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BET Networks Commemorates Black History Month with Its First-Ever Miniseries “The Book of Negroes” Premiering Monday, February 16, 2015 at 8 PM ET/PT

December 15, 2014 Leave a comment

The Three Day Television Event Joins a Stellar Lineup of Original Programming on BET with the Premieres of “Being Mary Jane” Season 2 on February 3 and “The BET Honors” 2015 on February 23

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BET is celebrating Black History Month in a major way with the highly anticipated return of the #1 new original drama series on all cable among adults 18-49 and women 18-49, “Being Mary Jane,” the epic premiere of the miniseries “The Book of Negroes” and the superstar “The BET Honors” 2015 lineup.

The hit original series “Being Mary Jane,” starring Gabrielle Union, is back bigger than ever with 12 one-hour episodes beginning Tuesday, February 3, 2015 at 10 PM ET/PT. Created and executive produced by Mara Brock Akil, this season of “Being Mary Jane” finds Mary Jane once again juggling more than she can handle between family drama, bold career choices and a budding new relationship – possibly involving a child of her own. Union is accompanied by veteran actors Richard Roundtree and Margaret Avery and a supporting cast that includes Lisa Vidal, Richard Brooks, Raven Goodwin, B.J. Britt, Aaron D. Spears, Latarsha Rose and Stephen Bishop.

BET launches its first-ever event miniseries “The Book of Negroes,” a six-part historical drama in the tradition of Roots based on Lawrence Hill’s award-winning, Oprah Winfrey-listed novel (known in the United States as Someone Knows My Name). The highly anticipated television event will run over the course of three consecutive nights in two-hour installments starting Monday, February 16, 2015 at 8 PM ET/PT. “The Book of Negroes” depicts the extraordinary life journey of Aminata Diallo (Aunjanue Ellis) – an indomitable African woman who cuts a swath through a world that is predisposed to underestimate her. Kidnapped by slave traders in West Africa and subsequently enslaved in South Carolina, Aminata must navigate her way through the American Revolution in New York, the isolated refuge of Nova Scotia and the treacherous jungles of Sierra Leone before ultimately securing her freedom in England at the dawn of the 19th century. Produced by Conquering Lion Pictures, Out of Africa Entertainment, Entertainment One (eOne) and Idelwild Films, the star-studded cast features lead actress Aunjanue Ellis (Ray, The Help), Oscar winner Cuba Gooding Jr. (Jerry Maguire, A Few Good Men), Oscar and Emmy winner Louis Gossett Jr. (An Officer and a Gentleman, Roots, Boardwalk Empire), Lyriq Bent (Rookie Blue), Oscar nominee Jane Alexander (The Cider House Rules), Ben Chaplin (The Thin Red Line) and Allan Hawco (Republic of Doyle). “The Book of Negroes” is executive produced by Damon D’Oliveira, Clement Virgo, Carrie Stein and Margaret O’Brien.

Rounding out the star-studded month is the year’s can’t miss lineup for “The BET Honors” 2015. Dedicated to celebrating black excellence, this year’s show will recognize the achievements of five spectacular African Americans: Kanye West, Phylicia Rashad, Usher Raymond, Dr. Johnnetta Betsch Cole and John W. Thompson. Hosted by Wayne Brady, “The BET Honors” 2015 premieres on Monday, February 23, 2015 at 9PM ET/PT.

For video sneak peeks and first looks visit the official pages at “Being Mary Jane,” “The Book of Negroes” and “The BET Honors” 2015. Also, join the conversation about the shows on Twitter by using the hashtags: #BeingMaryJane, #BETHonors and #BETBON; follow the shows for all updates and special surprises: @BeingMaryJane and @BET.

About BET Networks

BET Networks, a subsidiary of Viacom Inc. (NASDAQ: VIA, VIAB), is the nation’s leading provider of quality entertainment, music, news and public affairs television programming for the African-American audience. The primary BET channel reaches more than 90 million households and can be seen in the United States, Canada, the Caribbean, the United Kingdom and sub-Saharan Africa. BET is the dominant African-American consumer brand with a diverse group of business extensions: BET.com, a leading Internet destination for Black entertainment, music, culture, and news; CENTRIC, a 24-hour entertainment network targeting the 25- to 54-year-old African-American audience; BET Digital Networks – BET Gospel and BET Hip Hop, attractive alternatives for cutting-edge entertainment tastes; BET Home Entertainment, a collection of BET-branded offerings for the home environment including DVDs and video-on-demand; BET Event Productions, a full-scale event management and production company with festivals and live events spanning the globe; BET Mobile, which provides ringtones, games and video content for wireless devices; and BET International, which operates BET in the United Kingdom and oversees the extension of BET network programming for global distribution.

