BET unveiled its slate of new and returning series to advertisers at its upfront presentation in Los Angeles.
According to Deadline.com, Mara Brock Akil was front and center as her hit comedy series “The Game” was renewed for a seventh season, and her newest project, the Gabrielle Union drama “Being Mary Jane,” (originally picked up as a movie) was formally ordered to series.
Other new series pitched to advertisers include a revival of standup showcase “ComicView” after a five-year hiatus, a weekly talk show starring Bishop T.D. Jakes, and “Burns BBQ,” a reality series produced by Arthur Smith.
The network had the attendees on their feet with a performance by Chaka Khan, who sang her anthem “Tell Me Something Good.” With multiple cable networks, including OWN, looking to tap into the strong and loyal black TV audiences, BET’s president of original programming Loretha Jones touted the cable network as being “better connected” to the African-American community than any other network.
Below are details about BET and sibling Centric’s new series
BEING MARY JANE– From the producers of the award-winning, record breaking BET comedy THE GAME, GIRLFRIENDS and box-office hits JUMPING THE BROOM and SPARKLE comes an original series starring the gorgeous and talented Gabrielle Union. The series is a follow up to the release of the BEING MARY JANE movie of the week slated to launch on BET this summer. BEING MARY JANE is a story to which millions of modern women will both relate and respond. Mary Jane Paul is a one-woman-show: a successful TV news anchor, and an entirely self-sufficient powerhouse who remains devoted to a family that doesn’t share her motivation. Intense drama and unforgettable moments unfold as Mary Jane juggles her life, her relationships, her work, and commitments to her family. Starring: Gabrielle Union, Omari Hardwick, Lisa Vidal, Richard Roundtree, Richard Brooks, Aaron D. Spears and Margaret Avery. Executive Producers: Mara Brock Akil (also Creator) and Salim Akil. PREMIERE: 1st Quarter/2014
· BURNS BBQ – Being a small business doesn’t mean thinking small. This new unscripted reality series takes viewers into the daily operation of a long-standing family barbecue business changing hands from one generation to the next. But do the young self-involved entrepreneurs have what it takes to carry the torch and the family legacy? Production Co: A. Smith and Co. Productions. PREMIERE: 2Q/14
· COMIC VIEW – Some of our biggest names in comedy got their big break on the COMIC VIEW stage. The beloved original comedy series is back, reimagined for a new season on BET. Showcasing the best and brightest in stand-up, COMIC VIEW takes funny to a new level in 2014. Executive Producer: James Dubose. PREMIERE: 4Q/13
· T.D. JAKES PRESENTS: MIND, BODY & SOUL – BET brings better talk with spiritual leader, educator and humanitarian Bishop T.D. Jakes as host of a brand new talk show. Covering a wide range of topics including health and wellness, finance and relationships, Bishop Jakes unearths deeper conversations and insight on the topics that matter count on Bishop T.D. Jakes to take talk to another level every Sunday. Executive Producer: Marilyn H. Gill..