Posted by Dave
Rap News Network
4/26/2006 5:38:14 AM
Tags and topics realted to this article include Keyshia Cole and DMX. Hip Hop, Rap and TV.
BET Networks is opening the floodgates to an impressive slate of new original programs for 2006-2007. The new shows will quench a range of entertainment thirsts. BET unveiled its plans last night in its annual Upfront presentation to a capacity audience of advertisers, media buyers, corporate clients, executives and news media at New York's Manhattan Center Studios.
"As successful as BET has been in the past 25 years, I knew that an aggressive investment in original programming -- in both senses of the word 'original' -- could turn BET from a beast to a monster," said Reginald Hudlin, BET President of Entertainment, about the BET strategy. "I wanted BET to be like Motown -- a soulful beat that the whole world dances to."
Hudlin continued, "BET has always been known for hot music and great award shows, but now we're moving into primetime with a broader mix of new shows than ever before -- news, sports, reality, comedy, movies, specials, mega- specials. It's a big lineup."
BET's '06 Upfront was the first for Debra Lee as the company's chairman and CEO following the departure earlier this year of BET Founder Robert Johnson. It was also Hudlin's first since being named BET programming chief nine months ago. To serve notice of this new era in BET leadership and programming, the entire presentation used the theme "Whatever ... Whenever ... Wherever", a rallying anthem symbolic of BET's new multi-platform approach to serving its viewership.
Future BET programming girds will be flush with new original productions premiering this summer and fall, including:
* NEXT LEVEL: VINCE YOUNG -- Fresh off a national collegiate football
championship for the Texas Longhorns, NFL rookie-to-be Vince Young
prepares to take his game and life to the next level, and BET will
follow his competitive journey.
* STAR TIME: KEYSHIA COLE -- There's a rising young star who is staking
her claim as music's next diva. BET will go inside the rollercoaster
world of Keyshia Cole as her private life and music career ignite.
* AMERICAN GANGSTER -- From the infamous Chambers Brothers of Detroit to
the dangerous Nicky Barnes of Harlem, BET will chronicle the country's
most powerful Black gangsters past and present through the eyes of the
criminals and their victims.
* HOT GIRLS -- Fashion, style and beauty will abound in this trend-setting
show that will touch the minds, bodies and souls of women everywhere.
* BLACK BOOK DIARIES -- Tastes for the "grown-and-sexy" side of life can
find romance and passion in this new BET late-night anthology series for
* IRON RING -- The hard-hitting sport of Ultimate Fighting takes on a
whole new flavor as these celebrity-managed human gladiators battle it
out on BET.
* HOTWYRED -- High-tech toys and multi-media gadgets are part of an all-
new BET show guiding viewers to the hottest music downloads, websites,
ring tones and video games.
* THE BLACK CARPET -- Coverage of the latest entertainment news and high
profile lifestyles gets a fresh look as BET delivers the full range of
Black experiences from the Detroit Hair Show to the NBA All-Star Game to
the Oakland Players Ball.
* DMX: SOUL OF A MAN -- Hardcore rap impresario DMX lives life on the edge
... at least most of the time. BET will reveal sides to DMX rarely
seen, from a caring and concerned father to the friendly neighborhood
taxpayer in the tiny town of Carefree, Arizona, where DMX spends much of
his down time.
BET's evening exploded with rhythm and excitement as the Howard University drum line ripped a heart-pounding cadence guided by the high-stepping moves of a "mystery drum major" who turned out to be BET President of Advertising Media Sales, Louis Carr. With the room still buzzing, Carr delivered a clear message for advertisers about BET.
"A year ago when I stood on this s
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