and National Public Radio. Umstead has also filmed, produced and edited more than 100 original video interviews, profiles and news reports featuring key cable television executives as well as entertainers and celebrity personalities.