TV One reality show “Rickey Smiley For Real,” which follows the life and times of the comedian and radio show host, is geared up for season four with a central theme of keeping the black family first.
The new season, which premieres July 13, aims to showcase and promote positive images of blacks on television, Smiley said.
“This show is something that you can watch with your kids and your grandkids and just have a wonderful time,” he said. “There are so many negative images of African-Americans on TV that a lot of people buy into, so we put a lot of effort into keeping things positive and sending viewers a good message.”
The show will also focus on family and relationships while tackling real-life themes such as black entrepreneurship, life-threatening illnesses and prison reform.
Acclaimed rapper and actress Da Brat, who served prison time for a 2007 assault conviction, celebrated the ability to be able to speak for and encourage other incarcerated women through the show.
“I was incarcerated myself,” she said. “After you’ve been incarcerated, you’re not allowed to go back and visit, and so it was just a real blessed opportunity that [executive producer] Roger Bobb and the production team made it possible for me to go and visit a facility. It has been something that I have always wanted to do and it touched my spirit.”
Bobb said that both new and old viewers will enjoy the new season.
“This season we’re all about bigger and better,” he said. “And this season we will get to see the evolution of all of our favorite characters. As a producer I can say one of the hardest things, since we have such a huge cast on this show, is just trying to put everything together tightly with all of the comedy and personal narratives and I think we’ve done that this season.”