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Top 13 Television Programmes in Jamaica

by Sheree-Anita Shearer | Associate Writer

Televion Jamaica's Logo
Photo: Logo - Television Jamaica

Even though streaming services have taken over and the way we watch the programmes we love have changed over the years, there are still some locally made programmes that we will crowd around our televisions to watch with our family and friends.
  1. School Challenge Quiz - No matter how old you are, you will still enjoy the half-hour-long competition whether it is between prep and primary schools or high schoolers. Many people watch and play along while cheering for the school they go to, went to or decide to support for whatever reason. There are usually a few names that dominate, Munro College, Jamaica College, Ardenne but sometimes a dark horse will emerge and win the competition.

  2. Digicel Rising Stars - This programme is similar to American Idol where people audition for a spot on the singing competition. Since June 2004 this competition has been responsible for kick-starting the careers of many of our favourite local acts including Romain Virgo, Christopher Martin and Dalton Harris who went on to win the X-Factor. We look forward to seeing new talents just as much as we love to see the ones who are not as gifted but enjoy singing. Of all the judges, Anthony Miller is the most feared for the competitors with his brutally honest and often bitingly sarcastic remarks.

  3. Hill An’ Gully Ride - Hill An' Gully Ride is a Sunday afternoon programme that features older everyday people as they share their past experiences with the country. It is a good way to see what life back then was like through the eyes of someone who has lived it and not just through history books. The feature is usually done on the person's birthday and so we get to share in the celebration along with their family and friends. The programme also features places of interest or historical figures.

  4. All Together Sing - This is a singing competition for high school choirs in Jamaica. The choirs compete not only for the championship but for a chance to receive equipment or in some cases an entire renovation of the music room for the theatre arts program of their school. We all watch on Sundays to cheer on our favourite schools and vote to keep them in the competition.

    High schools such as Oberlin High have been strong contenders from the very beginning but as of recent times, Manchester High and Knox College have been worthy opponents, going on to win the competition a few times each. The competition is a lot of fun but it is also very helpful to furthering the performing arts programmes at many high schools in Jamaica.

  5. The Susan Show - Hosted by Susan Simes, the Susan Show is a mid-week programme that focuses on bringing awareness to the plight of many persons on the island and encourages people to assist those who are less fortunate. They also assist people who are searching for long lost relatives and friends and help them to reunite. It is always heart warming to see children reunited with parents, siblings and other extended family or to see someone who was in dire need receive the help they so desperately needed.

  6. Sim Soul Sessions - Simone Clarke has been a mainstay on national television for many years. Her latest venture is Sim Soul Sessions which highlights prominent members of the entertainment industry or corporate Jamaica who have lived through or are going through difficult times in their personal lives. This is mainly to highlight to others that it is normal to go through rough patches, no matter what background you are from or your social status. It also serves as a sort of therapy for the guests who would have otherwise felt pressure to be perfect and to have it all together but that is not necessarily the case. It is a good source of inspiration on a Monday night.

  7. Profile - This programme which was originally hosted by the now-deceased Ian Boyne and later Fae Ellington, is Jamaica’s longest-running television show. The show is a personality interview featuring successes of Jamaican descent or background across various fields including sports, entertainment, arts, science and politics who have managed to achieve immensely against the odds. The new host of Profile is Archibald Gordon. Airing on Sundays, Profile is perfect motivation for your week ahead.

  8. Entertainment Report (ER) - The ER is an hour long programme on Friday nights on the happenings of the week on the entertainment scene. It features artistes both new and old, parties and interviews with members of the dancehall/reggae fraternity. The host, Anthony Miller is known for his sarcastic and cynical remarks. It is a good way to catch up on anything you missed during the week.

  9. On-Stage - Winford Williams’ On-Stage is a personality interview with Dancehall/Reggae artistes. This is where you get to learn more about your favourites and hear their story. What got them into music, what was their childhood like and just about anything else.

  10. Dancing Dynamite - This, as the name suggests, is a dancing competition for Jamaican dance groups. Talented dancers from all over the island enter and compete (every Sunday during the season) for the top spot. There is usually a grand cash prize, scholarship opportunities to pursue the Arts, and the opportunity to work with many big companies or recording artistes in Jamaica. While we do tune in for the amazing talents, the host Jenny Jenny and the judges are just as entertaining.

  11. All Angles - This is basically a news review programme is an hour-long special hosted by well-respected journalist Dionne Jackson Miller. Whatever the topical issue is, it can be discussed here. You can count on Dionne to give objective unbiased commentary, and ask the expert or guest/s the necessary questions no matter how uncomfortable they might cause them to feel.
    CVM's Logo
    Photo: Logo - CVM TV

  12. CVM at Sunrise - This is a morning show on one of the two major media houses on the island. It showcases various personalities, through interviews and the hosts share health, school and work tips before you head out for work in the mornings.

  13. Smile Jamaica…It’s Morning Time - This morning programme is on Television Jamaica (TVJ). The hosts interview many different persons from different causes and ventures to promote their work. There are usually games and small competitions that the hosts will do throughout the programme. It has become so popular that the time had to be extended and there is now a Saturday morning programme called Weekend Smile as well.
Of course you don't have to take my word for it. You can freely access these programmes on local television whenever you vacation here and if that's not possible check them out online.

I also recommend you read, Jamaica Movie The 10 Best Jamaican Films.


Editor's Note
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