BET Networks Wednesday named CW programming executive Traci Lynn Blackwell as its executive vice president of scripted programming.
Blackwell will oversee original scripted programming development and casting for BET and its recently-launched streaming service BET+, according to network officials. The announcement comes as the network launches two new series tonight -- Sistas and The Oval -- which is part of the network’s new multi-year production deal with prolific producer Tyler Perry.
Blackwell comes to BET from the CW, where she most recently served as senior vice president of current programs for the network, overseeing the day-to-day creative production for such network shows as Supergirl, Jane The Virgin, Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, Black Lightning, Roswell: New Mexico, Legacies and All American.
“Traci brings an incredible breadth and depth of experience in scripted programming that will be invaluable for BET Networks as we advance our catalog of scripted IP,” said BET Networks president Scott Mills in a statement. “BET is in a transformational moment, creating scripted programming for multiple BET platforms as well as for third-parties. Traci’s meticulous approach to managing a diverse array of scripted projects is perfectly suited to our content strategy. It’s an enormous pleasure to welcome her to our BET family.”
The announcement follows the network’s promotion of BET programming veteran Connie Orlando to executive vice president of specials, music programming & music strategy, responsible for the development of BET Networks’ linear and digital music strategy.
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.
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