An independently produced reality TV show showcasing the lives of local entrepreneurs is slated for the Philadelphia market.
The first season of “Makin’ It Philly” airs January 17 on WMCN-TV.
The show, which will air on Tuesdays at 8 p.m., highlights how a diverse cast of entrepreneurs overcome obstacles and inner turmoil to manage a recording artist, market a jean line company and launch several independent businesses while dealing with personal issues that affect the team structure. These issues include divorcing an NFL linebacker, single parenting, family substance abuse, coping with racism in the fashion industry and how to make it in the city of Philadelphia while building a business.
The half-hour program features executives from Palmieri Jeans, Miami Couture, Sincerely Shoes, QEssential, hip-hop artist “Boone” and celebrity appearances.
“I really want to portray that the everyday, average person can make it, if you’re determined. “Makin’ It Philly” is going to show that through all adversity, you just don’t stop,” says Victor Sanders, Sav Haven Entertainment executive and cast member.
“When I started the jean line company, no one believed in me, but sometimes you have to prove a point and this show is not about me. It’s bigger than me. It’s about everyday people like me that want to keep the dream alive.”
“Makin’ It Philly” was conceptualized to display how African-American entrepreneurs can still make it in businesses despite the challenges they may encounter.
For instance, as the CEO of Palmieri Jeans, Sanders has faced difficulties in trying to launch a large scale manufacturing facility in the city. Sanders said Philadelphia is not very business friendly.
Palmieri Jeans currently assembles its jeans in Philadelphia and seeks to grow its manufacturing capabilities. Sanders said they are considering opening a factory in Pittsburgh.
“Makin’ It Philly” cast member and hip-hop artist Boone, who real name is Maurquis Boone, regards the reality show as a forum that highlights what independent artists face in Philadelphia.
“I think it’s an opportunity to show everyone the obstacles we go through in the music game,” he said.
“Makin’ It Philly” is executive produced by Timothy Fontaine of Focus Fotos, and co-executive producers include Senetra Weaver, Akilah Linder and Sanders with Sav Haven Entertainment.
The show’s launch comes on the heels of the recent partnership announcement made by Lenfest Broadcasting’s WMCM-TV and Bounce TV network executives. Bounce TV, a network geared toward the African-American audience, made its December debut in the Philadelphia market.
“The new network’s targeted demographics are vastly underserved and hungers for positive programming that speaks to them. I believe that a network, while its primary purpose is entertainment, can have a balance so that there is information or education, or edutainment that is created by certain content,” Martin Luther King III, Bounce TV board member said during a news conference.
During the press launch, WMCM-TV executives announced that the station is changing its format.
“Because they’re changing the process by which their format is going to go, and we have the concept of the type of reality TV show that we have, we thought it would be a great partnership with them,” said Linder.
WMCN-TV is broadcast regionally on digital channel 44.
Models, singers, rappers and inspirational artists are currently being sought to appear in the season finale of the reality show “Makin’ It Philly,” which will feature a “star-studded” fashion show hosted and by Victory Management, and featuring talent from its roster. The “Makin’ It Philly” fashion show will be televised to 2.5 million subscribers.
The casting call will take place on Tuesday, March 6, at Mad River, 4100 Main Street, beginning at 6:30 p.m. Serious candidates should apply in person with comp card and résumé, and be prepared to audition.
According to the official website, “Makin’ It Philly” was produced independently and is the first of its kind to air on WMCN-TV. The show was conceptualized to “display the trials of how African-American entrepreneurs are the targets of their peers and how those living in the city of Philadelphia during an economic decline can have struggles but still make it in business.”