BET Strikes Deal to Bring Us More 90s Rerun Sitcom Goodness

Sections: Comedy, TV, Uncategorized

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Apparently, Black Entertainment Television (BET) has built some sort of time machine that provides a formative link back to

an all-too-real eCard

I second that motion… Intervention!!!

a time when we were much younger and naïve men and women and primetime TV programming was funny and engaging.

Or it’s quite possible that they’ve acquired a package of TV show licenses that will allow them to air reruns of such 1990’s staple sitcoms as The Fresh Prince of Bel Air, Family Matters, and Martin – as well as The Jamie Foxx Show and The Wayans Bros.

According to Nellie Andreeva of Deadline/TV, the package was an off-network syndication deal with Warner Bros Domestic TV Distribution (WBDTD). An off-network deal refers to the sale of a show to either a television station or, in this case, a cable station. Usually the show has to be popular enough to have lasted around 100 episodes to be considered. As far as the shows that BET Networks purchased are concerned, I’m pretty sure (based on “The Fresh Prince” himself, Will Smith’s and Jamie Foxx’smovie careers – not-so-much

Steve Urkel... where have you gone to?

“Forever typecast as a nerd for my whole career – did I do that?”
– a distraught and out-of-work Jaleel White

Jaleel White, though) that these shows were pretty popular in their era.

The aforementioned sitcoms will air on BET and CENTRIC – which is an off-shoot of BET, originally created as an outlet for Jazz music called BET J, but eventually rebranded in 2009 as a primarily general-interest, African-American cable channel.  

Between the two stations, there has been a history of airing syndicated programming with a focus on African-American characters and issues, such as: The Cosby Show, The A-Team, Miami Vice, Moesha, In Living Color, and The Bernie Mac Show.

In an addition to the deal, Nick at Nite – the Viacom-owned, off-shoot of every kid’s eventual and inevitable babysitter Nickelodeon – will continue to air reruns of Full House (another Warner Bros-owned sitcom) and MTV2 will keep running former episodes of Living Single.

Nick at Nite, which was created in 1985 in order to attract an older demographic of viewers than the much more adolescent-based programming of Nickelodeon, relies heavy on the rerun – as far as their programming goes.

While MTV’s one-time cooler cousin MTV2, which has been rebranded a bazillion times after starting in 1996 as M2, (most recently in 2005 – to the 13-24 year-old demographic) relies on both reruns and original programming. You’d think with the word “music” in their name, that MTV2 would have a great deal of music videos in their daily lineup but, nowadays… not so much. However, I digress.

The deal was negotiated by both Barbara Zaneri – Executive Vice President of Program Strategy, Scheduling and Acquisitions for BET Networks – and Tom Cerio – Executive Vice President of Cable Sales for WBDTD.

Now, BET, about that time machine…


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