BET Networks Says YES to Comedy Superstars and Music Legends with Original New Scripted, Late Night and Mini-Series

BET Networks Reigns as the #1 Cable Network for African American
Viewers 18-49 for 16 Consecutive Years

BET Networks Prevails as a Top 20 Ad-Supported Cable Network among
Coveted P18-49 Demo

With over 15 Billion Annual Social Impressions, BET Networks Boasts
the #1 Most Socially Engaged Audience in Television in Its Competitive

BET Networks Teams with Twitter in First-Ever “Black Twitter” Impact

Companion Network, CENTRIC, is Refreshed to “BET Her” as the Premiere
Destination for African American Women

NEW YORK–(BUSINESS WIRE)–BET Networks announced today its upcoming 2017-2018 fiscal year
programming slate at its annual Upfront presentation in New York. From
comedy powerhouses Kevin Hart, Chris Rock, Steve Harvey, and Wanda
Sykes, BET is bringing funny to the forefront with new original
primetime and late night series. BET is also following up its smash hit
and ratings juggernaut, “The New Edition Story,” with new biopics and
documentary series based on the real-life intrigue of musical icons.
From fresh new comedy and biting late night series, to culture-defining
movies and returning network hits, BET is saying YES to indomitable
talent and premium original programming.

BET Networks’ influence is ubiquitous, persisting as the #1 Cable
Network for African American viewers 18-49 for 16 consecutive years.
With a broad reach, BET also prevails as a Top 20 ad-supported Cable
Network among the coveted P18-49 target demo.* The network debuted its
refined positioning as the first and only network to always – and in all
ways – showcase the power of black culture. BET is also continuing to
tap into the power of African American women on its sister network,
Centric, which is being refreshed to “BET Her.” Targeting AA Women
25-54, BET Her takes its rightful place within the BET family as it more
closely aligns with the flagship brand. BET Her will invite viewers on a
journey through music, culture, travel and lifestyle – everything that
is important to “Her” being. The only network dedicated to African
American women 24 hours a day, BET Her will officially launch on October
1, 2017. BET Her joins BET Jams, BET Soul and the flagship network, as
BET Networks delivers more channels and premium original content to
drive viewer engagement and amplify brand love.

BET is proud to hold the top spot with the most socially engaged
audience in its competitive set. With over 15 billion annual social
impressions, no one tweets, posts, snaps or Instagrams like the BET
audience, which led all major cable networks for the second consecutive
year.** BET Digital’s Snapchat Live Stories are among the industry
leaders, garnering 22.5 million global unique users and 381
million global total Snap views for the combined 2016 “BET Awards,” BET
Experience and “BET Hip Hop Awards.”

In addition to viewers, the New York Times hailed BET’s signature
tentpole events as “the award shows that get it right.” Touted as
“outstanding,” BET’s unrivaled awards shows define authenticity and
excellence, claiming six of the top ten Cable Award Shows in CY 2016
among AA P18-49.***

“Over the last 37 years, BET has cultivated a deep and lasting
relationship with our viewers, as we remain the premiere destination for
lovers of African American culture. This year, we are saying yes to all
things black, with more premium original programming and best-in-class
tentpoles that reflect and invigorate our viewers,” said Debra Lee,
Chairman and CEO, BET Networks. “BET’s global influence is stronger than
ever and we are continuing to expand beyond the television screen to
impact our audience – and the world – across multiple platforms.” Some
networks offer reach and some engagement, but no other network offers
reach, engagement, culture, lifestyle and influence.


As BET’s breakout biopic, “The New Edition Story,” soared to 29MM total
viewers on television, it also lit social media on fire as “Black
Twitter” drove global trending topics all three nights. Now, BET has
joined forces with Twitter for the first-ever industry analysis of the
overall impact and importance of “Black Twitter.” What is “Black
Twitter”? It’s a digital water cooler where African Americans exchange
ideas and opinions that are centered on the Black experience, all
dialogue is unapologetically Black and is exclusive to things that
impact the Black community. As evidenced by BET’s social domination, the
network is a critical part of the “Black Twitter” conversation, and in
turn drives mainstream culture.

