VH1 Follows the Bling with New Series

Pasadena, Calif. -- The devastating effects of the diamond trade in Sierra Leone, West Africa, is the subject of a new documentary from VH1’s Rock Docs franchise set to debut Feb. 22.

Bling’d Blood: Diamonds and Hip Hop examines the conflict and poverty in West African diamond-mining communities and the worship of diamond jewelry within the hip-hop community, according to the network. Hip-hop artists Paul Wall and Raekwon, as well as reggaeton king Tego Calderón, traveled to Sierra Leone to film the special.

We’re not trying to boycott diamonds, but we want people to be more socially aware of what’s going on globally," said Irena Mihova, executive producer for the United Nations Development Program, during the network's Television Critics Association Tour presentation here.

On a lighter note, VH1 will place four former boy-band heartthrobs under one roof in an effort to create a new pop group as part of new series Band of Men.

The four singers -- Chris Kilpatrick (N*SYNC), Jeff Timmons (98 Degrees), Rich Cronin (LFO) and Brian Abrams (Color Me Badd) -- will live together for one month, create new music and perform as a new pop group as part of the show, which is scheduled to debut during the spring.

R. Thomas Umstead

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.