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BET looking for shared-programming deal

For now, Viacom Inc.-owned Black Entertainment Television is just talking with sister networks about sharing programming.

BET executives said Tuesday that they've had conversations with Showtime to repurpose
the pay service's hit, Soul Food, and with Nickelodeon regarding a children's
block, but so far no deals have materialized.

BET already partners with CBS News for its news programming; CBS handles
production and operations for BET's Nightly News, while BET guides

It's possible that a United Paramount Network show could someday replay on BET.

"There are a lot of opportunities for synergy, but we have to look at how it
helps everybody," said Curtis Gadson, BET's executive vice president of
entertainment programming.

Viacom acquired BET last year for $3 billion.

For now, though, BET is touting its own original fall slate, which features
three new shows and a road tour for six current programs.

New programming includes Grilled, a music and comedy variety show;
talk show Cheryl and Friends, hosted by comic Cheryl Underwood; and
Table 12, a reality show centered around a mall. All three half-hour
shows debut in September.

Also part of the fall slate is "Road Tour 2002," on-location episodes of BET
series 106 & Park, Comic View, Bobby Jones Gospel, Teen Summit, Hits from
the Street
and the BET Nightly News. The road tour will visit eight
cities, including Atlanta, Houston and Detroit.