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 been waiting for. The incredible success of 2010 and 1Q'11 have truly put BET Networks in a brand new game and affirms our strategy to continue offering compelling content on air, online and in market," said Debra L. Lee, Chairman and CEO, BET Networks. "Our insights from African-Americans Revealed and our brand strategy served as a blueprint for our 2011 programming mix for BET and CENTRIC."
In 2010, BET Networks posted a blockbuster year of ratings and 2011 is poised to deliver even bigger results for the Network due to the incredible performance of its scripted content, returning series and tent pole specials. 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. Additionally, CENTRIC continues its ratings stride and is growing a stronger connection to its audience. In 2010, CENTRIC became posted gains each consecutive month in 2010. CENTRIC will announce a lineup of returning series, music documentaries and classics.
"We're in a category of one because no other network understands African-American consumers as deeply as BET Networks," said Louis Carr, President of Advertising Sales at BET Networks. "Our insights, coupled with our compelling content, help our advertising partners engage with the consumers they want the most."
Below is an overview of the Upfront announcements for BET and CENTRIC.
NEW PROGRAMMING ON BET
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 4Q 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 3Q 2012
BET RETURNING SERIES
106 & PARK - After celebrating ten years and over 2000 episodes, the network's flagship youth culture and lifestyle program remains the #1 music video countdown show anywhere on television. 106 & PARK continues to count down the top ten video hits. Hosted by Terrence and Rocsi, the show attracts the A-list of music, film, television, pop culture, and sports, from Janet Jackson and Floyd Mayweather to Justin Bieber and Lady Gaga. With interactive new segments, Wild Out Wednesday, Freestyle Friday, a new app and the liveliest audience ever, 106 & PARK amplifies the voice of a generation.
THE MO'NIQUE SHOW - Multiple award winner Mo'Nique returns for a third titillating season of outrageous celebrity interviews, roof-raising musical performances, and laugh-out-loud comedy. When the stars come out to play in Mo'Nique's penthouse, late night magic happens and the party comes to you. Her audience comes because they love her, and stay because she loves them back. Mo'Nique is the people's choice for late night.
THE WENDY WILLIAMS SHOW - Award-winning syndicated radio phenomenon Wendy Williams has changed the talk show game forever with the show that's become a juggernaut. When your in-studio audience dresses up like they're hitting a cocktail party, you know it's the place to be on TV. Wendy's no-holds barred approach to celebrity interviews and hot-button topics makes for a scintillating, irresistible hour.
THE GAME - Season 5 of THE GAME promises to continue its winning streak on BET. Infidelity, addiction, ambition, secrets and betrayal conspire, driving the characters to bend the rules. As each cast member meets new challenges, its perfect mix of laughs and drama positions THE GAME for another standout season in 2012. NEW SEASON SCHEDULED TO PREMIERE 1Q 2012
LET'S STAY TOGETHER - This fun and flirtatious original centered around two couples and one sexy single is back for its second season of laughter and love lessons. Juicy new plot twists for the whole cast will ensure that LET'S STAY TOGETHER continues to be appointment television next season. NEW SEASON SCHEDULED TO PREMIERE 1Q 2012
SUNDAY'S BEST - The NAACP Image Award-winning smash hit gospel competition show promises to inspire like never before! BET's search for the world's most faithful voices will deliver the most competitive season yet. Hosted by Kirk Franklin with celebrity judges Pastor Donnie McClurkin and Mary Mary, gospel hopefuls compete for a major recording contract and incredible prizes. SCHEDULED TO PREMIERE 2Q 2011
RETURNING MEGA-SPECIALS ON BET
BET HIP HOP AWARDS - The #1 Hip-Hop themed telecast on television for five consecutive years returns to pay homage to a culture that changed the world while highlighting the year's best in Hip-Hop music. The live performances are the most talked-about in the business, and the ciphers are explosive. Without a doubt, this is Hip-Hop at its freshest. SCHEDULED TO PREMIERE 4Q 2011