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.”

Apr 18

On 106 Tonight: Tracy Morgan!

Get your scoop on who’s on 106 tonight!

Apr 17

TV Picks: ‘Orphan Black, ‘ ‘The Good Wife, ‘ David Letterman – Los Angeles Times

‘Orphan Black. ‘ Clone club members, rejoice; the second season of BBC America’s surprise sci-fi hit has returned, with a star that continues to charm in her ability to inhabit several characters and story lines that grow more thrilling and provocative with each episode. While much of the first season was devoted to establishing the complicated premise — a new, brash grifter named Sarah (Tatiana Maslany) discovers that she is certainly one of a group of clones created for mysterious reasons and in danger on many fronts–the second season digs deeper into the meaning, both actual and philosophical, of the experiment.

Beginners to the series would be best served catching up via Amazon Best because creators Graeme Mason and John Fawcett are not given to internal recapping; they’re far too interested in pressing the plot further. The look for Sarah’s young daughter Kira, that has gone missing, along with Sarah’s former foster mother, Mrs. S. (Maria Doyle Kennedy), drives the A-plot, but each clone is on the journey of her own. Anxious soccer mom Alison is coming to conditions with her role in the loss of life of a neighbor, scientist Cosima is usually forging an uneasy alliance using the neolutionists, who may or may not have been behind Project Leda, which may or may not have produced the particular clones, while Rachael appears to be more driving force than monitored subject. Meanwhile, the murderous anti-cloning team, the Prolethians, comes into clearer focus, and each woman desperately tries to discover someone to trust. Grounding the group, and the series, in reality, humor and fantastic outfits, is Sarah’s foster sibling Felix, played by the brilliant Michael jordan Garvaris.

CRITICS’ PICKS: What to watch, where to go, what to eat

You see how hard it is to clarify. Maslany’s astonishing performance — each clone is a fully realized and distinct character — provided the particular series’ initial draw, but it’s the show’s ability to balance just as a lot of tones — pathos and hilarity, violence and tenderness — while exploring questions of identity, technology, religion and responsibility that make “Orphan Black” television that is both fun and astonishing. BBC America, Saturdays, nine p. m.

‘The Good Wife. ‘ Has left the building. The astonishing death of Will Gardner a couple weeks ago sent this always satisfying but now genuinely thrilling drama in order to DEFCON 1 by stirring the particular often overly sedate female heroes into furious glory. After spending nearly six seasons dithering between her feelings for Will and her husband (Chris Noth), Alicia (Julianna Margulies) seems on the verge of breakdown and breakthrough, literally laying down the law to everyone around her. Back at Lockhart/Gardner, Diane (Christine Baranski) is fighting for her life, while Kalinda (Archie Panjabi) offers ammunition and (oh, wouldn’t this be grand? ) mends her friendship with Alicia.

Michael J. Fox’s canny attorney is back this week, as a potential alternative to Will and contender for control, but it’s the sudden fierce women alliance that will make the remainder of this period must-watch television. CBS, Sundays, nine p. m.

‘Late Night With David Letterman. ‘ Stephen Colbert, Letterman’s newly named successor, appointments the house he will inherit sometime the coming year on Tuesday. There is just absolutely no way this won’t be hilarious. CBS, Wednesday, 11: 30 p. m.

VIDEO: Stephen Colbert out of character

‘Game of Thrones. ‘ Ruler Joffrey is dead, long reside the …. many scheming those who want to be/control the king.

A mere two weeks into the new season of HBO’s astonishingly ambitious and consistently amazing adaptation of George R. R. Martin’s fantasy epic, everything is different and gloriously the same. Here there be dragons and sadistic boy kings, undead White-colored Walkers and a Wilding army through beyond the pale, but also the queen with an army of liberated slaves, a dwarf prince at this point noble where he was once debauched, and a crippled child capable, possibly, of saving all. For wintertime is coming and the armies that still vie for the Iron Tub are now united in the peril of things beyond imagining.

The rich and morally bankrupt Lannisters still control King’s Getting — Joffrey had a brother, after all. But having disposed of their many imminent threat — Rob Stark — at the infamous Red Wedding, the Lannisters now know what it’s like to have nuptials interrupted simply by murder. And the ultimate family department — as he died, the loathsome Joffrey pointed in accusation in his uncle Tyrion (Peter Dinklage). As Tyrion is one of 3 characters who “Game of Thrones” cannot afford to kill, what on Earth will happen next? HBO, Sundays, 9 p. meters.

