BET’s 2018-19 Slate Features New Scripted Shows, Docuseries, Specials & More


BET Networks is out with its slate for 2018-19, featuring a number of new scripted and reality series along with competitions, specials and awards shows. The cabler said the upcoming year will feature 21% more original programming than 2017-18.

Among the new scripted series is The Archer Connection (working title), a 10-episode half-hour dramedy from Chad Sanders about a young, black, iconoclastic mastermind who has developed an software that measures the sexual chemistry between its user and anyone in the room. It joins previously announced dramas American Soul and Games Divas Play and comedy Peachtree Place.

Among BET’s newly announced docuseries are shows about the USA’s 1992 Olympic basketball Dream Team; Ladies Night, a series that follows the veteran girl groups En Vogue, SWV and Salt-n-Pepa as they embark on a national tour; and The Grand Hustle, a competition series from T.I.

Here is the full 2018-19 slate for BET, which boasts being the No. 1 cable network among African-American viewers ages 18-49 for the past 17 years:


AMERICAN SOUL (previously announced) – Inspired by the personal trials and professional successes of a young, ambitious and troubled impresario Don Cornelius. The drama series is an unflinching look at the entrepreneur, his Soul Train dancers, crew and musicians in an unforgiving Hollywood in the 1970’s – how they work, play, rise and fall against the backdrop of Soul Train — “the hippest trip in America” and one of the most predominant television shows for African-American culture.  Produced by Jesse Collins Entertainment, AMERICAN SOUL is executive produced by Jesse Collins, Jonathan Prince, Devon Greggory and Tony Cornelius with Co-Executive Producer Andy Horne.  Greggory and Prince, who created the series will also pen the pilot.
FORMAT: One-hour drama

THE ARCHER CONNECTION [WORKING TITLE] – The ten-episode half-hour series follows the life of tech genius Archer Grant, a young, black, iconoclastic mastermind who has developed Archer App – a software that measures the sexual chemistry between its user and anyone in the room. In launching the app and managing its rapid growth, Archer clumsily navigates between worlds – hipster Brooklyn, bloodthirsty Wall Street, underground hip-hop, innovative Silicon Valley – while trying to avoid the treacherous grip of capitalism and his own precarious sex addiction.  THE ARCHER CONNECTION is co-executive produced and written by Chad Sanders.
FORMAT: FORMAT: Half-hour dramedy

BOOMERANG (previously announced) – BET and Paramount Television are partnering to reboot the 1992 American romantic comedy film BOOMERANG, in which a successful executive finds that his lifestyle choices have turned back on him when his new boss turns out to be a bigger deviant than he is.   This updated version explores contemporary workplace dynamics, including the changing role of gender, office politics, relationships, and the conflicts between Generation X and Millennials.
FORMAT: Half-hour comedy|

GAMES DIVAS PLAY – Based on the popular book by Angela Burt-Murray, this sultry new thriller takes viewers inside the high-stakes world of professional sports where everyone plays to win. With an ensemble cast of dynamic characters including an ambitious reporter, a millionaire basketball player, a desperate housewife, a scandalous groupie, and a murderous stalker, the series follows three women Nia, Vanessa and Laila and the men in their lives.  In a ruthless battle for success, these women’s passions and motivations are seldom altruistic, but their life choices and drive will determine what it really takes to stay on top.  GAMES DIVAS PLAY is executive produced by Tracey Edmonds of Edmonds Entertainment, Angela Burt-Murray and Vanessa Middleton, who also serves as showrunner for the series.
FORMAT: One-hour drama|

PEACHTREE PLACE (previously announced) – Follows five 30-something year olds living in Atlanta as they try to build professional and personal lives they can be proud of, but find that being a real adult is easier said than done. Unresolved feelings from college are uncovered and secrets revealed, forcing these friends to finally deal with uncomfortable truths about love, sex and reluctantly, growing up.  PEACHTREE PLACE is executive produced by Will Packer and co-executive produced by Sheila Duckworth and Felischa Marye, who also serves as a writer on the series.
FORMAT: Half-hour comedy


