One Night Only: The Series

TV review by
Lucy Maher, Common Sense Media
One Night Only: The Series TV Poster Image
New Orleans teens find hope in Dreamgirls.

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The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.

Positive Messages

Offers an uplifting message about moving forward after tragedy. Promotes creativity, hard work, and determination.


Images of post-Katrina New Orleans show the damage caused by the storm.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that the teens on this hope-filled reality show talk about what it was like to live in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina. While it's inspiring to watch the teens' attempts to lead normal lives, younger viewers may be upset by scenes in which the cast talks about living apart from their families. Footage also includes images of hurricane-ravaged neighborhoods and destroyed homes.

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What's the story?

ONE NIGHT ONLY: THE SERIES takes viewers behind the curtain as a group of New Orleans high schoolers compete for roles in a local Dreamgirls tribute a year after Hurricane Katrina devastated their city. The cast members are students from McDonogh 35, the city's oldest African-American high school. In each episode, they exhibit determination and pluck as they rebuild their community and compete for roles in One Night Only: Live on the Stage, auditioning in front of a panel of judges that includes American Idol's Paris Bennet. There are also appearances by other stars, such as Dreamgirls star Jennifer Hudson, Blair Underwood, Duane Martin, Tisha Campbell Martin, and more.

Is it any good?

Unlike Idol and other shows that pit competitors against each other in a mean-spirited battle, One Night Only pulls at viewers' heartstrings. That's because in addition to offering suspenseful competition, the series also shows the reality of what it was like for teens living in Katrina's wake.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about Hurricane Katrina. How did families cope with being separated during and after the storm? In what other ways did the people of New Orleans suffer? Why were people unhappy with the way the government handled the crisis? If your home was destroyed in a natural disaster, would you want to stay in your city and rebuild, or move somewhere else?

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