BET is in the process of doing a complete 360 in regard to some of the programming that was featured on the Viacom owned network a few years ago. In the upcoming year, the network is reportedly producing a few inspirational/uplifting shows. This may come as a surprise to some since the shows receiving the highest rating these days are full of fighting, arguing, bottle throwing and the list goes on.
BET does in fact already have a few Gospel/Inspiration shows on its roster, such as Sunday Best, Bobby Jones Gospel and Celebration of Gospel, but by creating these new religious themed series, the network hopes to bring in a new audience of viewers.
Accroding to the Chicago Tribune, BET has optioned the rights to four novels by author Reshonda Tate Billingsley with plans for a telepic franchise produced with Queen Latifah’s Flavor Unit production banner. The first of the four Billingsley adaptations, “Let the Church Say Amen,” will star Steve Harris and Lela Rochon in the story of a larger-than-life pastor who has to come to terms with his dysfunctional family and wayward daughter. Naturi Naughton, Collins Curtis Pennie and Hosea Chanchez co-star.
The other Billingsley titles optioned are “I Know I’ve Been Changed,” “Everybody Say Amen” and “Say Amen Again.” BET has also just shot a pilot for a talk show hosted by Bishop T.D. Jakes. The netowrk also has a reality series following Detroit’s Sheard family, which includes multiple generations of gospel music stars, Karen Clark-Sheard of the Legendary Clark Sisters, her husband, Bishop J. Drew Sheard, who leads a megachurch in Motor City and their children, Kierra and Drew. [more]