BET announced its upcoming slate of original programming at the Television Critics Association Winter Press tour early Wednesday, with Taraji P. Henson, Snoop Dogg, Ludacris, New Edition and Laurence Fishburne-related projects on deck at the cable channel.
Following the success of its mini-series Book of Negroes last year, BET returns to Africa in 2016 for Madiba, a six-hour miniseries based on the life of Nelson Mandela. Laurence Fishburne will play the late South African leader; the project is based on two Mandela books, Conversations With Myself and Nelson Mandela by Himself.
“BET is partnering with the Mandela family and his grandson, Kweku Mandela, to produce the series,” said Hill.
Currently in production is Music Moguls, described by Hill as a “raw look at the street savvy boardroom hustle and infamous lives of four music impresarios: Snoop Dogg, Birdman, Damon Dash and Jermaine Dupri.”
Additionally, Ludacris is executive-producing, Inside the Label, a docuseries about the lifespan of such record labels as T.I.’s Grand Hustle, Ruff Ryders with DMX and Andre Harrell’s Uptown.
“The show will follow the entrepreneurs, the artists, the insiders and key people involved in the creation of the music that’s defined us over the last quarter century,” said Hill.
Brandy’s new sitcom Zoe Ever After, premiered on BET this week.
Last, but not least, Henson will host the next BET Celebration of Gospel, the network’s annual gathering of gospel and secular artists making a joyful noise. “Obviously, this is Cookie repenting for all those ‘Empire’ sins,” cracked Hill.
Meanwhile, BET’s sister station Centric premieres From the Bottom Up this week, which follows five women trying to find their way back after very public falls from grace.
Hill and special guest Gabrielle Union announced that Being Mary Jane will return for a fourth season. It goes into production later this year in Atlanta.