Grammy Award-Winning Artist, Mya, Stars in 5TH WARD, UMC’s Gritty New Original Series

Grammy Award-Winning Artist Mya (Chicago), Carl Anthony Payne (The Game, Martin), Thomas “Nephew Tommy” Miles (Think Like a Man, Baggage Claim), and Gary Sturgis (Daddy’s Little Girls) Star in


UMC – Urban Movie Channel’s Gritty New Original Series

Premieres March 2, 2018

UMC Also Adds Award-Winning Music History Documentary, I AM THE BLUES

LOS ANGELES, CA – A fresh, episodic series in the vein of The WireUMC – Urban Movie Channel, the first premium subscription streaming service created for fans of African American and urban content, is excited to announce its new, original drama series, 5TH WARD. Watch Trailer: Featuring an ensemble cast lead by Grammy Award-winning artist Mya (Chicago), 5th Ward captures the gamut of problems plaguing inner city communities through the life of Mina, a single mother of two struggling to make ends meet; as well as several additional locals and town officials residing in the historical district of Houston’s 5th Ward. Carl Anthony Payne (The Game, Martin), Thomas “Nephew Tommy” Miles (Think Like a Man, Baggage Claim), Gary Sturgis (Daddy’s Little Girls), Corr Kendricks (Showtime’s The Chi, Empire), Chris O’ Neal (Greenhouse Academy), and Christopher Jefferson (Boy Bye) also star in the series. Created by Greg Carter and produced by Dominique Telson, 5th Ward is a contemporary take on Carter’s 1998 film of the same name. The first episode will premiere at (and on various devices) Friday, March 2, 2018 with the remaining five episodes airing weekly though April 6, 2018.

In Houston’s historically black neighborhood known as the “5th Ward,” long-time resident, Mina (Mya), has been struggling to make ends meet – especially since the death of her husband two years ago. Now a single mother of two sons, James and older brother Ray Ray, Mina fears for their safety after an argument at a local convenience store leaves a young girl dead. When James is taken away from her following a police raid on her home that results in the arrest of her new boyfriend, Mina battles with the idealism of remaining on the straight and narrow and the reality of what difficult decisions her circumstances will require her to make.

“Having UMC as a partner on this journey has been fantastic. Angela [Northington] believed in the show and having her and Traci [Otey Blunt] available to consult and partner with us along the way is the only way we were able to make 5th Ward a series that we are all proud of. They gave us the freedom to create and the support to execute the show in a way we could not have found at another network,” said creator Greg Carter and producer Dominique Telson.

Also coming to UMC in February as part of its Black History Month celebration, is the award-winning music documentary, I AM THE BLUES. A reverential and nostalgic musical tour of the juke joints, backroads, and church halls of the Mississippi Delta, the documentary highlights many unsung living legends of the Blues genre. Directed by Daniel Cross, featured artists include Grammy Award winning artist Bobby Rush, Barbara Lynn, Little Freddie King, Lazy Lester, and many others. In 2017, the film won awards for Best Feature Length Documentary and Best Cinematography in a Feature Length Documentary at the Canadian Screen Awards. During its run on the film festival circuit, the documentary screened at the SXSW Int’l Film Festival, the Pan African Film Festival, and the Hot Doc Int’l Documentary Film Festival, among several others. I Am the Blues begins streaming on UMC on Friday, February 23, 2018. Watch trailer.


Created by Robert L. Johnson, Chairman of RLJ Entertainment (NASDAQ: RLJE) and founder of Black Entertainment Television (BET), Urban Movie Channel (UMC) is the first subscription streaming service created for African American and urban audiences in North America that features quality urban content and showcases feature films, documentaries, original series, stand-up comedy, and other exclusive content. UMC is available on iOS, Apple TV, Android, Amazon Channels, Roku, Amazon Fire TV & Fire TV Stick. At, UMC offers a free 7-day trial and thereafter is just $4.99/month or $49.99/year. Keep up with UMC and like us on Facebook at and follow on Twitter/Instagram @WatchUMC.

UMC Press Contact: Farah Noel, 301.830.6247,