A slew of programming announcements out of BET’s upfront presentation, which is going on right now Los Angeles. The network has greenlighted three new primetime series, including comedies Second Generation Wayans, co-written by and starring Craig and Damien Wayans, nephews of the Wayans Brothers — Keenan, Damon, Shawn and Marlon — and “scripted fake reality show” House Husbands, inspired by the popular skit from the BET Awards. It stars Kevin Hart, whom BET’s programming president Stephen G. Hill described as “hotter than fish grease.” The third series is as crime docu-reality series The Mathis Project starring Judge Greg Mathis. The network also announced new late-night series Don’t Sleep With T.J. Holmes starring the former CNN anchor who signed a deal with BET late last year and the return of Apollo Live as music competition series on sister channel Centric produced by Jamie Foxx. According to Deadline contributor Diane Haithman, who is at the presentation, Hill described Don’t Sleep “a vision of the world from a smart black point of view” and called it a first foray for the network into late night political satire that he hopes will break the mold. “You hear late night, you think of a certain format and formula,” he said. “We are going to find that perfect blend of sharp wit and hilarity.”
BET confirmed the renewal of all 3 of BET’s scripted series, The Game, Let’s Stay Together & Reed Between The Lines. … Read More »
EXCLUSIVE: I hear that BET has quietly renewed its flagship comedy series The Game for a sixth season (third on the cable network), and the Queen Latifah-produced sophomore Let’s Stay Together for a third. The pickups, which I hear are for 22 episodes, are not official yet and are expected to be announced at BET’s upfront presentation on Thursday. Additionally, I hear that BET is mulling a renewal of freshman comedy Reed Between The Lines. BET, whose current foray into scripted comedy series started an year and a half ago with the pickup of The Game after it had been canceled by the CW, is quickly expanding its portfolio. In addition to the three existing original series, the network is in pre-production on hourlong pilot Being Mary Jane starring Gabrielle Union and sitcom Young Man On Campus starring Jacob Latimore, which originated as an episode of Reed this past season. In growing its scripted business, BET has relied on two key players, Mara Brok Akil, creator/executive producer of both The Game and Being Mary Jane, and Jacque Edmonds, creator/executive producer of Let’s Stay Together and Young Man On Campus and executive producer of Reed. After launching on BET with staggering 7.7 million viewers to rank the top-rated ad-supported sitcom broadcast in cable history, The Game‘s most recent season premiered with impressive 5.3 million viewers. Let’s Stay Together‘s second … Read More »
The Game solidified its status as a smash hit by drawing 5.3 million viewers for its Season 5 premiere. It was down 31% from its record-setting BET premiere last year (7.7 million) but higher than most scripted series on cable. Season 2 of The Game‘s companion sitcom, Let’s Stay Together, launched with 3.5 million viewers, down 20%.
Over at Lifetime, unscripted series Dance Moms continued its momentum, opening its second season with 2.5 million viewers, up 150% from the show’s series premiere in the summer. Among adults 18-49, Dance Moms drew 1.2 million, up 126%.
Meanwhile, A&E’s new original series Shipping Wars averaged 3 million total viewers for its premiere with back-to-back episodes, 1.6 million adults 18-49 and 25-54.
BET Networks is set to unveil its full lineup, which we told you about over the weekend, during its upfront presentation today in New York. Here’s the network’s release in advance of the event:
NEW YORK – April 20, 2011 – Coming off of the success of its best year ever in 2010 and best quarter ever for 1Q’11, BET Networks announced that it will unveil a brand new slate of programming for BET and CENTRIC at its 2011 Upfront presentation at the Best Buy Theater in New York. During the event, BET plans to announce that it will continue its focus on original scripted content with a new sitcom, REED BETWEEN THE LINES, starring Tracee Ellis Ross and Malcolm-Jamal Warner. The Network will also unveil new scripted web originals, LENOX AVENUE and THE COME UP, and also its first ever sci-fi thriller web series, ODESSA and ASYLUM, all of which will run across all BET Digital platforms—BET.com, BET Mobile and BET On Demand. BET will also announce another season of THE GAME and a second season of LET’S STAY TOGETHER. In addition to scripted programming, BET will also introduce a new music docu-series, THE MESSAGE, which is a four part series about the music, the culture and the message of hip-hop. The Network will also bring back a number of its popular returning series and tent poles including BLACK GIRLS ROCK!, SUNDAY BEST and the BET AWARDS ‘11.
“This is the year that our audience, advertisers and partners have
… Read More »
No surprise here — I hear BET has quietly renewed its blockbuster comedy series The Game for a fifth season. The cable network may hold the official announcement until its upfront presentation on Wednesday, but word is that Season 5 may be bigger than the 13-episode Season 4, probably for 22 episodes. Also expected to get a renewal is BET’s freshman comedy Let’s Stay Together, which was recently paired with The Game. Meanwhile, I hear Reed Between the Lines, the network’s comedy pilot produced by and starring former Girlfriends star Tracee Ellis Ross as a busy psychiatrist, is getting a series order. Malcolm-Jamal Warner co-stars in the project written by Kellie Griffin. The Game, which was canceled by the CW in 2009, started off with staggering 7.7 million tuning in for its fifth-season premiere on BET and ended the season on a high note with 4.4 million viewers for the finale. This is the second comedy series canceled by a broadcast network to successfully relaunch on cable and land a renewal in the past couple of weeks, following the two-season pickup for Futurama at Comedy Central. Let’s Stay Together, executive produced by Queen Latifah, averaged 2.9 million viewers.