Aug 27

The History of BET

Black Entertainment Television (BET), headquartered in Washington, D.C. and currently operates under the VIACOM umbrella.   With more than 90 million homes watching worldwide, it is the well-known station targeting African-American viewers.  It is also a leading provider of black American cultural and entertainment based programming, both of original creations, acquired properties and musical presentations.

After stepping down as a lobbyist for the cable industry, Freeport, Illinois native Robert L. Johnson decided to launch his own cable television network. Johnson would soon acquire a loan for $15,000, and earned a $500,000 investment from media executive John Malone to start the network.[3] The network, which was named Black Entertainment Television, launched on January 25, 1980.[4] Initially broadcasting for two hours a week as a block of programming on Nickelodeon (it would not be until 1983 that BET became a full-fledged channel), the network’s lineup consisted of music videos and reruns of popular black sitcoms.  (from Wikipedia)

BET has gained popularity with its’ vast black audience, but has faced a number of major African Americans critics such as syndicated columnist George Curry, cartoonist and television producer Aaron McGruder, movie director  and producer Spike Lee, and former Syracuse University professor Boyce Watkins. These critics and others denounced BET’s programming, claiming it promoted sexism and anti-intellectualism.

They also argued that showing rap and hip hop-oriented programming along with comedy programs either intentionally or inadvertently promoted anti-black stereotypes. BET founder Richard Johnson and Viacom executives claimed they were providing the programming the market demanded. In 2008 a number of prominent black ministers (“Enough is Enough”) publicly protested BET programming choices outside the network’s headquarters.

Enough is Enough supported a 2008 report “The Rap on Rap” by the Parents Television Council that argued that BET’s rap programming, which they believed contained gratuitous sexual, violent and profane content, was targeting children and teens.

The controversy continued in 2010, when BET co-founder Sheila Johnson said she is “ashamed” of what the network has become. “I don’t watch it. I suggest to my kids that they don’t watch it,” she said. “When we started BET, it was going to be the Ebony magazine on television. We had public affairs programming. We had news.

The criticism has not impacted the growth and acceptance of BET and the various shows and programs they have created.  In 2013, it is reported that 79.82% of households with television receive the BET network.  However, there is no information available as to what percentage of those households chose to get the network, or receive the network as part of a larger cable package.

According to the sales material, “BET provides contemporary entertainment that speaks to young Black adults from an authentic, unapologetic viewpoint of the Black experience. BET connects with its target audience in a way no other media outlet can providing hit music, entertainment and news programming that is reflective of their experiences.  Our outstanding mega-specials keep viewers regularly tuned in for the latest and greatest in Black entertainment.”

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Sep 18

10 new fall TV shows worthy of a look — and 5 duds — The Detroit News

It’s a time-honored rite harking back to an era of black-and-white TVs and the trio of networks whose programs they delivered: the grand unveiling of new fall fare. As part of the ritual, this newest fall crop is an occasion pertaining to handicapping the good and the misfires.

Granted, it’s a risky business to rate a new series’ leads on the basis of its pilot episode, that is typically the only thing critics need to go on. But even if it doesn’t guarantee a great series will follow, a pilot must at least trigger interest in a level to get viewers to return the second week. Here are 10 new collection that might catch your fancy:

“Red Band Society” (Fox; premieres Sept. 17). A group of teenagers meet as patients in the pediatric ward of a Los Angeles hospital. Sure, a show that will gathers kids to frolic, flirt and even face death sounds like “Glee” without the jazz hands. But what could have been an over-glossed rendering of life’s gravest moments instead comes with heart and a dose of genuineness that ground the good times.

“Gotham” (Fox; September. 22). In an market where nothing is a sure point, fall’s most-awaited show by the most-desirable demo would seem to be a sure point. “Gotham” turns out to be not only an “origin series” about Batman but also a humdinger of a noir crime thriller. Rolling back the clock to when Bruce Wayne was a kid and his alter ego was years from being conceived, the collection lays the groundwork for the Batman myth while introducing not-yet-Commissioner James Gordon (played by Ben McKenzie) as a rookie cop.