The analysis includes a set of top Twitter hashtags, consisting of
over 10MM Tweets and over 20MM Retweets since 2014. Early data continues
to support a strong correlation between Tweeting and watching live TV at
home via traditional delivery methods. People on Twitter see TV as a
social opportunity and source of information for what’s happening, best
enjoyed live and viewed with others on Twitter. Twitter and BET will
release findings in a joint session in June. As one of few brands that
organically speaks to this phenomenon, BET will be creating a model to
help predict future trends in “Black Twitter” as they emerge.

From unparalleled premium original programming to best-in-class tentpole
specials, BET Networks is delivering more powerful content and influence
in 2017-18 across more platforms than ever before. BET Networks
highlighted the following programming at its annual Upfront presentation:


  • DIVORCE SAVED MY MARRIAGE – From Executive Producer Kevin Hart
    comes “DIVORCE SAVED MY MARRIAGE,” a new 30-minute scripted dramedy,
    based on the stand up of David A. Arnold, that turns relationships and
    marriage inside out. When a couple realizes that divorce is the only
    thing they can agree on, their attorney recommends a financial plan
    instead of a court date – forcing them to work together so they can
    finally afford to be apart. “DIVORCE SAVED MY MARRIAGE” is executive
    produced and created by Devon K. Shepard and David A. Arnold, with
    Kevin Hart and Dave Becky serving as Executive Producers.
    30-minute Scripted Comedy
  • THE RUNDOWN WITH ROBIN THEDE – BET joins forces with Executive
    Producer Chris Rock to bring the African American female voice to late
    night news satire: “THE RUNDOWN WITH ROBIN THEDE.” Comedian and former
    head writer and contributor for “The Nightly Show,” Robin Thede, gives
    her hilariously unique take on the week’s headlines in politics and
    pop culture in a fast-paced, no-holds-barred late night show featuring
    biting social commentary, sharp sketch comedy and in-your-face pop
    culture parody. From the team behind “Full Frontal with Samantha Bee,”
    “THE RUNDOWN WITH ROBIN THEDE” is produced by JAX MEDIA with Chris
    Rock and Robin Thede serving as Executive Producers. Tony Hernandez,
    Lilly Burns, John Skidmore and Genevieve Anniello also executive
    FORMAT: 30-minute Late Night Comedy
    EPISODES: 24
  • BET’s MANCAVE – Executive Producer Steve Harvey and BET are
    opening the door to “BET’s MANCAVE” – a no-holds-barred conversation
    among five men brave enough to be honest and vulnerable, as they laugh
    it up and get serious about hot-button topics. Hosted by award-winning
    journalist Jeff Johnson – and featuring actors, athletes, and
    comedians, among others – this topical weekly event series brings
    together African American men with wildly diverse opinions to dissect
    current hot topics in entertainment, politics, news and beyond.
    Through humor, genuine emotion and heated debate, the panel will
    discuss their own opinions and experiences, while revealing what it’s
    really like to navigate the world as an African American man. With
    unfiltered honesty, “BET’s MANCAVE” is the ultimate ‘bro-out’ session
    that reflects how complex men’s thoughts actually are. “BET’s MANCAVE”
    is created by Jeff Johnson and produced by Truly Original and East
    112th Street Productions. Johnson serves as Executive Producer,
    alongside Truly Original’s Steven Weinstock, Glenda Hersh and Bryan
    Hale. Steve Harvey and Gerald Washington also serve as Executive
    Producers for 112th Street Productions.
    FORMAT: 30-minute Late
    Night Comedy
  • FACE VALUE – From Push It Productions and Executive
    Producer, Wanda Sykes, “FACE VALUE” is a groundbreaking new game show
    that will finally answer the age-old question, “Can you judge a book
    by its cover?” The veteran actress, comedienne and LGBT advocate knows
    what it’s like to be prejudged, so this series is flipping the script
    to award cash and prizes for correctly guessing facts about strangers
    from all walks of life – based solely on their appearance and a few
    personal details. Hosted by Deon Cole (“black-ish,”Barbershop),
    “FACE VALUE” will humorously break down stereotypes, expose
    prejudices, and celebrate the human spirit by highlighting the
    commonalities and differences among people of various
    backgrounds, races, religions, beliefs and life experiences. Push It
    Productions’ Wanda Sykes and Page Hurwitz serve as Executive Producers
    along with Lance Crouther.
    FORMAT: 30-minute Late Night Comedy
  • 50 CENTRAL – Award-winning rapper, entrepreneur, actor and
    producer, the iconic Curtis “50 Cent” Jackson, storms BET’s airwaves
    to take variety and sketch comedy to the next level with “50 CENTRAL.”
    BET’s first variety comedy showcase will be unlike anything seen from
    the genre before. Along with unprecedented sketches, there will be
    hidden camera pranks, musical performances, and A-list celebrity
    guests to create the ultimate late night party – all handpicked and
    hosted by 50 Cent. Few artists have had as much crossover success as
    Jackson and he showcases his talents as an MC, actor and producer for
    a fresh take on the variety series. “50 CENTRAL” is produced by G-Unit
    Film & Television in partnership with Back Roads Entertainment with
    Curtis “50 Cent” Jackson, Stephen J. Savva, Colby Gaines and Riley
    Robbins serving as Executive Producers and Michael A. Blum serving as
    Co-Executive Producer.
    FORMAT: 30-minute Late Night Variety
  • LOVE ROOM – “LOVE ROOM” is a daring social experiment that
    brings together individuals who have almost given up on finding a
    relationship and falling in love. Much more than a single date, two
    sexy, single strangers will meet and live together for a week to see
    if a relationship blossoms. Having struck out with blind dates and
    dating apps, the couples will work through challenges that test their
    resolve and compatibility. This “full immersion” relationship will
    accelerate the dating process, challenging the couple to reveal their
    deepest secrets, face their own insecurities, overcome their fears and
    set aside their baggage to find true love. “LOVE ROOM” is produced by
    Eastern, producers of the hit “Love & Hip Hop” franchise. Toby
    Barraud, Stefan Springman, Mala Chapple, Carmen Mitcho and Sean David
    Johnson are Executive Producers for Eastern.
    FORMAT: 60-minute


