[07/16/07 - 08:49 AM]
BET Networks Gets Animated with 'Bufu,' Dons Its 'Sunday Best' and Debates 'Hip Hop VS. America' at the Summer 2007 Television Critics Association Tour
The shows announced at TCA are part of BET Neworks' ambitious original programming slate this fall, with the premieres of 10 new shows and specials.

[via press release from BET]

BET Networks Gets Animated With 'BUFU,' Dons Its 'SUNDAY BEST' and Debates 'HIP HOP VS. AMERICA' at the Summer 2007 Television Critics Association Tour

Featured TCA Shows Part of the 10 New Specials and Series Launching This Fall on BET Networks

Animated Comedy 'BUFU' Premieres Tuesday, November 13 at 10:00 p.m. ET/PT

'SUNDAY BEST,' the Search for the Nation's Best Gospel Singer, Premieres Tuesday, October 2 at 8:00 p.m. ET/PT

Provocative 'HIP HOP VS. AMERICA' Town Hall Debuts Fall 2007

LOS ANGELES, July 16 -- BET Networks continues to deliver on its promise of offering original programming that appeals to African Americans and all consumers of Black culture with presentations for HIP HOP VS. AMERICA, BUFU and SUNDAY BEST, three exhilarating new shows that will debut this fall.

"BET Networks is committed to bringing our audiences programming that not only entertains them but that also strikes a chord and engages them," said Debra Lee, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, BET Networks. "We're excited that these latest additions further diversify our line-up and will appeal to a wide range of viewers within our core audience."

"Each of these shows - BUFU, SUNDAY BEST, and HIP HOP VS. AMERICA - re-affirm that BET Networks is a destination for incredible talent to work, both in front of and behind the camera," said Reginald Hudlin, President of Entertainment, BET. "We're building off the momentum from this summer and will have several new fall shows and specials that will keep BET Networks sizzling into next year."

The shows announced at TCA are part of BET Neworks' ambitious original programming slate this fall, with the premieres of 10 new shows and specials. BET Networks is bringing an eclectic mix of programming that features a broad range of genres, including music, animation, reality and inspirational shows.


BUFU - BUFU starts where "The Chappelle Show" left off. It's an animated sketch comedy show in the tradition of SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE and SCTV, from the brilliant and hilarious minds of executive producers Orlando Jones (MAD TV) and Ali LeRoi (EVERYBODY HATES CHRIS). BUFU is set to premiere Tuesday, November 13, at 10:00 p.m. ET/PT on BET. Both Jones and LeRoi participated in BET Networks' panel discussion about the show at TCA.

Premiere date/schedule: Tuesday, November 13 at 10:00 p.m. ET/PT

SUNDAY BEST - BET brought you the CELEBRATION OF GOSPEL, the #1 religious program in television history, and now comes SUNDAY BEST, a nationwide search for America's next great gospel singer. SUNDAY BEST will search storefront churches, parishes and mega-churches from Atlanta to Los Angeles and Chicago to find the best undiscovered singers in America. The top contestants will be coached by great performers from the gospel and secular worlds as they strive to win the SUNDAY BEST title. Top contestants will receive prizes for themselves and for their churches and communities as well.

Premiere date/schedule: Tuesday, October 2 at 8:00-9:00 p.m. ET/PT

HIP HOP VS. AMERICA - HIP HOP VS. AMERICA is a multi-episode special featuring a recent BET Town Hall discussion on the subject of hip hop -- a powerful, enlightening, and provocative debate that takes an honest look at the culture's merits and faults. Unlike most other televised discussions of these issues, BET's Town Hall showed a full continuum of opinions and went beyond the attacks and soundbites to delving into the real humanity behind it all, reflecting on what contemporary hip-hop means and what it says about Black America. Panelists featured in the special range from rappers Nelly, T.I., Chuck D and Master P to journalists Diane Weathers, Farai Chideya and Stanley Crouch, as well as Rev. Al Sharpton. This special series will air in fall 2007. Rev. Sharpton and Chuck D joined BET Networks at TCA to talk about the Town Hall.

