During its annual Upfront presentation to the advertising community, BET Networks, the leading provider of content to black consumers globally, will reveal its new programming content including scripted programs and original movies for both BET and CENTRIC as well as new web series for BET.com.
During the presentation, BET will announce new late night series DON'T SLEEP, new scripted series SECOND GENERATION WAYANS, HOUSE HUSBANDS, and new reality series THE MATHIS PROJECT. BET is also launching a new film offering, BET PREMIERE CINEMA, which will give its viewers a first look at never before seen films on TV such as the critically acclaimed Sundance hits MIDDLE OF NOWHERE and LUV, as well as BET-produced films BEING MARY JANE, GUN HILL and THE MINDLESS BEHAVIOR PROJECT. The Network also plans to announce the new BET AWARDS EXPERIENCE that includes an interactive multi-platform Hollywood takeover of the L.A. Live Complex during BET AWARDS Week in 2013. CENTRIC will unveil its plans to expand SOUL TRAIN AWARDS into a three-day Experience including a Comedy Showcase and Concert as well as bring back the cult classic APOLLO LIVE. BET will reinforce its position as the #1 provider of content for consumers of black culture globally with unprecedented reach to all types of African American consumers across all demographics and genres.
Coming off of its best year ever, BET continues to rank among the top 20 cable networks among all adults 18-49, outperforming its cable industry peers for four consecutive years. According to the Nielsen Company, BET continues to be the number one ad-supported cable network among blacks 18-49 for 12 consecutive years. CENTRIC also continues to make strides and is now one of the top 10 growth networks on cable television.
"We've had an incredible year and in 2012 will continue our reign as the #1 media brand among African Americans and a top cable network among all viewers," said Debra L. Lee, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of BET Networks. "We have a diverse roster of new programming that respects our audience and reflects our lives."
"Our audience is passionate about our content and has a voracious appetite for connecting with brands on our platforms more than any other media brand," said Louis Carr, President of Advertising Sales at BET Networks. "Our precise understanding of the African American consumer allows us to program with the needs and wants of Black America and to provide unique partnership opportunities across every platform and channel."
At the Upfront, BET will unveil the new late night series starring former CNN anchor T.J. Holmes, DON'T SLEEP, which tackles social issues and current events important to BET's audience. Additionally, the network will launch two additional scripted series SECOND GENERATION WAYANS starring Craig Wayans, Damien Dante Wayans and George O. Gore II, and the insanely funny sketch comedy HOUSE HUSBANDS starring Kevin Hart, Nelly, Bobby Brown, Anthony Anderson and Nick Cannon as well as THE MATHIS PROJECT is a powerful new docu-series featuring Judge Greg Mathis that aims to empower neighborhoods plagued by unsolved homicides.
In addition to new series, BET will announce a new cinema offering to viewers for exclusive movie content never before seen on television. BET PREMIERE CINEMA will launch with BEING MARY JANE, created and executive produced by Mara Brock Akil and Salim Akil and starring Gabrielle Union; GUN HILL, a high-powered cop drama is about identical twins on opposite sides of life starring Larenz Tate; and critically acclaimed Sundance favorites LUV starring hip hop and Hollywood star Common and the emotional drama MIDDLE OF NOWHERE starring Omari Hardwick and Emayatzy E. Corinealdi.
CENTRIC will announce its new series APOLLO LIVE, hosted by comedian Tony Rock and executive produced by Jamie Foxx, Marcus King and Don Weiner. Additionally, CENTRIC will announce the SOUL TRAIN EXPERIENCE, an expanded platform of programming during Soul Train Weekend that includes 2012 SOUL TRAIN AWARDS, THE CENTRIC COMEDY SHOWCASE and THE CENTRIC MUSIC CONCERT.
NEW PROGRAMMING ON BET:
· DON'T SLEEP is a fresh new voice joining the ranks of Jon Stewart, Steven Colbert and Bill Maher. T.J. Holmes gives you a good reason to stay up late. With hilarious "correspondents," T.J.'s sure to have viewers rolling with laughter over the absurdity of today's hot-button issues. Speaking through a unique and smart African American filter, T.J. invites the community to wake up on the issues that affect them; don't sleep on the stories that mainstream news outlets won't cover. The show will also open ears with captivating, unexpected musical performances. DON'T SLEEP reports with keen focus to keep Black America engaged and in the know.
· HOUSE HUSBANDS - An insanely funny sketch from the 2011 BET Awards (which quickly became a phenomenon) starring host Kevin Hart, rap heartthrob Nelly, R&B crooner Bobby Brown, comedian Anthony Anderson and film star Nick Cannon is coming to primetime. The "housewives" don't even know what it means to be a real Hollywood Husband. The pressures of spousal stardom are almost too much to bear. Watch the HOUSE HUSBANDS air it all out in this semi-scripted reality TV spoof of every fill-in-the-blank Wives franchise. Starring Kevin Hart.