“The Mysteries of Laura” (NBC; Sept. 24). Debra Messing stars as a brilliant, rules-breaking NYPD homicide detective and harried single mother whose alienated detective-husband becomes her boss (awkward! ). Messing (“Will & Grace”) has an indisputable gift for comedy. Here she’s arresting as a brassy, disheveled cop in a series that will clearly wants to match the light-comedy tone of the long-ago “Columbo. ” “Mysteries” has its cops-and-robbers element, but it’s mostly helter-skelter fun.

“Black-ish” (ABC; Sept. 24). The versatile Anthony Anderson superstars as Andre, a determined patriarch who sets out to restore (or could it be establish? ) a sense of cultural identification for his middle-class African-American family members which, he worries, is ethnically unmoored. Andre’s concern isn’t distributed by his biracial wife, Rainbow (Tracee Ellis Ross), or their particular four kids. But Andre frets about “keeping it real. ” This is a clever premise, whose black-centricity has plenty to say about the advantages and disadvantages of assimilation by any group. It’s a lot of Deep Thoughts loaded into a fluffy sitcom, but “black-ish” seems up to the challenge.

“How to Get Away With Murder” (ABC; Sept. 25). A legendary attorney is definitely fearless in the courtroom representing society’s worst criminals. Then she’s fearless in the classroom as she drills a no-holds-barred philosophy of regulation into her students — and she selects a group of her top learners to work at her law firm, exactly where they fall under her spell because they help tackle her toughest instances. “Murder” promises to be twisty, evil, dark and fun. And it superstars Viola Davis, who brings existence to a character of endless computations and mystery.

“Manhattan Love Story” (ABC; September. 30). Girl satisfies guy in the Big Apple. She’s new in town and full of romantic yearnings. He’s a true Gothamite who lifestyles the sporting life. And of course opposites attract. Meanwhile, the audience is definitely privy to their innermost thoughts about dating and other pressing matters with the characters’ voiceovers. This “Love Tale, ” starring winsome Analeigh Tipton and wisecracking Jake McDorman, touches the heart and, more important, the funny bone.

“Bad Judge” (NBC; Oct. 2). Good judge, bad gal: That’s the character Kate Walsh discusses on this new sitcom. Judge Rebecca Wright is unforgiving on the along with but an unapologetic party pet elsewhere. Walsh presides with little judicial restraint on a show you will find guilty of selective raciness and lots of laughs.

“The Flash” (CW, Oct. 7). A young man named Craig Allen awakens from a coma after being struck by lightning, only to find he has the power of superspeed. Ipso facto, he becomes a superhero. It’s more complicated, of course , but what actually matters is: This version of a comic-book stud feels refreshingly re-thought, and should satisfy fans, as well as individuals who have never found their way to the Flash ethos. It stars Give Gustin (“Glee, ” “Arrow”) who seem to, in his grand unveiling as Barry’s fleet-footed alter ego, eschews the particular familiar red long johns in support of a different uniform. Message: This is a new brand of Flash.

“Jane the Virgin” (CW, Oct. 13). The one-line description of this series seems like a cruelty joke: Jane Villanueva, a good effervescent young Miami woman with her eyes trained on the future and her knees clamped focus together, is mistakenly impregnated with a specimen meant for someone else. And to put in a further twist, the specimen came from the owner of the luxury hotel that employs Jane as a waitress. The wonder of the series is that it feels fully credible, authentic and delightful, unfolding inside a multicultural world with the irresistible Gina Rodriguez in the title role. Time will tell if its fantastic ambitions outstrip its ability to provide, but in the short term, it works in the thing a TV series rarely does: It keeps you guessing what will happen next.

“Marry Me” (NBC, Oct. 14). Jake and Annie are a modern version of George Burns and Gracie Allen. Annie is flighty. Jake is definitely settled and eternally amused simply by Annie’s zaniness. Except that, as opposed to George and Gracie, Jake and Annie aren’t yet married, or perhaps engaged — just dating pertaining to six-years-and-counting, with Annie more than ready for Jake to pop the question. With this slender premise hang the ample comic gifts of co-stars Ken Marino and Casey Wilson, not forgetting those of series creator David Caspe, whose fast-paced, clever style was first displayed in his hilarious sitcom “Happy Endings, ” in which Wilson, now his real-life bride, starred.

