BET Hits Ratings Paydirt with Lil’ Kim

Rap star Lil’ Kim may be in jail, but she’s still a big draw on television.

Black Entertainment Television’s March 9 debut of its new reality series, Lil’ Kim: Countdown to Lockdown, garnered a 1.7 Nielsen Media Research household rating -- a record performance for a BET series debut, according to the network.

The six-part series -- which tracks the final 14 days of freedom for the hip-hop diva before she entered prison on a perjury conviction -- was also the highest-rated cable original series among black households thus far in 2006, according to the network.

R. Thomas Umstead

R. Thomas Umstead serves as senior content producer, programming for Multichannel News, Broadcasting + Cable and Next TV. During his more than 30-year career as a print and online journalist, Umstead has written articles on a variety of subjects ranging from TV technology, marketing and sports production to content distribution and development. He has provided expert commentary on television issues and trends for such TV, print, radio and streaming outlets as Fox News, CNBC, the Today show, USA Today, The New York Times and National Public Radio. Umstead has also filmed, produced and edited more than 100 original video interviews, profiles and news reports featuring key cable television executives as well as entertainers and celebrity personalities.