BET is progressing with its initiatives to combat longstanding criticism that it airs low-grade programming without social commentary. Under the tutelage of Debra Lee and Reginald Hudlin, the network has invested in more original programming and staffed up its entertainment division in an attempt to get to the needs of the African American community, while growing viewership in the face of increasing competition.
The network has been stepping into new genres in an attempt to satisfy these sometimes conflicting goals. (see Development section).
With an increased original program slate and a fresh look at programming initiatives, BET is a great climate for new program ideas dealing with provocative African-American themes.
Programs and specials that deal with African-American lifestyle, family, beliefs, community issues and experiences are all viable for BET. Music is the core of many hours. As the network budget grows, so will the original content on air (as we have seen with sister networks such as MTV and VH1.)
The success of celebrity reality series KEYSHIA COLE and DMX opened up new programming options for BET development and the viewer. College reality series have done well and now celebrity formats of new and established African-American artists are drawing viewers. And competition reality has also seen its fair-share of programming successes.
Off-Network sitcoms and premium cable series.
PROGRAM SUBMISSION PROCESS:
The network does not accept any unsolicited material. You must be represented by an agent, attorney or production company. There are two programming divisions that accept submissions both on the east coast and the west coast offices. There is no e-mail submission process.
CABLEU NEED TO KNOW:
Keep watching as BET continues to expand its original program slate. The new vision at BET shows a willingness to invest in homemade comedies and dramas, turning away from the low-cost high-margin music videos and amateur comedians of the past. The new BET has a much bigger programming budget and a strategy that involves a major upgrade in original programming that they can own and repurpose across platforms.
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