‘A Day Late and a Dollar Short. ‘ Whoopi Goldberg prospects an adaptation of Terry McMillan’s novel as the matriarch of a huge and wildly troubled family, attempting to pull them together before the lady croaks. It’s as soap operatic a premise as it gets, but between McMillian’s willingness to explore tough topics, Goldberg’s too-often forgotten ability to wed humor with pathos as well as a universally fine cast, “A Time Late and a Dollar Short” will be the kind of feel-bad, feel-good tale that easily connects with many. Lifetime, Saturday, 8 p. m.


Tatiana no longer a face in a crowd

Talking TV: ‘Game of Thrones’ is back

Josh Charles trades ‘Good Wife’ for ‘Foodroom’

An earlier version of this post stated season one of “Orphan Black” was available on Netflix; it really is available on Amazon Prime.

Apr 17

Columbus Short’s Wife Accuses Him of Threatening Murder

Scandal actor ordered to stay away from his estranged wife.

Apr 15

Report Projects Health Care Costs to Dip Slightly

Obamacare haters won’t like this.

Apr 13

‘Mad Men’ respectful with details from the past – Tbo. com

There’s lots about AMC’s “Mad Men” to enjoy, from the beautiful cinematography to a protagonist slowly descending into existential crisis, and characters with an amazing ability to run an award winning ad agency while pounding tumblers of whisky all day.

The series, which starts its seventh and final season Sunday, has an impressive devotion to traditional accuracy, especially in the details, which creator Matthew Weiner has said go as far as ensuring the ice cubes floating in every that booze are the correct, 1960s ice cube shape.

That detail makes picking aside the show’s dialogue a lot of fun; actually seemingly inconsequential lines are packed with historical tidbits, hidden throughout the show’s 78 episodes like Easter eggs.

To get you ready for the premiere, we’ve watched every episode, checked the facts, and plucked out there a few of our favorite, weird, real-life background lessons about the ’60s. Here they are:

♦ HoJo’s was really well-known… as a restaurant? In the episode “Faraway Places” usually stoic adman Wear Draper is nearly giddy in stating, “I love Howard Johnson’s, ” before a disastrous trip to expose less-than-thrilled wife Megan to their favorites — HoJo’s orange sherbet and fried clams.

Today it’s hard to believe a cool cat like Don would be caught dead under that garish orange roof, but before they were comedians’ go-to for the purpose of jokes about lame hotels, Howard Johnson’s was one of America’s most beloved restaurants with nearly one, 000 locations, said Anthony Sammarco, author of “A History of Howard Johnson’s. ”

“(Howard Johnson) found a way to ensure that no matter what Howard Johnson’s you were in, the food felt the same, ” Sammarco said. It was a pioneering idea that fast-food stores such as McDonald’s ran with as their popularity overtook sit-down restaurants for the purpose of eating on the road. Only two unique HoJo’s remain in operation, and only the one in Lake Placid, N. Con., still has an orange roof. A fried clam plate, less than $2 in Draper’s time, costs $13. 95 there today.

♦ Marriage over? Just strike a “divorce ranch. ” Within the closing moments of Season a few, we see soon-to-be-ex Mrs. Draper, Betty, taking the advice of the girl divorce lawyer and hopping a flight to Reno, Nev., but why?

Divorce laws were much stricter in the time of Wear and Betty’s breakup, with some states, such as the Drapers’ New York, requiring cement proof of adultery in the form of photos or even eyewitnesses. Not Nevada, though. The state legalized what was known as the “Reno cure, ” a quickie divorce that was as simple as establishing residency for the purpose of six weeks and making one quick trip to a courthouse.

The particular practice proved so popular that ambitious Nevadans established a booming company of “divorce ranches, ” exactly where thousands (mostly women) passed their particular stays riding horses, gambling and lounging poolside with other hopeful divorcees. Some of those who didn’t bring a “spare, ” as Betty’s partner Henry Francis would have been recognized, were looking for romance. “As a single man at age 22, when I went to work there, I thought I died and went to heaven, ” said Bill McGee, co-author of “The Separation and divorce Seekers: A Photo Memoir of a The state of nevada Dude Wrangler. ”

♦ Jai alai wanted to be our national pastime. In “The Preparations, ” a client pitches the Basque sport to the Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce team in 1964, detailing, “in seven years it’s likely to surpass baseball. ” But was generally there ever a time when jai alai, played by bouncing a rock-hard “pelota” off a wall at speeds up to 180 mph, experienced at shot at being America’s game?

