*Former BET host of “Don’t Sleep!” may not be sleeping well himself these days. He doesn’t have a job! The journalist announced that he’s an official free agent.
Last Thursday, BET finally succumbed to the pressure of telling fans that “Don’t Sleep” wasn’t going to return for another season, reports Richard Prince’s Journal-isms.
According to R. Thomas Umstead for the Multichannel News, ratings continued to remain low for the show as it aired weeknights.
“After generating a series-high 1 million viewers for its Oct. 9 episode, the series averaged less than 400,000 viewers before being revamped into a weekly, one-hour format on Nov. 14. The last new episode of the series aired Dec. 19.”
But BET has not canceled the show.
Holmes told Journal-isms by telephone, “I will never, ever regret thinking that my heart was in the right place,” a young black man taking his skills “to do something that was not being done for our community,” that is, providing a daily news show geared toward African Americans. “You learn from the mistakes, there are questions I should have asked, things that should have been cleared up,” but reaching the black community in that way was “an opportunity I would love to have” again, Holmes said.
*The show may have downsized from five nights a week to one, but BET’s “Don’t Sleep” continues to fight the good fight with CNN transplant and West Memphis, Arkansas native Loutelious “T.J.” Holmes at the helm.
The journalist, 35, says there are aspects other than his real name that viewers have yet to discover.
“I’m a University of Arkansas grad, got my broadcast journalism degree, spent three years in Little Rock, chasing around Governor Huckabee, went to NBC out in the Bay Area for a few years, CNN for 5 years. And now I get to sit here in this room with you fine folks talking about the next venture in my career,” Holmes told us during interviews for “Don’t Sleep,” which now airs on Wednesdays at 11 p.m.
Below, Holmes explains why his fate “was sealed at birth.”
*T.J. Holmes, host of BET’s “Don’t Sleep” recently chatted about the show’s recent changes with the Power 105.1 Breakfast Club.
After debuting only a month-and-a-half ago, the news talk show went from a four-night-per-week half-hour broadcast to a one-hour weekly series.
Some say BET made a hasty decision to shorten T.J.’s TV time and should have let the show, aimed at 25-34-year-olds, grow a little more before making changes.
“I didn’t know where BET was on my cable lineup when they called and started talking about the show,” he said. The former CNN anchor also admitted during the interview that he broke his pledge to never use the N-word again.
“As soon as I walk out of this room, I’m probably going to drop it 20 times before I get downstairs,” Holmes, 35, said on “The Breakfast Club,” New York’s WWPR-FM, which calls itself Power 105.1. “I went through a thing about giving up the N-Word,” but “I had to bring it back.” Holmes agreed with one of the show’s hosts, known as ‘Charlamagne Tha God,’ that “there’s just certain folks you run into and there ain’t no other word you can come up with . . . We all know it’s a vile, it’s a disgusting word and I don’t think it necessarily should have a place.”
He added that the word has been commercialized and its historical effect has worn off on this generation.
*Last week BET announced the ironic shrinking and expansion of T.J. Holmes’ late night show “Don’t Sleep!,” claiming the demand for great, solid programming is high.
But the move may have been a bit premature or the time slot is completely off.
According to reports, the show is looming over the trashcan as ratings aren’t reinforcing the good idea.
For some reason, the network could blame the viewers for not showing up if the show gets canceled. But let us remember the hour in which this progressive current issues show broadcasts.
The show’s failing ratings could also be that the expansion was too much too fast. Perhaps the half-hour was good enough, and the team executed that amount of time well.
In a piece called “Who’s to Blame for Sleeping on ‘Don’t Sleep!’? Not the Viewers,” Rahiel Tesfamariam of the Washington Post suggests “bite-sized doses until they being to yearn for its taste on their own.”
She also writes, “The threat of too much of a good thing becoming a bad thing” particularly holds for BET’s efforts to push forth socially conscious material to an audience whose palate has largely been cultivated for junk.
Basically, positive, thought-provoking content is like trying to get a druggie to go cold turkey. It doesn’t work. Rehab is a process, a slow one.
*BET’s “Don’t Sleep,” hosted by former CNN anchor T.J. Holmes, just got the official word that the new nighttime show would be expanded to a full one-hour experience; but only once a week.
Critics, however, doubted the show would be of this world too much longer. But network president Stephen Hill says it’s become a fan favorite.
“You can check your Twitter #BETDontSleep,” Hill told AlwaysAList.com. “The number of people who have asked for this show to be one hour is incredible. That is absolutely for real. Because of other commitments, we couldn’t do an hour nightly. We also weren’t getting as deep into issues as we wanted to in a half of an hour. If it was going to be canceled, the show would have just been canceled. What we really want to do is make a great weekly show that digs a bit deeper and respects our audience’s intelligence by getting into subjects with real meaning in a meaningful way. Having an hour weekly is the way we’re hoping to get that done.”
*Hmm, maybe T.J. Holmes‘ late night show “Don’t Sleep” is not the snoozer some think it is. Apparently BET thinks it’s a hit.
So much so that the network expanded the show to a full hour beginning tomorrow (11-14-12), at 11pm Eastern. However, the show will only air on a weekly basis.
Hold up. Wait a minute, you go from doing a half-hour nightly edition to a one-day-a-week hour long version. Hmm, is that a promotion or demotion?
Well, while you ponder that, the net’s press release says the “award-winning journalist reaches deep into topics, empowering the community with the latest information and research. With an extra hour, imagine the possibilities of mind-expansion.”
Yes, imagine the possibilities. And what does T. J. Holmes have to say about the move?
“I am excited to have more time to delve into the topics that affect our community, content that will ignite, inspire, educate and empower us as a passionate collective and community,” he said. “The election proved people of color are a coveted segment within society with voices that deserve and require platforms and time to be heard so resolve and solutions can be implemented towards greater change.”