  • THE BOBBY BROWN STORY – From the team behind BET’s smash hit,
    “The New Edition Story” – the #1 cable biopic of all time – comes
    another epic mini-series event: “THE BOBBY BROWN STORY.” With a career
    that spans from founding the R&B super group New Edition to a
    successful solo run, Bobby Brown’s life truly epitomizes the meaning
    of sex, drugs, and rock & roll. Hailed as the King of R&B, Bobby Brown
    is undisputedly one of the genre’s original “bad boys.” His hits may
    have kept him at the top of the charts, but his antics kept him on the
    front page. Written by Abdul Williams (“The New Edition Story,” Lottery
    ), “THE BOBBY BROWN STORY” is executive produced by Jesse
    Collins (“The New Edition Story,” “Real Husbands of Hollywood”) for
    JCE Films, a division of Jesse Collins Entertainment.
    4-Hour Biopic Mini-series
    NUMBER OF EPISODES: 2 Nights, 2-Hours
    per Night
  • DEATH ROW CHRONICLES – The story of the world’s most dangerous
    record label could only be told in a definitive 6-part documentary
    series: “DEATH ROW CHRONICLES.” While Death Row Records boasted the
    success of Snoop Dogg, 2Pac, and Dr. Dre forged by unmatched
    creativity, the chart-topping and record-breaking sales came at a
    bloody, controversial cost. Part true-crime murder mystery and part
    hip hop drama, this compelling docu-series will comb through mountains
    of misinformation, uncovering key evidence and witnesses who will
    reveal the truth about the bitter rivalries surrounding its legends.
    The limited series will also celebrate the groundbreaking music of
    Death Row, explain how it reflected society at the time, and how it
    influenced some of today’s biggest hip hop artists. On the eve of the
    label’s 25th anniversary, “DEATH ROW CHRONICLES” offers an unflinching
    look at the label and its legacy. “DEATH ROW CHRONICLES” is produced
    by Entertainment One (eOne) and Creature Films.
    FORMAT: 60-minute
    Documentary Series