“In the ’70s, opening night at Tampa Jai Alai was like opening night upon Broadway. People got dressed up. There were six or seven thousand people every Friday and Saturday night — and we only had a few, 500 seats! ” said Marty Fleischman, former public relations manager for the purpose of Tampa Jai Alai, and later World Jai Alai, which went Tampa, Miami, Ocala, Fort Touch and Hartford, Conn., frontons. “We had plans to open a huge fronton in Chicago, three in Nj, all the big cities all over the Oughout. S., ” said Fleischman, who seem to supplied the actual jai alai cesta Don uses to smash a good ant farm in the episode.

Decimated by a player hit and the introduction of casino gambling and the lottery, the sport barely weighs on today. Tampa Jai Alai on the Dale Mabry Highway closed in 1998, and only a handful of frontons still stage live matches, mainly as a legal requirement to keep poker portal open.

♦ Simply no daddies in the delivery room. It’s hard to imagine in the digital age, when photos from the delivery room get posted to Instagram, but in “The Fog” we see Don turned away by a cranky nurse saying, “Your job’s done. ” Wear, of course , wasn’t too heartbroken, spending a pleasant evening passing a container of whisky in the waiting space with another soon-to-be dad while wife Betty gave birth.

“I’m not sure about the drinking, but otherwise I thought it was very authentic moment, ” said Judith Leavitt, author of “Make Room for the purpose of Daddy: The Journey from Waiting Room to Birthing Room. ” “It wasn’t really until the ’70s that it became the norm for dads to be allowed into the labor space. You have to remember that childbirth was nevertheless fairly new in the hospital… these people didn’t let them in because they were determined to keep out infection. Another thing they worried about was dads fainting. Then the nurses would have to take care of them. ”

♦ Khrushchev really wanted to meet Mickey. In “Wee Small Hours, ” hotelier Conrad Hilton remarks, “After all those things we threw at Khrushchev, you know what made him fall apart? He couldn’t get into Disneyland. ”

It’s a reference to Soviet premier Nikita Khrushchev’s 1959 Oughout. S. visit, but did the best choice who pushed the U. H. to the brink of war during the Cuban Missile Crisis really get mad over the happiest place on Planet? According to a story from the New York Periods archives, Khrushchev “exploded” when govt officials denied him, saying, “I would very much like to go and see Disneyland. But then, we cannot guarantee your own security, they say. Then what should i do? Commit suicide?… Have gangsters taken hold of the place that can kill me? ”

In an equally surreal Cold War time, Frank Sinatra, who was at the The show biz industry luncheon where this happened, is said to have leaned over to David Niven, seated next to Khrushchev’s wife, and said “Screw the cops! Inform the old broad you and I’ll consider ’em down this afternoon” (from “Khrushchev: The Man and His Era”).

♦ The Rolling Stones sold out (but not a concert). In “Tea Leaves, ” when Don and Harry Crane go to a Rolling Stones display hoping to get the band in a industrial for Heinz Baked Beans, it appears the most ridiculous piece of fictional advertising ever cooked up by the show’s writers. Even a young coed backstage finds the idea of Mick Jagger and boys shilling for baked coffee beans preposterous, but Don coolly notifies her the band already experienced done a commercial for Rice Krispies, in England.

Is it possible that the Stones, the edgier bad-boy replacement for the Beatles (and probably the second-biggest band on Earth in 1966), would have been caught dead endorsing balanced breakfast? Turns out, Don’s statement bank checks out, and the proof is all more than YouTube.

The 1964 black-and-white commercial actually has a spirited jingle performed by the band, with Mick, of course , incorporating snap, crackle and pop to the lyrics.

♦ Subways take a really long time. If you’re not familiar with the brand new York City subway, you probably missed the joke in “The Ton, ” in which Peggy Olson’s Realtor brags that the value of an apartment will certainly skyrocket, just as soon as the close by Second Avenue subway is completed, lastly bringing train service to Manhattan’s Upper East Side. The punch line, of course , is that the Second Avenue line is still under construction today, 46 years after Peggy’s residence hunt takes place.

The particular subway, which New York Magazine in 2007 dubbed “the line that period forgot” has been derailed by numerous postponements, the first of which, in 1931, was caused by The Great Depression, according to the MTA. Tunnel excavation began eighty feet beneath Manhattan in 3 years ago, and the $4. 5 billion task is set to open in 2016.

Apr 12

Ralph McDaniels Wants to Hear From Young adults

Uncle Ralph can host a teen summit in Brooklyn.

