BET unveils its new and recurring programming at their annual Upfront Presentation
*et Networks, a Viacom company, the nation’s leading cable provider for African-Americans unveiled its new and recurring programming for 2013’s third and fourth quarter, and the first quarter of 2014. The BET Network unveiling included programming for Centric, a 24 hour entertainment channel for multi-cultural adult viewers.
Held in Chicago, New York and Los Angeles BET’s Upfront Presentation attracted some of the casts of the shows to support the network attempting to impress its potential advertisers and other needed supporters. In covering the Los Angeles presentation I was overjoyed with a performance by one my all time favorite female singers Chaka Khan. Then another favorite singer Gladys Knight spoke on her role on the BET series “First Family.”
“First Family” was renewed along with “Real Husbands of Hollywood,” the #1 sitcom on television for ages 18-49; “106 & Park,” with four hosts lead by the prince of Hip-Hop Bow Wow; “Let’s Stay Together,” “The Game,” with superstar Brandy still in leading role as Chardonnay, and “Bobby Jones Gospel.”
“I played a little football in middle school and high school,” said Jay Ellis who stars in the new season of “The Game” opposite Lauren London – his love interest – as a new NFL draft pick. On what we can expect in the new season of ‘The Game” Ellis said, “You get to see Blue move to San Diego and figure out what it’s like to be an athletic…and you get to see him meet his team mates for the first time and maybe fall in love.”
New programs include the original movie Being Mary Jane, starring Gabrielle Union, Omari Hardwick, Richard Roundtree, Margaret Avery and Lisa Vidal. The unscripted reality show “Burns BBQ” about a long-standing family barbecue business, “Comic View,” and “T.D. Jakes Presents: Mind, Body & Soul” are also new programs on BET.
Other familiar programming you can expect is “Apollo Live,” “Sunday Best,” and “The Sheards.” It was announced that their specials will return: BET Awards, BET Hip-Hop Awards, Black Girls Rock,” “Celebration of Gospel” and “The BET Honors.”
Centrics’ programming included “First family,” “Centric Certified” an emerging artist showcase, and “Centric Comedy All-Stars” featuring today’s hottest comedians. Its returning specials include Soul Train Awards and Centric Soul Weekend.
Sean Riggs’ demands attention in Cinemax’s ‘The Jump Off’ and Into the Wood – now on DVD
*Cinemax After Dark series of Zane’s, “The Jump Off,” is premiered March 29, 2013 and airs each Friday at 11:00 p.m. starring Sean Riggs (Stomp the Yard) as Ernest Bishop one of five professional men the series follows as they deal with the women in their lives. Riggs will also appear in the horror made-for-DVD film Into the Woods as David.
“Its part of a real story in Hollywood when people were disappearing and their body parts were found in the woods,” Sean Riggs pointed out about the film. “I play a playboy type…comic relief, that’s what he is.”
Sean said people know him most for his dramatic roles but he began his career in entertainment as a comedian, which he says can be seen in shorts on his YouTube channel SlapSillyTV.
“We’d open up for Step Shows and Talent Shows,” said the Chicago native about his crew, TDK, of comedians that traveled during and after his college days.
About the series based on Zane’s novel “The Jump Off” Riggs says, “It’s not baby mamma drama. We’re not depicted as just that, there’s an alternative level when money exist.”
“I’ve worked with Zane before in ‘Sex Chronicles’,” he added. “But I didn’t meet her until ‘The Jump Off’. I love the depth of the character. I said, ‘Wow.’ There is a lot of masculinity and what we go through. They are rich men…sometimes we don’t get a chance to be portrayed.”
Sean Riggs can also be seen in the recent made-for-DVD film Back Then starring Malinda Williams and the web-series “Borderline Coyotes” about three brothers working for the Mob in Los Angeles.
You can follow Sean on Twitter at @ChicagoRiggs.
Wendell James is ‘Raising Whitley’ in new reality show on OWN starring Kym Whitley, premieres April 20, 2013
*“People that know me know I been called her ‘Hollywood Husband’ in real life,” said Wendell James – actor, clothes designer, producer and former radio show host – about his appearance in the OWN Network docu-series. Wendell is part of a group of friends of the Emmy nominated comedian/actress, Kym Whitley, who adopts and is raising her new son Joshua Whitley. “Raising Whitley” premieres April 20, 2012 at 10:00 p.m.PT/9C.
“She has a core of people around her she calls her ‘village,’ ” James added. “I really play daddy to Joshua, I tell her who she should start dating…I was there for the adoption. He is now two years-old.”
Wendell James met Kym in 2004 when she was hired to host his new shirt line launch – Wendell’s Designs. The relationship grew until he was labeled her “Hollywood husband.” He produced and hosted his own radio show “Talking with Wendell;” acted in the Off-Broadway play “Sex, Relationships and Sometimes Love;” 35 & Ticking, Dirty Laundry, and producer of a multi-awarding winning documentary “Gang Girl.”
“I’d like to host a talk show about males, a male focus,” Wendell informed me when asked what he’d like to do that he hasn’t done yet. “Male fashion shows, same as ‘The View’ only flip it for males.”
You can watch a trailer to the docu-series, “Raising Whitley,” at www.OWN.com.
(Columnist: Eunice Moseley is a PR/media & promotions consultant, and as well as a syndicated entertainment columnist for over 20 years – www.ThePulseofEntertainment.com.)