Covering Cinema From All Across The African Diaspora

BET - Making Moves?

The network recently announced 2 new programming efforts scheduled to begin airing this fall.

What are they?

First: BET News will launch a new weekly political talk show called, The Truth With Jeff Johnson, which will premiere on Friday, August 15 at 11:00 P.M. This program is being described as "provocative" and "will use a mix of investigative reporting and one-on-one interviews with leading experts to review the week's events and examine exactly what the top headlines mean for the Black community." I don't like that title. It sounds comical - "The Truth With Jeff Johnson." I can already hear the jokes: "The TRUPH With Jeff Johnson." It doesn't make me want to tune in and watch BET. I'd change it - just my suggestion of course. BET has certainly gone lacking in their news and views department. They've always needed to step it up in that regard, and maybe this is a move in the right direction... maybe. It could be fun to watch a Bill O'Reilly pugilist-type of show on BET.

Second: BET and Marvel Animation are teaming up to produce an animated series based on the legendary black superhero, The Black Panther. Casting is already underway and the premiere is scheduled for the first quarter of 2009. A special sneak preview will premiere at Comic-Con this month during BET's panel on Saturday, July 26. The series will be adapted directly from the first six issues of the Marvel Comic written by Reginald Hudlin.

And there ya have it!

Each obviously is certainly topical and not coincidental. With Election 08 in full swing, BET probably realized how thin their news coverage has been, especially with a black man in Barack Obama enjoying an unprecedented amount of success in his campaign. How could they not make political news coverage a priority?

And with super hero movie fever pervasive throughout Hollywood and its reach, and with lots of talk of the lack of black super heroes getting celluloid attention, thanks in part to Hancock mania, a TV series about a black super hero on the nation's most prominent black tv station, is, as they say, a no-brainer! Something tells me that if the animated series draws a considerable audience rating, the Black Panther movie that's been rumored to be in consideration, will be fast-tracked!



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