Apr 12

Tweets of the Week: Naya Rivera Accuses Big Sean of Thievery

Plus Drake’s big announcement; and 40 Glocc got hacked?

Apr 11

Commentary: Why Men Need to Care About Dating Violence

Who is teaching Black men about healthy relationships?

Apr 11

Cosby Show Actor Carl Payne’s Wife Files for Divorce

Payne played Cockroach in the beloved sitcom.

Apr 11

‘Mad Men’ Season 7: Anxiety rides the red-eye – Washington Publish

The show’s seventh season begins Sunday upon AMC in the same hazy, stressed, uncertain manner that encumbered the previous season . It’s hard to tell if exactly what we’re seeing is meant to be taken by any means as a linear story; more and more, it unfolds like a hallucination — Brian Lynch minus the dancing dwarf — or a vivid drug trip that’s appropriate to the era. Maybe this is how “Mad Men” is supposed to end, with much less clarity and order than it started out with, as one giant example to the decade it portrays. Someone’s having this dream, but you’re not sure who it is.

As viewers probably know, “Mad Men’s” final season has been cleaved in two — seven episodes starting now, with the last seven episodes scheduled for 2015. When a show has this much innovative control over its ending, the best metaphor is that of an airplane’s final technique, circling long and low to get a landing.

Fittingly, “Mad Men” is promoting itself with the visual language of air travel — posing its cast in customary high style against the long-gone glam of late-’60s airport ports and enviably roomy commercial flights.

Underlying this particular mood is the state of items in the company formed last season in the merger of New York-based advertisement agencies Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce and Cutler Gleason Chaough. A big Sunkist account opened up a world associated with California dreamin’ for the “Mad Men” gang, causing most of the executives, which includes Don Draper (Jon Hamm), in order to covet the chance to head up a brand new Los Angeles office.

Don instead fell into a shame spiral that rivaled all their previous gloom after his adolescent daughter, Sally (Kiernan Shipka), caught him in flagrante delicto along with Sylvia Rosen, the cardiologist’s spouse. At the end of last season, Don arrived apart during a presentation for a Hershey’s chocolate campaign and told everyone present that he was an orphan who was raised in a whorehouse, which usually viewers, who’ve seen the flashbacks, accept as true (with great reason). The partners asked Put on to take an unspecified leave associated with absence; the L. A. shift was out, but Don’s spouse, Megan (Jessica Paré), went west anyhow, in search of TV stardom.

When Weiner sends a good advance copy of the season’s initial episode to critics (and there is only ever the one episode), it comes with his plea to keep every final detail under wraps: Is Put on still employed? What month and year is it on the calendar? Exactly how did Sally react to that car ride at the end of last season, when Put on showed her where he was raised? Can be Don embarking on a new life being an honest man? Or is this yet another iteration of midlife crisis?

It’s easier this time in order to obey Weiner’s request because there is so little left that’s worth a spoiler alert. The ’60s are usually ending, and California is clearly where it’s at — and perhaps where this story intends in order to die.

Sunday’s episode features a gorgeous slow-motion sequence of Don getting off a aircraft and moving through the vibrantly tiled hallways of LAX and in order to the white zone, where Megan, in the shortest possible wisp of a outfit, waits for him next to her convertible. Everything is bathed in diffuse Angeleno light. Not a micron is out of place; for people who only ever watched the show for this kind of detail, it’s a divine eyesight.

“The New Yorkers here, they brought just as much we need, ” a tanned, freshly single and spaced-out Pete Campbell (Vincent Kartheiser) effuses over a pastrami sandwich in an L. A. deli.

There is a corresponding feeling in this episode that Ny is a hollowed shell of itself. Back at the office, there is a sense associated with decay. Joan Harris (Christina Hendricks) and Roger Sterling (John Slattery) seem to be separately suffering from whatever malaise affects characters who’ve ceased to be interesting. Peggy Olson (Elisabeth Moss), who some of us still consider to be “Mad Men’s” central protagonist, struggles against the creative void left in the wake of Don’s meltdown.

Airplanes, red-eye flights, ports, arrivals, departures. (Crashing? Missed connections? Hijackings? ) A viewer whom overthinks it all will surely want a few message in the flight moitf, which is all probably just one more “Mad Men” tease.

However , having recently read journalist Brendan I. Koerner’s excellent good America’s bizarre hijacking epidemic circa 1970 (called “The Skies Belong to Us” ), I’d love for the melodrama-adverse “Mad Men” to experiment with a brief jolt associated with action and send one of its personas on an unhappy, unscheduled flight in order to Algeria.

