Your summer season TV watch list just got a little bit longer, as BET Networks announces a summer TV lineup that includes 2 new original movies, new series, specials, live events and more.
Of note is Regina King’s feature length film directorial debut, an adaptation of “Let the Church Say Amen,” the best-selling novel by Reshonda Tate Billingsley, which stars Naturi Naughton as Rachel Jackson, a wayward preacher’s kid who is struggling to pull her life together. With a six-year-old son out of wedlock and a high school diploma, Rachel’s mission in life is to marry her son’s father in order to become a traditional and respectable family and regain her father’s respect.
The two hour movie, which will be a BET Premiere Cinema event, also stars Steve Harris, Lela Rochon, Hosea Chanchez and Collins Curtis Pennie. It’s produced by Queen Latifah, Shakim Compere, Shelby Stone, Roger Bobb and Regina King, who is also executive producer.
BET has set an August premiere date, although no specific day yet.
The second original movie, “The Start Up,” stars Diggy Simmons as Blake Monroe, founder of TheJetsetters.com, an entertainment and lifestyle blog, in a story about what it means to be young, gifted and digital, as Blake and his friends strategize for fame and financing while they navigate the freedoms and pressures of adulthood.
Joining Simmons in front of the camera are Teyana Taylor, Bria Murphy, Allen Maldonado, Chris Brew, and Stephanie Charles.
The film is executive produced by Mara Brock Akil, Salim Akil, Kenya Barris, James DuBose and Laurie Dobbins.
Directed by Salim Akil, BET has set a September premiere date for “The Start Up.”
In terms of new series, there’s the previously announced reality series on Washington Redskins’ wide receiver DeSean Jackson, produced by Rogue Atlas Productions in association with Lionsgate Television, which will premier on Tuesday, June 30, at 10pm ET/PT on BET.
And then there’s a reboot of “Punk’d” – the once popular MTV hidden camera series that was hosted by Ashton Kutcher, which will be tailored for the BET audience, which debuts on August, 18th at 10:30pm.
And specials include a Muhammad Ali tribute, set for August, as well as the self-explanatory “Hurricane Katrina: 10 Years Later,” which will also premier in August.
Season 9 of “The Game” (its final season) kicks off on Wednesday, June 3, at 10pm ET/PT; The 90-minute series finale airs July 29 at a special 9pm ET/PT timeslot on BET.
And of course, the BET Awards will air live, on Sunday, June 28.