At its 2011 evening upfront presentation at the Best Buy Theater Times Square (4/20), BET Networks unveils a new slate of programming for BET and Centric. It also recently held lunchtime upfronts in LA and Chicago. BET is continuing its focus on original scripted content with a new sitcom, “Reed Between the Lines,” starring Tracee Ellis Ross and Malcolm-Jamal Warner. It also unveils new scripted web originals that will run across BET.com, BET Mobile and BET On Demand: “Lenox Avenue” and “The Come Up”; and its first ever sci-fi thriller web series, “Odessa” and “Asylum.”
BET also details another season of “The Game” and a second season of “Let’s Stay Together.” The network will also introduce “The Message,” a four part series about the music, the culture and the message of hip-hop. The network will also bring back a number of returning series and specials including “Black Girls Rock!,” “Sunday Best” and the BET Awards ’11.
According to the Nielsen Company, BET continues to be the #1 cable network among African-Americans and remains the #1 cable network among blacks 18-49 for six consecutive years. In 2010, Centric posted gains each consecutive month in 2010. The network unveiled a lineup of returning series, music documentaries and classics.
The Upfront roster from BET and Centric:
BET new programming:
REED BETWEEN THE LINES – Alex is an English professor. Carla’s a psychologist. Theirs is quite the contemporary blended Black family, and the couple’s hands are beyond full parenting teenage twins and an outspoken 7-year-old daughter. Watch as the couple navigates modern family life and marriage with warmth, wit and humor. Tracee Ellis Ross (GIRLFRIENDS), Malcolm-Jamal Warner (THE COSBY SHOW), Anna Maria Horsford (AMEN) and Melissa De Sousa (THE BEST MAN) star in this new BET original scripted comedy series. Scheduled to premiere Q4 2011.
THE MESSAGE: THE HISTORY OF HIP-HOP – Hip-Hop is the biggest pop culture phenomenon of the last 30 years. In that time, it has grown from being a sub-culture for kids in parks to generating trillions of dollars and changing the racial landscape in America. The impact of Hip-Hop cannot be overstated. Many have tried to tell the story of Hip-Hop, but no one can like BET. THE MESSAGE is a four part series about the music, the culture and the message of Hip-Hop. Scheduled to premiere Q3 2012.
BET returning series:
106 & PARK
THE MO’NIQUE SHOW
THE WENDY WILLIAMS SHOW
LET’S STAY TOGETHER
Returning BET specials:
BET HIP HOP AWARDS
BLACK GIRLS ROCK!
THE BET HONORS
RIP THE RUNWAY
CELEBRATION OF GOSPEL
A VERY BET CHRISTMAS
New BET digital web originals:
LENOX AVENUE – Dramatic web series that tells the story of three male friends in their mid-twenties navigating the rough terrain of love, relationships and careers. Set in Harlem, this series features fresh faces Al Thompson (THE ROYAL TENENBAUMS) as Owen, and Dorian Missick (LUCKY NUMBER) as Sellars. Michael K. Williams and Jamie Hector from HBO’s hit series THE WIRE and Vanessa Bell Calloway of THE CLOSER make guest appearances.
ODESSA – A Sci-Fi webisode that follows a man and his young daughter, ODESSA, who have been on the run for as long as they can remember from the clandestine college university science program that bestowed them with psychokinetic abilities. They must avoid them at all costs or be hunted down and used as living weapons.
THE COME UP – Equal parts drama and comedy, this series follows the lives of seven teens in Washington, D.C. as they actively pursue their dreams to make it as future music executives, doctors, lawyers, and superstar athletes. But first they have to make it through high school. Set at Silver Spring High School and the Duke Ellington School of the Performing Arts, this show is driven by storylines that focus on the cast’s relationships with one other and the dilemmas they face on their path to adulthood.
ASYLUM – A thriller that follows a team of doctors as they diagnose and treat patients at the infamous St. Dympna hospital for the criminally insane. Along the way, we will discover intriguing secrets about the staff and learn more about the asylum’s mysterious past.
Returning from Centric:
THE HOT 10 COUNTDOWN
SOUL TRAIN AWARDS