The bottom five

While the new transmit season will bring many potential pleasures, a handful of fall entries fall much short. Fair warning from a critic looking out for you:

“Stalker” (CBS, premieres Oct. 1). Violence Porn packaged as crime drama. Maggie Q and Dylan McDermott co-star within what’s billed as a “psychological thriller” about the Threat Assessment Unit of the LAPD. The cases that this pair of detectives investigates include voyeurism, internet harassment and romantic fixation, which usually, of course , only fetishizes such depravity-of-the-week as each episode goes through the particular motions of condemning it. Item: The first episode begins with a shouting woman burned alive in her car by her stalker. Series creator Kevin Williamson has taken care of immediately criticism by saying if audiences think “Stalker” crosses the line, they should “change the channel. ” Specifically. Before the show starts.

“A to Z” (NBC, Oct. 2). Lady meets guy. Tedium results. A rom-com whose stars (Cristin Milioti and Ben Feldman) are trapped in a gimmicky format: a “comprehensive account” of their nearly nine-month online dating relationship, as we are told towards the top of the show, “from A to Z. ” Together, they spell “lack of chemistry. ”

“Mulaney” (Fox, Oct. 5). It’s a comedy starring stand-up comic John Mulaney as a stand-up comic named Steve. Clearly, this show is just perishing to be the next “Seinfeld. ” But problems block the way: “Seinfeld” was done, for all times, a quarter-century ago; Mulaney is no Jerry Seinfeld; there’s no Larry David mojo. Plus “Mulaney” isn’t funny.

“Cristela” (ABC, Oct. 10). Standup comic Cristela Alonzo stars in a family sitcom based on her life and Mexican-American heritage. She’s working multiple work as she plods through regulation school and resides in a light headed household with her sister, brother-in-law, their two kids and her mother. Zingers fly and stereotypes rule. You’ve seen it all before. Why begin again?

“State of Affairs” (NBC, Nov. 17). The good thing for this new drama: It isn’t likely to be the first fall series to be terminated. With its belated premiere date, at least one other dud should have fallen from the wayside by the time it arrives. In other hands, the basic idea might have made a good show. A daily briefing paper is prepared for the president list the most urgent security issues as judged by a group of CIA experts. But on “State of Matters, ” that all-important team is definitely led by “Grey’s Anatomy” expat Katherine Heigl who, to make matters even more laughable, reports for am employed at 2 a. m. after having drunkenly bedded a guy she fulfilled at a bar just a few hours previously. As president, the fine celebrity Alfre Woodard is stuck with top the country while not succumbing to this dramatic poppycock. It’s a losing proposition. Count number “State of Affairs” among the fall’s funniest new comedies, however unintentionally and short-lived.

Network premiere dates

Sept. 10: “Hell’s Kitchen” (8 p. m., Fox)

Sept. 14: “The Roosevelts: An Intimate History” (8 p. m., PBS)

Sept. 15: “Dancing With The Stars” (8 p. meters., ABC)

September. 16: “New Girl” (9 p. m., Fox), “The Mindy Project” (9: 30 p. m., Fox)

Sept. 17: “Red Band Society”

(9 p. m., Fox)

Sept. 21: “Madam Secretary” (8 p. meters., CBS), “The Good Wife” (9 p. m., CBS)

Sept. 22: “The Big Bang Theory” (8 p. m., CBS), “The Voice” (8 p. m., NBC), “Gotham” (8 p. m., Fox), “Sleepy Hollow” (9 p. m., Fox), “Scorpion” (9 p. m., CBS), “The Blacklist” (10 p. meters., NBC)

September. 23: “NCIS” (8 p. m., CBS), “Marvel’s Brokers of S. H. I. E. L. D. ” (9 p. m., ABC), “NCIS: New Orleans” (9 p. m., CBS), “Chicago Fire” (10 p. m., NBC), “Person of Interest” (10 p. m., CBS), “Forever” (10 p. m., ABC)

