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[09/28/09 - 06:01 AM]
Centric Debuts Monday, September 28
The 24-hour entertainment network features "the artists, music, series, movies and reality programming that reflects the lifestyle and sophistication of today's African-American and multi-cultural adult."

[via press release from Centric]

CENTRIC Debuts Monday, September 28

Centric Kicks Off Celebrating the Legendary Michael Jackson, Remembering "Fame" and Bringing Back Peace, Love and Soul NEW YORK, Sept. 28 -- CENTRIC, the 24-hour entertainment network featuring the artists, music, series, movies and reality programming that reflects the lifestyle and sophistication of today's African-American and multi-cultural adult, made its debut on Monday, September 28 at 6:00 a.m. ET. The CENTRIC brand replaces the BET J brand, and the channel will continue to focus on the influential 25 to 54-year-old viewer. With a new name, new brand and a renewed commitment to super-serving its core audience CENTRIC can be found on the major satellite, cable and telco providers.

CENTRIC kicks off the week with a series of shows that commemorate the unforgettable legacy of Michael Jackson. On September 28, CENTRIC premieres the original episode of the classic music show, SOUL TRAIN featuring the late performer at 9:00 p.m.*; followed by a half-hour in-depth profile, MJ: OUR ICON at 10:00 p.m. INSIDE THE MJ MANSION, an insightful documentary that gives viewers a personal snapshot into the singer's life at 11:00 p.m.; plus an electrifying block of Michael Jackson-inspired music videos showcased in a special episode of SOUL SESSIONS. CENTRIC also features a marathon of the best episodes from the beloved series "Fame".

CENTRIC will also air an exciting lineup of music-themed programming throughout the week, including memorable concert performances, movies, and originals touting iconic star power from notable figures such as Tina Turner, Beyonce, Erykah Badu, Diddy, Salt & Pepa, The Roots, the Notorious B.I.G., and India Arie. Viewers can also tune in to the original series LEADING MEN and LEADING WOMEN which intimately chronicle the dynamic lives of celebrities like Boris Kodjoe, Hill Harper, Brian McKnight, Dr. Maya Angelou, Iman, and Patti Labelle.

In November, CENTRIC will bring viewers the return of the highly-popular urban music awards show, THE SOUL TRAIN AWARDS, the music special that bridges the gap between the soulful sounds of yesterday and today. Taping at the famed Georgia World Congress Center in Atlanta, this star-studded two-hour special is slated to premiere on Sunday, November 29 at 9:00 p.m. The show will celebrate music's legacy by recognizing winners from various prestigious music categories and honor some of R&B music's notable icons. The special is guaranteed to take viewers on a soul-stirring ride through Soul Train's most memorable moments, as well as feature hot performances from today's hottest artists.

"This couldn't be a more perfect time to debut the Centric brand and build from BET J's strong music foundation, bringing a fresh offering dedicated to the African-American and multi-cultural adult audience," said Scott Mills, BET Networks President and Chief Operating Officer. "CENTRIC is all about reflecting the beautiful life that our audience has created for themselves and the one they are still reaching for. This is a time of profound cultural change and we are simply thrilled to have the opportunity to super-serve this audience, with compelling content that reflects their lives, tastes and aspirations."

"We are extremely proud to offer our audience a destination that strongly reflects who they are today," stated Paxton Baker, CENTRIC's General Manager and Executive Vice President.

"We have really listened to our audience and understand where they are in their lives and what they are looking for. We know that it will take us some time to get there, but over the next few months we will be adding new original programming as well as a robust online offering that we will continue to grow. Additionally, through our strategic programming roll out, integrated marketing and digital elements, and cross-promotional efforts across BET Networks' platforms, CENTRIC will become the top destination for our audience to tune into 24/7."

The following is a programming snapshot of CENTRIC's music-themed launch week:

MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 28

9:00 A.M. - 9:00 P.M.* on CENTRIC

FAME: CENTRIC brings the popular television series based on the 1980 motion picture "Fame," and depicts the story of the students and faculty at the New York Art School, and follows their dream to sing, to dance, act and play music to hopefully become famous. Featuring: Debbie Allen, Gene Anthony Ray, Carlo Imperato, Albert Hague, Carol Mayo Jenkins and Valerie Landsburg.

9:00 P.M.* on CENTRIC

SOUL TRAIN: MICHAEL JACKSON: America's classic urban music series featuring pop music icon, Michael Jackson.

10:00 P.M.* on CENTRIC

MJ: OUR ICON: A 30-minute intimate profile on Michael Jackson, and features exclusive footage from his famed December 2007 Ebony photo shoot.

11:00 P.M.* on CENTRIC

INSIDE THE MJ MANSION: This programming special gives viewers an intimate, guided tour of Michael Jackson's last home, and includes interviews from the superstar's friends and colleagues. Starring: Jon Kelly, Kerry Gordy, Miko Brando, and Rodney Jerkins.

TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 29

10:00 P.M.* and 10:30 P.M.* on CENTRIC

LEADING WOMEN: A half-hour original series that intimately chronicles the dynamic lives of celebrity divas like Patti LaBelle, Iman, Naomi Campbell and Chaka Khan.

11:00 P.M.* on CENTRIC

MOVIE: PREACHING TO THE CHOIR - A movie drama about two twins, who grow up in Harlem, N.Y. and take different paths when they reach adulthood. One becomes a minister - while the other becomes a gangster rapper. Starring: Tichina Arnold, Billoah Greene, Darien Sills-Evans, Novella Nelson, Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje, Janine Green, Patti LaBelle, and Eartha Kitt.

WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 30

10:30 P.M.* on CENTRIC

LEADING MEN: A half-hour original series that intimately chronicles the dynamic lives of celebrity trailblazers like Common, Hill Harper, Brian McKnight and Boris Kodjoe.

11:00 P.M.* on CENTRIC

DOCUMENTARY: NOTORIOUS B.I.G.: BIGGER THAN LIFE - The greatest rapper to ever pick up a mic - with his velvety flow and unparalleled rhyme style he captivated everyone from Jay Z to Tupac. Now Notorious B.I.G. is revealed. Hear the stories from his closest friends and some of the biggest names in Hip-Hop. See raw footage of B.I.G. free-styling on the streets of New York, rare home video footage, a never-before-seen interview with Biggie shortly before his death and undisclosed video footage from the night of his murder. Starring: Biggie, Common, Diddy, E-40, Sticky Fingaz, Jay-Z, Method Man, Raekwon, and Voletta Wallace.

THURSDAY, OCTOBER 1

2:00 P.M.* and 11:00 P.M.* on CENTRIC

MOVIE: Seat Filler - A law student, making ends meet by filling empty seats at award shows, occupies the seat of a high-powered entertainment attorney when he meets his dream girl, a gorgeous superstar who is performing at the event. Starring: Kelly Rowland, Duane Martin, Shemar Moore, Patrick Fischler, and Romy Rosemont.

6:00 P.M.* - 7:30 P.M.* on CENTRIC

SOUL STAGE - Soul-stirring music performances by neo-soul artists Erykah Badu, Jill Scott, and India.Arie.

*All times are ET/PT

About CENTRIC

CENTRIC is a 24-hour entertainment channel featuring originals, movies, music and reality programming that reflects the lifestyle and sophistication of today's African-American and multicultural adult viewer. Its compelling content infuses a unique mix of music, culture and style that embody the lives, tastes, and aspirations of the CENTRIC viewer: All You. All Day. All Night.

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 98 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 businesses 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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