Ratings for New BET Series Back Net’s Faith in Gospel

Viewers sang the praises of Black Entertainment Television’s two new faith and gospel-themed original series during their respective Oct. 2 premieres.

BET officials said the network was pleased with the performance of Sunday Best, an American Idol-type competition reality series that seeks to find the next big gospel star, which averaged a 0.8 household rating and 835,000 viewers in its 8 p.m. premiere, according to Nielsen Media Research.

One hour later, Exalted!, which profiles well-known African-American evangelists such as prophetess Juanita Bynum, drew 1 million viewers and a 0.9 household rating. Both shows paced well above the network’s third-quarter household rating of 0.6 and 629,000 average viewership.

The two shows are part of the network’s fall schedule, which includes the launch of several other new and returning programs. The network will premiere on Oct. 23 College Hill: Interns, a spinoff of its successful College Hill reality series that follows 10 students participating in a summer internship program in Chicago.

BET will premiere the second annual BET Hip-Hop Awards show on Oct. 17, while retuning its popular celebreality series Keyshia Cole: The Way It Is for a second season Oct. 30.

Sister BET service BET J recently unveiled its fall lineup, which includes several reality and documentary shows.

On Oct. 26, the 28 million-subscriber network will premiere Living the Life of Marley, a reality series that follows the life of Ky-mani Marley, the son of reggae-music legend Bob Marley.

Starting Oct. 28, the network will also air The Best Shorts, a film competition that provides exposure to today’s emerging black filmmakers.

Shows premiering earlier this month include Tears, Shears & Beauty, a reality show that follows the quest of four barbers and four hair stylists to compete at the International Hair Show; Parallel Paths, an introspective show that bridges and parallels today’s hottest entertainment figures with their inspirational icons; Africana, a new series previewing African-themed films; and Timeless, a documentary series detailing the extraordinary lives and musical contributions of such artists as Babyface, Run DMC, Brian McKnight, LL Cool J, Mariah Carey and Queen Latifah.

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.