Sept. 24: “The Middle” (8 p. m., ABC), “Survivor” (8 p. m., CBS), “The Mysteries of Laura” (8 p. m., NBC), “The Goldbergs” (8: 30 p. m., ABC), “Law and Order: SVU” (9 p. m., NBC), “Modern Family” (9 p. m., ABC), “Black-ish” (9: 30 p. m., ABC), “Chicago P. D. ” (10 p. m., NBC), “Nashville” (10 p. m., ABC)

Sept. 25: “Bones” (8 p. m., Fox), “Grey’s Anatomy” (8 p. meters., ABC), “Scandal” (9 p. meters., ABC), “Parenthood” (10 p. meters., NBC), “How to Get Away With Murder” (10 p. m., ABC)

Sept. twenty six: “The Amazing Race” (8 p. m., CBS), “Shark Tank” (8 p. m., ABC), “Hawaii Five-0″ (9 p. meters., CBS), “Dateline” (9 p. meters., NBC), “20/20″ (10 p. meters., ABC), “Blue Bloods” (10 p. m., CBS)

Sept. 27: “48 Hours” (10 p. m., CBS)

Sept. twenty-eight: “The Simpsons” (8 p. m., Fox), “Once Upon a Time” (8 p. meters., ABC), “Brooklyn Nine-Nine” (8: thirty p. m., Fox), “Resurrection” (9 p. m., ABC), “Family Guy” (9 p. m., Fox), “CSI: Crime Scene Investigation” (10 p. m., CBS), “Revenge” (10 p. m., ABC)

Sept. 29: “Mom” (8: 30 p. m., CBS), “NCIS: Los Angeles” (10 p. m., CBS), “Castle” (10 p. m., ABC)

Sept. 30: “Selfie” (8 p. m., ABC), “Manhattan Love Story” (8: 30 p. m., ABC)

Oct. 1: “Criminal Minds” (9 p. m., CBS), “Stalker” (10 p. m., CBS)

Oct. two: “The Vampire Diaries” (8 p. m., CW), “Bad Judge” (9 p. m., NBC), “A To Z” (9: thirty p. m., NBC), “Gracepoint” (9 p. m., Fox), “Reign” (9 p. m., CW)

Oct. 3: “Last Man Standing” (8 p. m., ABC)

Oct. 5: “Bob’s Burgers” (7: 30 p. meters., Fox), “Mulaney” (9: 30 p. m., Fox)

Oct. 6: “The Originals” (8 p. m., CW)

Oct. seven: “The Flash” (8 p. m., CW), “Supernatural” (9 p. m., CW)

Oct. 8: “Arrow” (8 p. m., CW),

Oct. 10: “Cristela” (8: thirty p. m., ABC)

Oct. 13: “Jane the Virgin” (9 p. m., CW)

Oct. 14: “Marry Me” (9 p. m., NBC), “About a Boy” (9: thirty p. m., NBC)

Oct. 17: “America’s Next Top Model” (9 p. m., CW)

Oct. 22: “The 100″ (9 p. meters., CW)

Oct. 24: “Grimm” (9 p. m., NBC), “Constantine” (10 p. m., NBC)

Oct. 27: “2 Broke Girls” (8 p. m., CBS)

Oct. 30: “The Millers” (8: 30 p. meters., CBS), “Two and a Half Men” (9 p. m., CBS), “The McCarthys” (9: 30 p. m., CBS), “Elementary” (10 p. m., CBS)

Nov. seventeen: “State of Affairs” (10 p. m., NBC)

Contra Costa Times

This latest fall plants is an occasion for handicapping the great and the misfires.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Push. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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U. K. TV series take root in Acorn streaming service – Salt Lake Tribune

This photo provided by RLJ Entertainment/Acorn TV shows Michael Kitchen, left, since Christopher Foyle and Honeysuckle Days as Sam Wainwright, in a picture from “Foyle’s War. ” The show is available on DVD and Acorn TV. (AP Photo/RLJ Entertainment/Acorn TV, Bernard Walsh)

U. K. TV series take root in Acorn loading service

Media » Faced with industry changes, company buys rights to British shows, produces others.