Premiere date/schedule: Fall 2007


Reality & Biography Series

COLLEGE HILL INTERNS - Following the success of COLLEGE HILL 4, the highest-rated series in BET history, this exciting new spin-off will follow eight college students when they move to Chicago for summer internships. These college students will face the harsh reality of juggling their professional responsibilities with the temptations of late-night partying in a new city.

Premiere date/schedule: October 2007

AMERICAN GANGSTER 2 - Narrated by award-winning actor Ving Rhames, the critically acclaimed AMERICAN GANGSTER returns for a second season to explore the rise and fall of some of Black America's most notorious crime figures. AMERICAN GANGSTER also focuses on the horrific impact that these criminals had on their families as well as the communities that they preyed upon. This season includes an exclusive interview with Frank Lucas, the real-life character that Denzel Washington plays in the upcoming film "American Gangster."

Premiere date/schedule: Thursday, October 4 at 10:00-11:00 p.m. ET/PT

KEYSHIA COLE 2: THE WAY IT IS - The sophomore season of the hit reality series documents the life of platinum-selling R&B songstress Keyshia Cole. In KEYSHIA COLE 2: THE WAY IT IS, BET again receives exclusive access to Keyshia to document her personal growth and challenges, including her efforts to rebuild her strained relationship with her mother and a search to find her supposedly dead father.

Premiere date/schedule: October 2007


JUDGE MOONEY - Comedian Paul Mooney is a legend. He's worked with everyone from Richard Pryor to Dave Chappelle; now Mooney will host his own daily court show as the outrageously funny judge who lays down the law with his own brand of humor. Real people will bring their real cases to Mooney's courtroom to receive a verdict that only Judge Paul Mooney can deliver. ALL rise as JUDGE MOONEY'S court is now in session!

Premiere date/schedule: Fall 2007


EXALTED! - BET takes a look into the complex lives of inspirational leaders in this biography series profiling various ministers from around the country. Some of these strong religious figures lead mega-churches, some advise the President, and some comfort the sick and the destitute. With EXALTED!, BET goes beyond the public image to reveal the human side of these men and women to discover why they chose to follow this path, what sacrifices they made to do so, and the struggles they've encountered along the way.

Premiere date/schedule: Tuesday, October 2 at 9:00-10:00 p.m. ET/PT


BET HIP-HOP AWARDS - More than a musical style, hip-hop is a history of American culture and a testimony by its artists of their life experiences. BET shocked "Hotlanta" on November 15, 2006 with its first HIP-HOP AWARDS, which drew a whopping 3.64 million viewers (2.93 rating) and was the #1 primetime telecast in all of cable television that night. This year's HIP-HOP AWARDS will be an electrifying homage to the genre of hip-hop, and viewers won't want to miss the off-the-hook performances and appearances by the biggest names in the game.

Premiere date/schedule: Wednesday, October 17 at 9:00-11:00 p.m. ET/PT


LIVING THE LIFE OF MARLEY - This highly anticipated half-hour reality series follows the extraordinary life of Bob Marley's son Ky-Mani Marley, as he prepares to launch a new album, and the entire Marley family clan as cameras follow them about their everyday lives. Whether it's hanging out with their entertaining bunch of friends or working all night in the studio on a red-hot music single, viewers will quickly learn that nothing can slow down this dynamic family and nobody can break their strong family bond.

Premiere date/schedule: Fall 2007

For artwork and press information, please visit http://www.bet.com/pr.

About BET Networks

BET Networks, a division of Viacom Inc. (NYSE: VIA, VIA.B), 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 85 million households according to Nielsen Media Research, and can be seen in the U.S., Canada and the Caribbean. BET is the dominant African-American consumer brand with a diverse group of businesses extensions: BET.com, a leading internet destination for Black entertainment, music, culture, and news; BET Digital Networks - BET J, BET Gospel and BET Hip Hop, attractive alternatives for cutting-edge entertainment tastes; BET Event Productions, a full-scale event management and production company; BET Home Entertainment, a collection of BET-branded offerings for the home environment including DVDs and video-on-demand; BET Mobile, a service venture into the lucrative world of ringtones, games and video content for wireless devices; and BET International, an extension of BET network programming for global distribution.


  [july 2007]  


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