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Exclusive: President Barack Obama Sits Down with BET Networks for an Interview at the White House to Discuss Recent Unrest in America

December 7, 2014 Leave a comment

President Barack Obama’s Interview with BET Networks to Air on “106 & PARK”; Interview Covers Modern Civil Rights, Police Relations and Justice For All in America

BET News Special Interview To Air Immediately Following “106 & PARK”

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In an exclusive interview with BET Networks, President Barack Obama addressed community concerns and calls for justice and equality after recent grand jury decisions. BET’s “106 & PARK” will air a portion of the interview on Monday, December 8, 2014 at 5 p.m. ET/PT. The full in-depth interview will air immediately following at 6 p.m. ET/PT in “BET News Presents: A Conversation with President Barack Obama.”

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BET Networks’ Series Debut of “NELLYVILLE” Starring Hip-Hop Artist Nelly Delivers One Million Total Viewers for Its Series Premiere

November 28, 2014 Leave a comment

“NELLYVILLE” is the #1 Non-Scripted Series Debut among Adults 18 – 49 for the Last 2 Years on the Network

LOS ANGELES–(BUSINESS WIRE)– BET Networks’ new docu-series, “NELLYVILLE,” starring hip-hop artist Nelly delivered 1 million total viewers (P2+ impressions)* during its initial airing on Tuesday, November 25, 10:30 p.m. – 11:30 p.m. EST. The hour-long docu-series following the life of the artist became the #1 non-scripted series debut among Adults 18 – 49 on the network in nearly 2 years.

Hip-hop artist Nelly stars alongside his family in the hit docu-series "Nellyville" on BET Networks/ ... Hip-hop artist Nelly stars alongside his family in the hit docu-series “Nellyville” on BET Networks/Photo Courtesy of BET Networks

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MC LYTE’S HIP HOP SISTERS FOUNDATION PARTNERS WITH BET NETWORKS, SOUL TRAIN HOLDINGS AND DILLARD UNIVERSITY TO PRESENT THE HIP HOP SISTERS EXPERIENCE AND ANNOUNCE #EDUCATEOURMEN SCHOLARSHIP RECIPIENTS DURING SOUL TRAIN AWARDS WEEKEND

November 7, 2014 Leave a comment

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MC LYTE’S HIP HOP SISTERS FOUNDATION PARTNERS WITH BET NETWORKS, SOUL TRAIN HOLDINGS AND DILLARD UNIVERSITY TO PRESENT THE HIP HOP SISTERS EXPERIENCE AND ANNOUNCE #EDUCATEOURMEN SCHOLARSHIP RECIPIENTS DURING SOUL TRAIN AWARDS WEEKEND 

 

LOS ANGELES, CA – November 6, 2014 – After the monumental success of MC Lyte’s new release, “Dear John” featuring Common, which serves as the official anthem of Hip Hop Sisters Foundation’s #EducateOURMen scholarship initiative, MC Lyte, Chair and Founder, along with President and CEO, Lynn Richardson, and Executive Director, Monica Newman McCluney, will team up with BET Networks, Soul Train and Dillard University to announce the first of many scholarship recipients during the Soul Train Music Awards red carpet pre-show in Las Vegas, Nevada on Friday November 7, 2014.  In addition, for the second year in a row, the foundation will feature MC Lyte, Nicci Gilbert and a few surprise celebrity guests at it’s Women, Wealth and Relationships Forum sponsored by Creme of Nature (www.hiphopsister.org/tickets). Read more…

BET Networks Launches Its First Ever Brand App – BET NOW

March 29, 2014 Leave a comment

 photo bet-now-launches-the-industry-cosign_zps775f6a45.jpgBET Networks today announced the launch of its first ever brand app: BET NOW. Beginning today, fans can download the new app for free on iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad and Android devices. BET NOW is currently available in the App store or Google Play Store.

“Apps are an increasingly important part of the mobile eco-system given the ubiquity of smart phones, the ability to have a direct connection to our consumers, and the growing rate of video consumption on these devices.”