Here™s an offbeat mystery: Why did detective Hercule Poirot™s final U. S. small-screen bow come not on his familiar stage, PBS, but on a market website devoted to streaming British whodunits and dramas?

And why did Robert T. Johnson, the business mogul who launched Black Entertainment Television and offered it to Viacom for $3 billion, buy Acorn Media Group and gladden the hearts of Anglophiles everywhere?

The answers lie in a company™s reinvention of alone when faced with industry changes that presented both threat and chance.

That™s exactly how Acorn Media Group viewed the particular advent of streamed content on Netflix and elsewhere several years ago, when the “lines between broadcast and home video became more blurry, ” said Miguel Penella, CEO of RLJ Entertainment Inc. and former leader of Acorn Media.

The expansion by traditional TV and online outlets in to streaming represented increased competition in order to Acorn Media, founded in 1984 as Atlas Video to sell documentaries on videocassettes.

If PBS, for example , were to air flow the final Poirot TV movies and retain streaming rights for two yrs, that could “cannibalize” Acorn Media™s 21st-century version of home video sales, including DVD and Blu-ray, Penella said.

The company™s move in July 2011 has been to launch its own streaming support, Acorn. TV, and gain further control over content by buying up mental property rights and co-producing series.

So far, that™s given Acorn dibs on the 3 concluding TV films about Agatha Christie™s famed sleuth, including “Curtain: Poirot™s Last Case, ” and made it home to popular series including “Foyle™s War, ” “Doc Martin” and Australia™s “Miss Fisher™s Murder Mysteries. ”

The company™s control of Christie™s work is especially firm. Before it was acquired by RLJ Entertainment, Acorn Media bought a majority interest in Agatha Christie Limited, which owns and represents the late author™s directory that includes 80 novels and short-story collections, 19 plays and a large number of TV movies.

This past week brought the release associated with “The Monogram Murders” by Sophie Hannah, the first Christie family-approved brand new Poirot novel. Up next in the franchise: a new TV movie adaptation of “Murder on the Orient Communicate, ” in development with Sibel.

story continues below

Brad Adgate, a TV analyst with Horizon Press, said RLJ Entertainment™s approach suits a changing industry and decorative mirrors the evolution of cable channels from rerun havens to a a lot more competitive approach.

Acorn TV and other loading video websites are “following a programming strategy originated by wire networks several years ago, which is a combination of acquired and original content, ” Adgate said.

The primary competitors to Acorn are BBC America and PBS™ “Masterpiece” showcase, although public TV isn™t being snubbed, according to Penella. For instance, this individual said, individual deals are being made with public stations to air the particular Poirot films by year™s end, with the majority of U. S. marketplaces covered.

“We want consumers to see Acorn TV as an add-on to their entertainment options. We don™t see it as a substitute meant for ˜Masterpiece Theatre™ or Netflix or even Amazon Prime” or DVDs, Penella said.

Acorn™s target demographic is 40-plus-year-old customers who are educated, affluent and avid readers. The popularity of programs such as “Sherlock” and “Dr. Who” has begun to pull in younger viewers, Penella said.

Although programs like “Sherlock” may draw several million viewers in order to PBS, Acorn TV™s paid customer base is 100, 000-plus ” not impressive, but more than 4 times what it was a year ago. An annual subscription is about $50.

Johnson, that in October 2012 bought Acorn Media Group for $108 mil in cash and stock and combined it with independent film-oriented Image Entertainment as RLJ Amusement Inc., said he is confident Acorn has a “tremendous opportunity to grow. inch

“This is an exciting time within the industry, as well as the Internet and its digital viewing platform allows for thousands of voices to be noticed, ” Johnson said in a declaration.

Copyright 2014 The Salt Lake Tribune. All rights set aside. This material may not be published, transmit, rewritten or redistributed.

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