· THE MATHIS PROJECT - This powerful new docu-series aims to empower neighborhoods plagued by unsolved homicides. JUDGE Greg Mathis unites local volunteers and law enforcement to gather information that has the potential to solve the case - and get community members to do what, for some, is unthinkable: reveal what they know. Mathis' investigative skills will bring these cases to a close by exposing the truth that witnesses, anonymous tipsters and "word on the street" sources have kept hidden for years. Produced by ITV Studios and Mathis Productions. Starring JUDGE Greg Mathis.
· SECOND GENERATION WAYANS is a hilarious new scripted comedy based on the lives of the members of the next generation of the Wayans family. However, as it turns out, being a Wayans isn't all fun and games. Viewers see the good, the funny and the ugly as the young trio emerges from the long shadows of their uncles to carve out their own paths to stardom in Hollywood. Executive produced by Devon Shepard, Marlon Wayans and Rick Alvarez. Starring Craig Wayans, Damien Dante Wayans, and George O. Gore II.
BET NEW MOVIES FOR "BET PREMIERE CINEMA":
· BEING MARY JANE - From the producers of the award-winning, record breaking BET comedy THE GAME and #1 box-office romantic comedy "Jumping the Broom" comes an original movie starring the gorgeous and talented Gabrielle Union. This is a story to which millions of modern women will both relate and respond. Mary Jane Paul has it all: she's a successful TV news anchor, entirely self-sufficient - an all-around powerhouse who remains devoted to a family that doesn't share her motivation. As Mary Jane juggles her life, her work and her commitment to her family, we find out how far she's willing to go to find the puzzle pieces that she, and society, insist are missing from her life as a single Black female. Starring Gabrielle Union, Richard Roundtree, Margaret Avery, Lisa Vidal, Richard Brooks, Omari Hardwick, Tika Sumpter, Raven Goodwin, B.J. Britt, Aaron Spears, LaTarsha Rose and Robinne Lee.
· GUN HILL - From the executive producers of NEW YORK UNDERCOVER, this high-powered cop drama is about identical twins on opposite sides of life: Trane, a cop, and Bird, a con. On one fateful night, Trane is killed. Bird assumes his identity and begins his own search for redemption. Set in the mean streets of New York, this smart, gritty two-hour movie event features an ensemble cast of characters operating on all sides of the law, where no one is quite what they seem. Executive produced by Don Kurt and Reggie Bythewood. Written and directed by Reggie Bythewood. Starring Larenz Tate, Emayatzy E. Corinealdi, Tawny Cypress, Aisha Hinds, Michael Aronov and Phyllis Yvonne Stickney.
· LUV - Fresh from being critically acclaimed at Sundance 2012, BET presents the worldwide television premiere of LUV, starring hip hop and Hollywood star Common. The distinguished Danny Glover and Charles S. Dutton and Dennis Haysbert also illuminate this future classic. A world of hope, violence and self-determination comes to life in this dramatic thriller. Woody Watson is a timid, orphaned eleven-year old boy from Baltimore who dreams of a better life. He sees his uncle Vincent - recently released from prison - as the father he never had. But Vincent's former life and criminal past soon comes back to haunt them both. Coming of age, all too soon, Woody has to decide where he stands and who he wants to be. Written and directed by Sheldon Candis. Starring Common, Michael Rainey Jr., Danny Glover, Charles S. Dutton, Dennis Haysbert, Lonette McKee and Meagan Good.
· MIDDLE OF NOWHERE - BET is proud to present the worldwide premiere of the historic Sundance 2012 award-winning film MIDDLE OF NOWHERE. In this elegant and emotional drama, a woman named Ruby changes her life during her husband's incarceration. It follows Ruby's journey to maintain both her marriage and her own identity. This hauntingly beautiful story is at once simple and infinitely complicated. Written and directed by Ava DuVernay. Starring Omari Hardwick and Emayatzy E. Corinealdi.
· THE MINDLESS BEHAVIOR PROJECT - This film documents the tribulations of blazing-hot boy band Mindless Behavior, following the tour life of four teens struggling to balance their personal lives and burgeoning careers. An homage to the Beatles' "A Hard Day's Night," these young men learn valuable lessons about friendship, loyalty and ultimately their places within the group. Mindless Behavior is a social media phenomenon, with more than 110 million collective hits on YouTube, 1.3 million "likes" on Facebook, 530,000 Twitter followers, and more than a half million subscribers to their official mobile hotline. Executive produced by Reuben Cannon and Cory Tynan. Starring Princeton, Prodigy, Ray Ray and Roc Royal.
RETURNING HITS ON BET:
· 106 & PARK - 106 & PARK is the #1 video countdown show anywhere on television. Now in its 12th year, BET's flagship program is a destination for the A-list of music, film, television, style and sports, from Lady Gaga and Justin Bieber to Idris Elba and Nicki Minaj. With innovative inclusion of social media and social movements, 106 & PARK engages millions of audience members beyond TV via the 106 & PARK mobile app, winner of the Best App Ever Award 2011 for Best Big Brand App, the talent competition "Wild Out Wednesday" and the infamous newcomer rap battle "Freestyle Friday," 106 & PARK continues to lead in delivering what's hot and what's next in pop culture. Hosted by Terrence and Rosci.