  • THE QUAD – As Wednesday’s #1 New Cable Series among African
    American millennials (AA P18-34), the riveting, true-to-life drama
    about HBCU culture and relationships is back for another season of
    passion and controversy. Georgia A&M President Dr. Eva Fletcher
    continues to navigate her relationships, career and serve the student
    body. For faculty and students alike, one similarity remains: everyone
    plans to make a name for themselves on “THE QUAD.” Starring
    multi-talented Anika Noni Rose, “THE QUAD” is created and executive
    produced by Felicia Henderson and Charles Holland, and developed by
    Rob Hardy who also serves as Executive Producer. Mitzi Miller serves
    as Co-Executive Producer.
    FORMAT: 60-minute Scripted Drama
  • THE BREAKS – Shot on the streets of New York, “THE BREAKS” is a
    gritty, authentic take on the origins of hip hop through the journey
    of three young friends exploring the industry in 1990 New York City.
    “THE BREAKS” is inspired by Dan Charnas’ critically acclaimed book The
    Big Payback: The History of the Business of Hip-Hop, an epic, 40-year
    narrative of the executives, entrepreneurs, hustlers and handlers who
    turned rap music into the world’s predominant pop culture. Original
    cast members included: Afton Willamson (HBO’s “The Night Of…”), Wood
    Harris (“The Wire”), Mack Wilds (“The Wire”), Antoine
    Harris (“Ballers”), David Call (“The Magicians”), Evan Handler (“Sex
    and the City”), Melonie Diaz (“Fruitvale Station”), Sinqua
    Walls (“Power”), Ali Ahn (“Billions”) and Gloria Reuben (“Mr. Robot”).
    60-minute Drama
  • HIT THE FLOOR – Just when you thought it was over, sizzling new
    episodes of original series, “HIT THE FLOOR”, are back to steam up TV
    screens for a brand new season on BET Networks. The premier
    professional dance squad for the Los Angeles Devils basketball team,
    the Devil Girls, returns with more scandal, sex, secrets, intrigue and
    jaw-dropping dance routines, that captured audience’s hearts. “HIT THE
    FLOOR” was created by James LaRosa.
    FORMAT: 60-minute Drama