“With BET NOW, users are one download away from consuming some of their favorite BET shows on their tablets and phones” said Brandon Lucas, Vice President and General Manager of BET Mobile. “Apps are an increasingly important part of the mobile eco-system given the ubiquity of smart phones, the ability to have a direct connection to our consumers, and the growing rate of video consumption on these devices.” Read more…

Vanessa Bell Calloway’s Star-Studded Series Launch And New Episode

December 10, 2013 Leave a comment

VANESSA BELL CALLOWAY, COCOAFAB.COM AND ORS HOST STAR-STUDDED LAUNCH OF DIGITAL SERIES “IN THE COMPANY OF FRIENDS”

 

Episode 102: “When Did You Choke”

Debuts Monday, December 9th

 

“In The Company of Friend” cast members (L-R) Shanola Hampton (“Shameless”), Loretta Devine (“Grey’s Anatomy), series creator Vanessa Bell Calloway (“Shameless”) and BET Networks executive Robi Reed. (Photo Credit: Ian Foxx)
Los Angeles, CA – To help kick off the 2013 award show season, actress Vanessa Bell Calloway teamed with Angela Burt-Murray’s CocoaFab.com and Organic Root Stimulator (ORS) to launch of the digital series “In The Company of Friends”.  Developed by Calloway and sponsored by ORS, the series currently airs on CocoaFab.com and InTheCompanyOfFriends.tv.
The star-studded launch party held at Xen Lounge in Studio City, CA was hosted by Calloway and attended by cast members Loretta Devine (“Grey’s Anatomy”), Salli Richardson-Whitfield (“The Newsroom”), Vanessa Williams  (“Raising Izzie”), Dondrè Whitfield (“Mistresses”), Shanola Hampton  (“Shameless”), Edwina Findley (“Treme”), casting director Robi Reed.  LA Lakers legend Earvin “Magic” Johnson and wife Cookie joined comedian Kevin Hart, Rochelle Aytes (“CrazySexyCool”), Bill Belllamy, Denise Boutte, and more to support Calloway and producing partner Camille Iron Coakley (“Holla II”). Read more…

T.D. Jakes: Mind Body & Soul Debuts on BET Sunday, Oct. 6

October 3, 2013 Leave a comment

START YOUR SUNDAYS OFF RIGHT WITH T.D. Jakes Presents: Mind, Body & Soul ON BET NETWORKS

 

SERIES Premieres October 6 at 12:00 P.M. ET/PT

 

Guests include Steve Harvey, LL Cool J, Luke James, Angie Stone, marvin sapp, devon franklin and more

 

 

(T.D. Jakes and Marvin Sapp on T.D. JAKES presents: Mind, Body & Soul debuting Sunday, October 6 at 12:00 P.M. ET/PT on BET.  Marvin Sapp is a featured guests on the premiere episode. / Photo courtesy of BET Networks)

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Motown Gospel Receives Two Soul Train Nods with Tasha Cobbs and Tye Tribbett

September 25, 2013 Leave a comment

Motown Gospel Receives Two Soul Train Nominations for

Tasha Cobbs and Tye Tribbett

Image Hosted by ImageShack.us 

Cobbs and Tribbett Hold Two of the Top 5 Positions on the

Billboard Hot Gospel Albums Chart 

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Urbanworld Announces 2013 Festival Winners; Closes Week with “Inevitable Defeat of Mister & Pete”

September 23, 2013 Leave a comment

  

URBANWORLD ANNOUNCES 2013 FESTIVAL WINNERS

 The Winners Circle: Stacy Spikes (Urbanworld founder), Tai Beauchamp, Marvin Scott (HBO), Allison Bonner Shillingford, Solvan “Slick” Naim, Robert Kolodny, Yoruba Richen, Darius Clark Monroe, Greg Rhem (HBO), and Gbenga Akinnagbe 

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Paula Patton, Jill Scott, Derek Luke, Rickey Smiley & More Open Urbanworld Film Festival

September 20, 2013 1 comment

 

URBANWORLD FILM FESTIVAL OPENS WITH STAR-STUDDED SCREENING OF

‘BAGGAGE CLAIM’

 Rickey Smiley, Derek Luke, Jill Scott, Paula Patton and David E. Talbert at the Urbanworld Opening Night screening of Baggage Claim

NEW YORK, NY (Sept. 20, 2013) – The 17th Annual Urbanworld Film Festival presented by BET Networks opened last night with a lively screening of the romantic comedy Baggage Claim at the SVA Theater in Manhattan. Director David E. Talbert was on hand to present the film along with his wife and executive producer Lyn Talbert. Cast members Paula Patton, Derek Luke, Jill Scott, Jenifer Lewis and Rickey Smiley were also in the building and participated in a post-screening Q&A moderator by TheGrio entertainment editor Chris Witherspoon. Urbanworld founder Stacy Spikes welcomed the packed audience followed by remarks by executive director Gabrielle Glore. After the screening, the crowd headed over to The Out for the after-party which featured performances by Luke James, Yummy Bingham and more.

