BET Says Yes To Our Fans, Yes to Our Stories at the 2017 Upfront Presentation

BET continues its 16-year reign as the number one cable network for African-American viewers. With a broad slate of programming that includes award-winning, original series such as Being Mary Jane, whistle-blowing documentaries such as Charged: The DA vs. Black America, momentous specials like Black Girls Rock!, and renowned tentpole events that include the BET Awards, BET unfailingly captures the zeitgeist of its fans’ world.

At BET’s annual upfront presentation – an event where programmers preview their upcoming shows for advertisers – CEO Debra Lee revealed the network’s plans for the upcoming year: Rebranding sister network Centric, a swell of hit biopics and miniseries, and a partnership with Twitter that focuses on African-American social media trends.

NEW YORK, NY – APRIL 27: (L-R) Actor Deon Cole, comedian Wanda Sykes and Endyia Kinney-Sterns attend the 2017 BET Upfront NY at PlayStation Theater on April 27, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by Astrid Stawiarz/Getty Images for BET)

New programming: Short-form and comedy

Viewers can look forward to a host of fresh comedic programming, including a late-night news satire series called The Rundown with Robin Thede, and Kevin Hart’s scripted dramedy Divorce Saved My Marriage.

Last year, BET’s audience witnessed an emergence of powerful miniseries—including The New Edition Story (the number one biopic in cable TV history). The creators behind this critically acclaimed hit are set to produce The Bobby Brown Story, another epic chronicle of an industry legend.

Network staples: Tentpole events and beloved minseries

Network staples such as the BET Awards, BET Experience, Black Girls Rock! and the BET Hip Hop Awards will continue to celebrate black America’s iconic entertainment moments. Returning series include The Quad—the most-watched new cable series among African American millennials—and The Breaks, a riveting drama on the history of hip-hop that is migrating to the network after a successful run on VH1.

“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 Lee. “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.”

Introducing BET Her: Centric gets a facelift

Part of BET’s strategy to engage its fervent fan base is revamping sister network Centric. The channel, which focuses on African-American women, will be re-branded as BET Her. The refreshed channel will launch in October.

Joining the conversation on #BlackTwitter

The network also announced a partnership between BET and Twitter to study the importance of Black Twitter, “a digital water cooler where African-Americans exchange ideas and opinions that are centered on the black experience.”

Black Twitter has evolved over the last seven years into a venue for discussing tragic events such as the murder of unarmed black teenager Trayvon Martin or controversies such as #OscarsSoWhite.

BET’s ability to spark a massive dialogue on issues facing the black community is reflected in the 15 billion combined annual social impressions that the network drives on Twitter, Facebook, Snapchat and Instagram.

Take a look at the full list of upcoming shows on

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