This really is no more ridiculous a suggestion than the one from a certain strain of “Mad Men” fans who still possess the dark hope that Megan is headed for a house party that will be rudely interrupted by the Manson family . “Mad Men” viewers are prone to this kind of misplaced desires because “Mad Men’s” empty spaces give us this kind of long layovers in which to mull and brood.

Weiner and company have 14 episodes left to tell us exactly what this journey really amounts in order to, but all along it’s already been about the exchange of one kind of United states culture (male, white, moneyed, chain-smoking) for another, broader, chaotically diverse culture that will come along after “Mad Men’s” time.

Even though the display has subtly indicted the old-fashioned, discriminatory attitudes of the mid-century — particularly where gender is included, less so with concerns to competition — one can’t help but also admire “Mad Men” as a depressing elegy for a lost sense associated with order. The show is expressive about people dressing up to go to function and attend social settings and catch flights at airports; it celebrates strong design, clean ranges, a sense of what some might still call proper. In its early periods, “Mad Men” exulted in these features of the ’60s and then sullied them with adultery, cruelty, deception, depression.

Now “Mad Men” leans toward a hint of the 1972s, where all things go to seed. The particular show seemed uncharacteristically clumsy final season in its depiction of late 1960s, verging on a paisley-and-hippy themed costume party as it tried to get the details as perfect as it had in earlier seasons.

Here, in January 1969, the show has located that groove; it simply looks more confident and real again. Its characters start to adopt the casualness of the era. The freer they get, the greater they let their hair down (literally or so to speak), the unhappier life seems. Surely this can’t only be a subliminal vibe occasioned by the costume department; “Mad Men” and its viewers find the encroaching ’70s repellent.

This is a frequently held aesthetic opinion about United states culture: The ’60s were beautiful, and then the beauty was destroyed, in part by the mainstreaming of counter-culture. It is an “Oz” effect, in which The united states goes from black-and-white to a vibrant anarchy that prefers the careless, the poly-blend, the scantily unkempt. The ’70s will arrive just as the show winds down; the colors run together and become garish, leaving us in that Watergate-era beige brutalism that we’ve learned to love only ironically.

Does anyone ever page by way of a family photo album and remark with how much more beautiful everyone looks in the ’70s than they did in the ’60s? (Usually it’s the other way around — the ’60s photographs are rescued and scanned and shared on Facebook and funeral videos; the ’70s photos are mocked on Throwback Thursday. ) This isn’t only about clothes; it is a commentary about people: What happened to us? Where did it get it wrong?

“Mad Men’s” trip from the dapper to the drab is very much like a contemplative stroll through the National Gallery of Art’s current exhibit of the fleetly observant and prolific work of the photographer Garry Winogrand , who shot pictures of everyday New Yorkers in public from the early 1955s to the late-’60s: It’s businessmen in elevators, fancy ladies en route to sessions and the basic spectacle of people life.

Winogrand also adored what went on in airports — the possible narratives in coming and going; arrivals and departures; welcoming and separating. Viewed alongside the new “Mad Men” publicity stills that fetishize the ’60s travel experience, one is reminded that the TV show is only a Television show, an idea of reality heaped along with pure fantasy.

Like the advance team from Sterling Cooper, et al., Winogrand relocated in order to Los Angeles, right when the seedy ’70s kicked in. In those afterwards photographs, LAX is a decidedly much less glamourous destination, dressed-down and overpopulated with sun-blasted refugees from the The united states seen in his earlier, New York-centric photographs.

Progressing chronologically through Winogrand’s pictures, it’s not hard to imagine Don, Roger, Pete and everyone else suffering the indignity of the disco era. The Nationwide Gallery show (which runs by means of June 8) is the perfect complement to a “Mad Men” binge, especially as the subject matter extends several years above where the show will probably end.

Perhaps “Mad Men” is crashing and burning before the eyes. It’s as watchable as ever, and also as unsatisfying as ever, as it veers toward the helter-skelter. What is its strongest concept? What question is it trying to answer? Who is the most important character here? Watching Sunday’s episode further broadens the field of possible (and wacko) solutions, up to and including a sneaking suspicion there is no such thing as Put on Draper — even beyond their stolen identity.

Wouldn’t that be something, for Weiner to reveal that Don was just a figment, a ghost? When any show has the right (or the courage) to pull the lever marked “it was all just a dream, ” shouldn’t it end up being “Mad Men? ” Because in every way that matters, it currently is a dream.

Mad Men

(one hour) returns Weekend at 10 p. m. upon AMC.

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