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BET.com to host
scripted comedy series beginning next week By
R. Thomas Umstead
Multichannel News (October 28, 2009) Black Entertainment Television will launch a
scripted comedy series via the web beginning Nov. 3.
The 10-part short form series, dubbed Buppies, stars Tatyana Ali (Fresh
Prince Of Bel-Air) as a young, socialite publicist trying to recover
from a broken relationship, said BET Networks digital media president
Denmark West (pictured) Tuesday afternoon during a NAMC Conference panel
session. BET.com will stream the series, with new episodes premiering on
West said the network has signed cosmetics company CoverGirl as a
sponsor for the series' 4 to 5 minute episodes, for which Ali also
serves as executive producer. West would not reveal viewer projections
nor production cost for the series, but added that creating a short form
series for the web is more cost efficient for the network than creating
a half-hour sitcom on the African-American targeted network.
He also wouldn't rule out the possibility of the series being picked up
by the network if it proves to be popular with BET.com users. West also
said the network would explore other web original series, which he says
could appeal to BET's target young adult audience that's predisposed to
surfing the web.
BET launched its first scripted series, Somebodies, in 2008 but the show
was not a big ratings draw and was cancelled after its freshman season.