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Black Entertainment Television

February 5, 2006 | Lynn Smith, Times Staff Writer
WHEN executives from the WB started thinking about a new student drama that would mirror the lives of their 12- to 34-year-old audience, they bypassed the traditional standby, high school. So did the creators of Oxygen's new comedy "Campus Ladies," who sought a setting for adults who dream of recapturing their youth.
January 8, 2006 | Greg Braxton, Times Staff Writer
REGINALD HUDLIN had a golden year in 2005 before he decided to throw it away. The veteran filmmaker was serving as an executive producer for the new Chris Rock comedy "Everybody Hates Chris," after having directed the pilot episode of the heralded UPN series. "The Boondocks," the animated version of the incendiary comic strip that he helped develop for television, had made the Cartoon Network's Adult Swim slate. "Chris" and "Boondocks" were among the most buzzed-about shows of the fall.
July 31, 2005 | Ben Wasserstein, Ben Wasserstein is an associate editor at New York Magazine.
Day After day, Black Entertainment Television panders to its audience with a mix of crude music videos, cheesy infomercials, UPN repeats and few original shows. The network's rot was brought into sharp relief by the astonishing success of last month's "BET Awards '05," the highest-rated program in the network's history. BET has never met the hopes or expectations of others. It was never a significant buyer of black entertainers' work and didn't carry socially relevant programming.
June 28, 2004 | Greg Braxton, Times Staff Writer
Tuesday's BET Awards will be more than just a musical summit meeting between the worlds of R&B and hip-hop. The ceremony will mark the return of Janet Jackson to live TV. Jackson, who helped launch a nationwide debate on indecency when her breast was exposed for a moment during the Super Bowl halftime show in January, is one of the featured performers for the cable channel's awards telecast, which will be broadcast live to the East Coast from the Kodak Theatre in Hollywood.
October 27, 2003 | Greg Braxton
Aretha Franklin was thrilled at being honored with a TV tribute on BET. But she didn't want any surprises. The legendary "Queen of Soul" wanted to know exactly who was performing and what they were singing during the taping of her induction into BET's Walk of Fame. The star-studded ceremony, which took place Oct. 18 at BET's Washington, D.C., studios, will be televised Tuesday at 9 p.m. on the cable network.
February 21, 2003 | Johanna Neuman, Times Staff Writer
Robert L. Johnson is hobbling these days, recovering from a ruptured Achilles tendon suffered in a Bahamas boating accident over the Christmas holidays. Many who know him are amused that the man who has ruled his business empire with a kind of raw competitive zeal is showing such unaccustomed weakness.
December 19, 2002 | From Associated Press
Business know-how, a passion for basketball and a commitment to Charlotte. Robert Johnson had exactly what the NBA wanted, and now the billionaire is on his way to becoming the first black majority owner in major pro sports. The league officially announced Wednesday that Johnson was its choice to buy the NBA's newest expansion team, selecting him over a group that included Larry Bird. "You can't be competitive anywhere in this world if you ignore good, quality talent," Johnson said.
December 17, 2002 | Johanna Neuman, Times Staff Writer
All day, chat rooms that cater to black Americans buzzed with anger. Some urged a boycott of Black Entertainment Television's interview with besieged Sen. Trent Lott (R-Miss.) -- upset with a network, now owned by the global media giant Viacom, that has already canceled the very public affairs show airing the interview. Others seemed more offended that Lott would seek out a black audience for his latest mea culpa for remarks at Sen.
December 17, 2002 | HOWARD ROSENBERG
Besieged Senate Republican leader Trent Lott on cable's Black Entertainment Television? He was forthright. He was incisive. He was earnest. He was strong. He was bold. He was commanding. He was believable. He was intelligent. He was perceptive. He was shrewd. In other words, he was everything viewers could have asked for in an eagerly anticipated televised one-on-one with national political implications. But enough about interviewer Ed Gordon. And Lott? Surely he'd had better nights.
The rap continues over the rap and music videos featured on Black Entertainment Television, or BET. The Council of Presidents, a coalition of leaders from national African American college sororities and fraternities, are scheduled to meet this weekend to discuss continuing concerns over videos airing on the black-themed network that feature scantily clad women and rappers bragging about their money, jewelry and sexual prowess. The group has been worried about the impact of the videos on youth.
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