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Multiple Stellar Award-Winning Recording Artist and TV Personality Kierra Sheard Hosts the Fourth Annual BRL Experience and Concert…August 15-17

August 1, 2013 Leave a comment

Multiple Stellar Award-Winning Recording Artist and TV Personality Kierra Sheard Hosts the Fourth Annual BRL Experience and Concert

August 15-17, 2013 in Detroit, MI

 

(Detroit, MI – July 31, 2013) – Multiple award-winning recording artist and conference founder, Kierra Sheard hosts the fourth annual BRL (Bold Right Life) Experience and Concert, Thursday, August 15 through Saturday, August 17, 2013, at Greater Emmanuel Institutional Church of God In Christ, 19190 Schaefer Highway, Detroit, MI 48235. All day sessions will be held at the Emagine Theatre Royal Oak, 200 North Main Street, Royal Oak, MI 48068. Conference registration is $38.00 for an individual package and $30.00 for group packages (groups of 10 or more). Registration includes seminars, light lunch on Thursday and Friday, and late night activities. Read more…

Apollo & BET Announce National Auditions for Amateur Night and Apollo Live this Summer

June 26, 2013 Leave a comment

Apollo Theater and BET Networks

Announce National Auditions for the Apollo’s Signature Show,

Amateur Night at the Apollo

And for Season Two of TV Series APOLLO LIVE

 

    APOLLO LIVE Auditions to be Held in:

Washington DC, Atlanta, and NYC

 

Amateur Night Auditions to be Held in:

 Philadelphia and NYC

 

Online auditions for APOLLO LIVE to launch on Friday, June 28th Read more…

Stephen G. Hill on The BET Experience and 2013 BET Awards Expectations [Part 2]

June 12, 2013 Leave a comment

stephen g hill smilingBy BIG CED

As The BET Awards approaches its 13th year, the program has decided to expand and has created ‘The BET Experience’, a weekend-long series of events that is, for the first time, allowing the viewing audience to be up close and personal with the stars.

The cable channel’s President of Music Programming and Specials for BET Networks, Stephen G. Hill, speaks about the transition and expectation with this year’s awards program.

I see that the BET Awards are actually open to the public this year for the first time. Of course, outside of the fans being closer to the artist and the experience, what’s the possibility of the fans or whoever buys tickets being able to interact with the BET Awards honorees and attendees?

I think very well; we try to create a family atmosphere where people can let their hair down and celebrate each others music on stage in a way that they don’t at other awards shows. So I think people have a great chance of interacting with the honorees and attendees. Those people of course, who happen to have the tickets through the BET Experience. Because the only way to get the BET Awards tickets is to do the VIP packages at the BET Experience.

Since you are doing things differently this year, what are your expectations for the weekend as far as turnout? Read more…

Stephen G. Hill Talks Expanding BET Awards Brand and Road to Success

June 6, 2013 Leave a comment

 

The task of ensuring the entertainment value of a network is a daunting one. The role of putting on a very successful awards show for a finicky crowd after doing it for many years, can be complicated. The job must be done by someone who can juggle the responsibilities of putting on a great show, satisfying a critical audience, meeting advertiser and sponsor goals, as well as dealing with talent so diverse that no two are alike.

Patience, knowledge and a great team will go a long way in the entertainment business and Stephen G. Hill, president of music programming and specials at BET Networks, knows this as he leads his troops into The BET Experience, a weekend-long show of entertainment, seminars, empowerment and information that culminates into this year’s BET Awards.

Before we go into The BET experience, who is Stephen G. Hill and how did come to your current post as president of music Programming and Specials for BET Networks?

I am the son of Wanda and Caesar Hill, brother of Gary, and you know what, so many people and events led to it. It started with a passion for music and a desire to just be enveloped by it at an early age. My first hero was James Brown, and my second, probably the Jackson Five, but there was always an obsession with music. I have a nephew now who is obsessed with sports and he is eight years old. I look at him and think, ‘Wow, by the time I was [his age], I had already bought Smokey Robinson & The Miracles’ “More Love” and The Temptations [album] and was playing them incessantly.’ So it really started with a passion for music and that passion goes for shows and everything I do now.

You transitioned from working radio to TV. How were you able to do that, and what would you say was the most telling sign that you were going to be successful at BET? Read more…

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