BET Networks Announces Exclusive Partnership With "The Game" Executive Producers Salim and Mara Brock Akil
Multi-year programming deal to include new shows
NEW YORK, May 12, 2011 -- Coming off of THE GAME's record-breaking series premiere that drew 7.7 million viewers and becoming the #1 sitcom in ad-supported cable TV history, BET Networks has announced an unprecedented multi-year agreement with Salim and Mara Brock Akil. In addition to their current roles as executive producers and director for THE GAME, the husband and wife team, through Akil Productions, will develop new shows for BET Networks.
"We're thrilled to build on the very important relationship between our network and the Hollywood creative community, especially with two proven powerhouses in entertainment - Salim and Mara Brock Akil," said Loretha Jones, President of Original Programming at BET Networks. "Through this partnership we hope to continue to bring our audience high quality content that reflects their lives and our communities."
"Our goal is to expand on our existing brand, by way of Akil Productions, to create new opportunities for ourselves and others," said the Akils. "BET has provided us with a tremendous platform to create smart, funny and dramatic, quality programming with multi-layered and multi-dimensional characters appealing to millions of viewers."
Mara Brock Akil created THE GAME and executive produced the series with Salim, who also directed. Salim recently made his feature film directorial debut with JUMPING THE BROOM, which stars Laz Alonso, Paula Patton and Angela Bassett and opened as the country's #1 comedy. In 2000, Mara created and executive produced the hit series, GIRLFRIENDS, which currently airs on BET.
Mara Brock Akil and Salim Akil are represented by ICM and Morris Yorn Barnes Levine Krintzman Rubenstein & Kohner.
About BET Networks
BET Networks, a subsidiary 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 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.