BET held its upfront presentation Tuesday in Los Angeles. Among its new shows is an old favorite: ComicView. The standup showcase helped launch the careers of comedians including Cedric The Entertainer and D.L. Hughley. BET last aired a ComicView special, One Mic Stand, in 2008. It’s slated for a late 2013 return. Here’s a look at some of BET’s other new shows.
Another comedic offering features Gabrielle Union in Being Mary Jane, a sitcom from the producers of The Game. Mary Jane Paul is a successful news anchor devoted to a family that causes her problems. Look for it in 2014.
Bishop T.D. Jakes, pastor of megachurch The Potter’s House, is getting his own talk show. T.D. Jakes Presents: Mind, Body and Soul will talk topics including health, wellness, relationships and finance.
It isn’t a secret that the Oprah Winfrey Network and BET are targeting the same viewers. BET’s president of original programming, Loretha Jones, said the channel is “better connected” to the African-American community than any other network. OWN has struggled to find traction, but a partnership between Winfrey and Tyler Perry will bring the network two new scripted shows. Perry has made a fortune of reaching the underserved African-American audience, so expectations are high for these efforts.
One of BET’s new shows is clearly influenced by Welcome to Sweetie Pie’s, a breakout hit for OWN. It chronicles the life of Robbie Montgomery, a former backup singer for Ike and Tina Turner. She opened a soul food restaurant that is extremely popular. She’s trying to pass the business on to her family. That includes a son who would prefer to be a rapper and a nephew who isn’t sure what he wants to do.
Yesterday BET unveiled Burns BBQ. It deals with, wait for it, a longrunning family restaurant business changing hands to the next generation.
The network’s returning shows include video countdown 106 and Park, sitcoms The Game and Let’s Stay Together and fake reality show Real Husbands of Hollywood. As we told you yesterday, The Game isn’t getting the numbers it once did. It is still a more reliable bet than creating a new show without brand recognition. Kevin Hart’s parody of the Real Housewives franchise was the breakout hit of the season for BET.
Absent from the list of returning programs was T. J. Holmes talker Don’t Sleep. It was BET’s attempt to get back into the African-American centric news market. After debuting to low ratings, it went from airing four nights a week to once a week. Then it vanished completely from the schedule.