  • “LIP SYNC BATTLE” SPECIAL EDITIONS – Multiplatform global pop
    culture juggernaut, “LIP SYNC BATTLE” is blowing up with two 1-hour
    specials made exclusively for BET. Featuring the same cast, LL COOL J
    and Chrissy Teigen, but touting the BET brand, each one hour special
    will be tailored to a tentpole event – “BET HIP HOP AWARDS” and “SOUL
    TRAIN AWARDS” – which will drive the songs that the celebrities
    perform. The special editions will be taped in September in Los
    Angeles. The expansion of “LIP SYNC BATTLE” to BET taps into the
    overall plan to leverage multiple platforms for Viacom’s most
    successful properties.
    FORMAT: Two 1-hour Specials
  • BET AWARDS – Moving into its eighteenth year, The “BET
    AWARDS” franchise is the #1 program in cable television history among
    African American viewers, and a top 10 awards show on television among
    total viewers. This magical night of musical collaborations and
    jaw-dropping moments consistently delivers high ratings, millions of
    social media impressions and buzz before, during and after the
    star-studded live telecast. Last year was a celebration of Prince and
    his music featuring Beyoncé, Kendrick Lamar, Janelle Monae, and more.
    Anything can – and always does – happen at BET’s signature live awards
  • BET EXPERIENCE – Returning for its sixth year, BET Experience
    at L.A. LIVE presented by Coca-Cola® is four-day event showcasing the
    best in music, comedy, and entertainment. The immersive experience
    continues to grow each year, drawing hundreds of thousands of visitors
    to the downtown Los Angeles area. The BET Experience at L.A. LIVE
    presented by Coca-Cola® includes a series of interactive events such
    as a free Fan Fest, live music, Sprite Celebrity Basketball Game, and
    Genius Talks with A-list talent; as well as a partnership between BET
    Networks and AEG to bring a star-studded electrifying concert series
    to the L.A. Live complex.
    highlight the best of the year in hip-hop music, with bold
    performances and breakthrough freestyle cyphers. This seminal award
    show singularly celebrates hip-hop and sets social media on fire with
    the click of a hashtag, placing it among the most social award shows
    all year. The “BET HIP HOP AWARDS” is the one show where the hottest
    rap stars of today share the stage with the icons of tomorrow.
  • BLACK GIRLS ROCK! ™ – Featuring emerging and legendary talent,
    touching tributes to present-day role models and soulful, surprising
    musical performances, “BLACK GIRLS ROCK!” ™ celebrates the brilliance
    and beauty of Black women. This NAACP Image Award-winning special is
    both timely and timeless, saluting dynamic leaders in entertainment,
    business, philanthropy, and beyond. Past award winners include film
    legend Cicely Tyson, music and fashion icon Rihanna, director Ava
    DuVernay, educator Nadia Lopez, and veteran actor Taraji P. Henson.
    Created by executive producer Beverly Bond, “BLACK GIRLS ROCK!” ™
    highlights the wide spectrum of talent and contributions of women of
    color who are shaping our world.
  • SOUL TRAIN AWARDS – The “SOUL TRAIN AWARDS” brings you the most
    revered and promising voices in soul and R&B. Simulcast on BET and BET
    Her, the “Hippest Trip In America” keeps grooving forward. The iconic
    brand that defined a generation returns with the award show that
    delivers world class talent and a long tail of social chatter.
    Honoring the best in R&B and soul, the “SOUL TRAIN AWARDS” is
    guaranteed to deliver Love, Peace, and SOUL!
  • SOUL TRAIN WEEKEND – “Soul Train Weekend” returns to Las Vegas
    for an immersive live experience, showcasing the best of
    African-American culture. This three-day music celebration will
    celebrate soul and R&B music with special appearances & performances,
    a celebrity golf tournament, a Grammy Academy panel and more.

About BET Networks

BET Networks, a subsidiary of Viacom Inc. (NASDAQ: VIA, VIA.B), is the
nation’s leading provider of quality entertainment, music, news and
public affairs television programming for the African-American audience.
The primary BET channel reaches more than 90 million households and can
be seen in the United States, Canada, the Caribbean, the United Kingdom
and sub-Saharan Africa. BET is the dominant African-American consumer
brand with a diverse group of business extensions:,
a leading Internet destination for Black entertainment, music, culture,
and news; CENTRIC, a 24-hour entertainment network targeting the
African-American Woman; BET Music Networks – BET Jams, BET Soul and BET
Gospel; BET Home Entertainment; BET Live, BET’s growing festival
business; BET Mobile, which provides ringtones, games and video content
for wireless devices; and BET International, which operates BET around
the globe.

(Source: Live + Same Day | Measurement Period: CY02-CY17 thru Feb by
Year based on NHI Calendar (12/31/02-02/26/17) | Total Day = BET Total
Day (Mon-Sa 8a-4a/Su 9a-12a), All Other Cable Nets Total Day as
expressed in Nielsen platforms | Ad-Supported Cable | Exclude Kids,
Sports, News Ad-Supported Cable Networks, along with Ad-Supported Cable
Networks that do not program 50% of 24 Hour Total Day | In 2016, BET
tied with VH1 (110K Black P18-49 for both) | All Ranked on Black P18-49
Impressions (000)s. | Subject to qualifications which will be supplied
upon request.)

(** ‘Cable – National’ networks measured by Nielsen Social. Rankings are
in order of most Facebook and Twitter interactions and ‘Cable –
National’ here does not include news and sports. The ranking applied to

(***Nielsen | Live + Same Day | CY16 (12/28/15-12/25/16) | Primetime
Mon-Sun 8pm-11pm | All Cable Telecasts excluding repeats, sports,
general drama, reality, and news | Ranked on AA P18-49 Impressions
(000)s. | Subject to qualifications which will be supplied upon request.)

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Giovanna Desselle, 310-481-3872