BET has unveiled its programming development slate for the network’s 2012/2013 season, which includes several original scripted shows that, as the L.A. Times puts it, “emphasize positive aspects of African American culture.”
I usually run in the other direction when I read or hear words like that. The sum total of our experiences divided between either *positive* or *negative*. It really all isn’t (or shouldn’t be) so simplistically defined.
Obviously BET has been under public scrutiny for a number of years now for its narrow depictions of black American life, which likely is of some influence on this shift – a shift that will see brand new scripted comedies and dramas from the likes of the Wayans family (titled Second Generation and featuring the younger Wayans – kids of the Living Color Wayans siblings), Steve Harvey, T.D. Jakes, Jamie Foxx and others.
Also in development is a gritty police drama (the network’s first ever) from Reggie Bythewood titled Gun Hill, which will star Larenz Tate, and is described as “a twisted spin to the biblical Cain and Abel story,” centered on the lives of identical twins – one a cop, the other a con.
Also planned is a rebooting of Showtime At the Apollo.
Said the network’s president of original programming, Loretha Jones,”We realize that BET will never be all things to all black people… But we felt we could be more. The diversity of projects shows how we can serve different parts of our demographic while being able to bring the BET voice to different genres.”
The full next season slate will be unveiled in early summer.