Tue | Nov 19, 2019

New TV show to break news on famed Jamaicans

Published:Friday | May 29, 2015 | 12:00 AM
Maurice Bryan and Phoenix
Milton Wray

Television viewers will soon be captivated by Jamaica's first-ever personalities news TV show, which will pride itself on breaking news on the life events of Jamaican achievers from all walks of life. The forthcoming TV product, Status, will be aired in prime time on Saturdays at 8:30 p.m. on TVJ.

Commencing this May, Status will keep up with the buzzworthy undertakings of interest-generating famed, accomplished, and admired Jamaicans, delivering on insider news of Jamaica's household names, which have made an impact on national life.

Status will employ cutting-edge technology to present modern on-screen piazzas, putting on show a brand-new concept and format that is avant-garde.

According to the producers, Status will be presented in an exciting design and will reflect a premium product of excellence with vast audience appeal.

"All of Jamaica's major influencers will be provided with this avenue, which is an opportunity to highlight their inspiring life adventures," noted Milton Wray, the executive producer of Status. "The multiple news stories in each episode will be primarily exclusive, relaying tidbits as well as major developments in everyday happenings and the life objectives of Jamaica's trailblazers," Wray said.

Status will be hosted by well-known actor and corporate executive Maurice Bryan, as well as TV personality and Kool FM presenter Shelly-Ann 'Phoenix' Hill.




"We have created a visually appealing show of international standards, capturing the personality behind our favourite personalities and raising the bar for television production," says technical director FranÁois Wray.

According to Bryan, the TV package will showcase the triumphs and goals of influential personalities known from business, sports, media, entertainment, politics, society, and all areas of national life.

"Jamaica is uniquely positioned. Our talented people are locally and internationally renowned. They wield considerable influence, and they should have an opportunity to tell their everyday stories," asserted Bryan.

Hill, the show's co-anchor, is excited over the prospects. According to her, it is an opportune time for Jamaica's high achievers to be highlighted in a meaningful manner.

"People who are accomplished deserve just recognition. They are to be celebrated not only abroad, but also here in Jamaica. We produce lots of stars, and we should do all we can to help those stars to shine," she said.




Wray posits that with the explosion of social media, the personalities news concept is critical.

"With social media so prevalent in our lives, persons' reputations are at stake. It's the Wild West out there. It is so very easy now to start a rumour about someone of note. This television show will be that needed credible source," he says. "Because there is so much discourse around the issues and activities of renowned personalities, it is very important to have a source for legitimacy - that credible medium that can be depended on to set the record straight."

Status, which will be rebroadcast on TVJ on Thursdays at 11 p.m., has been developed by Wray's Sugarmill Entertainment. With the tagline 'The Latest on the Greatest', the show's rationale is grounded not only in the fast-changing times, but also in aspirational values.

"Accomplished Jamaicans have charted paths and set examples that are to be emulated. The trappings of those successes can be a powerful motivation for ambitious people with big dreams and erstwhile lofty goals," he asserted.

Aside from highlighting the benefits of success, the show will offer meaningful lifestyle insights. The producers say stories will be based primarily on life outside of work and career.

"Work is a means to an end. We work so that we are able to live. Yet, it is mainly career-related issues that are usually highlighted in the media, ignoring and downplaying the benefits of hard work," Wray added.




He says American cable television and the pop-culture life have kindled in Jamaicans a voracious appetite for the personalities-news concept. He points to a well-worn journalism maxim that, he argues, has

been rendered outdated. "In journalism, there is a well-established principle: Dog bites man is not news. But man bites dog is news. Well, that principle is now completely out the window because it depends on whom the man is that the dog bites."

Milton Wray is a well-known journalist, advertising executive, author, and entertainment media commentator. Maurice Bryan is a well-recognised manager in the telecommunications and tourism-hospitality sectors. He is a multiple Actor Boy winner for Best Lead Actor in Basil Dawkins' No Disrespect and Uptown Bangarang. He has appeared as lead or supporting actor in a long list of hit theatrical productions, including Dangerous Ambitions, Louis Marriott's Bedward, Disco Inferno, and Kieran King's Last Call. He has also appeared in a number of television commercials and voice-overs for radio advertisements.

Shelly-Ann 'Phoenix' Hill is a well-known media presenter-producer. She has produced features with Choice FM and BBC London, winning an award for Outstanding Contribution to Creative Production. She is a former host of the 'Hit List' on CVM TV and is the current host of the prime-time afternoon slot 'Kool Rhythms' on KOOL FM.