Brian Bowen Smith, Nisso Studios

FINDING JUSTICE (previously announced) – From executive producers Dwayne Johnson, Dany Garcia and David Leepson, this compelling docuseries tells the powerful stories of heroes, leaders, advocates and change agents in African American communities across America as they uncover injustices and fight to bring healing and change.  With the grit and edge of investigative journalism and the profound heart of a powerful documentary, each episode delivers a riveting look at the faces of change in Black America. FINDING JUSTICE is produced by Seven Bucks Productions and Leepson Bounds Entertainment.
FORMAT: Crime, Docuseries

DREAM TEAM – In the summer of 1992, a basketball team comprised of 11 future Hall of Famers showed up at the Olympics in Spain and changed the face of sports and global culture forever. DREAM TEAM is an intimate journey from the spark of an idea to the podium in Barcelona, examining an incomparable legacy that still resonates 25 years later. Based on acclaimed sports journalist Jack McCallum’s New York Times bestselling book that follows the 1992 U.S. Olympic Men’s Basketball team, the five-episode docuseries from BET and Paramount Television, will explore how a group of extraordinary and complex individuals became a team and how that team transcended sports. DREAM TEAM is directed and executive produced by Emmett and Brendan Malloy of Malloy Brothers Productions.Underground’s Trevor Engelson and Five All in The Fifth’s Douglas Banker also executive produce. McCallum will serve as a consultant for the series. The docuseries is created with the cooperation and support of USA Basketball and the NBA.
FORMAT: Limited series

THE NEXT BIG THING [WORKING TITLE] – This hybrid docu-music competition series highlights super-producer Swizz Beats, Tina Davis, music veteran A&R Exec (Def Jam, Empire), former manager of Chris Brown as we follow a league of powerhouse music icons, put up-and-coming artists through the ultimate development boot camp. After being coached and challenged on performance preparation, these artists must give the best performance of their career to land a deal with one of six major record labels.  Produced by Releve Entertainment, the series is executive produced by Swizz Beats, Tina Davis and Holly Carter.
FORMAT: Music Competition

LADIES NIGHT – This new docuseries follows the personal and professional drama of the iconic 90’s girl groups En Vogue, Salt, Pepa, Spinderella and SWV as they embark on a national tour.  With a run of shows across the US, these iconic artists must create, choreograph, and execute a night featuring all of their famous hits. With major money on the line, the OGs will need to put their pride to the side in order to launch something truly memorable. Produced by Entertainment One’s Tara Long, Mark Herwick, Madison Merritt serve as executive producers.
FORMAT: Docuseries

THE GRAND HUSTLE – From the streets to the boardroom, T.I. wrote the book on hustling and now he’s looking for the nation’s next big hustler to see who will come out on top. Set in the streets of Atlanta, these contestants use the city to prove they have what it takes to out-hustle the rest! In the end, T.I. will choose one person to be named King or Queen of the Hustle – landing a six-figure job working at one of T.I.’s companies. Produced by 51 Minds Entertainment, THE GRAND HUSTLE is executive produced by Christian Sarabia, Clifford “T.I.” Harris, Brian Sher, Vinnie Kaufman and Johnny Petillo.  Petillo also serves as showrunner for the series.
FORMAT: Competition, Docuseries

THE HUSTLE: BROOKLYN – This new coming-of-age docuseries set in Brooklyn, follows a cast of young and sexy millennials with a balance of economic backgrounds, focusing on transitional moments of their lives. Produced by Entertainment One & Creature films, Tara Long of eOne and Mark Ford and Kevin Lopez serve as executive producers.
FORMAT: Docuseries


BET AWARDS – Moving into its nineteenth year, the BET AWARDS franchise is the #1 program in cable television history among African American viewers for 16 consecutive years.  This magnetic night of musical collaborations and jaw-dropping moments consistently delivers high ratings, millions of social media impressions and buzz before, during and after the star-studded live telecast. The best in music has graced the stage including Beyoncé and Kendrick Lamar, Bruno Mars, Chris Brown, DJ Khaled, Chance the Rapper, Migos and more. In 2017, the BET AWARDS honored New Edition with the Lifetime Achievement Award and Chance the Rapper with the Humanitarian Award.

BET EXPERIENCE – Returning for its seventh year, BET Experience at L.A. LIVE presented by Coca-Cola® showcases the best in music, comedy, and entertainment.  The immersive experience continues to grow each year, drawing hundreds of thousands of visitors to the downtown Los Angeles area.  The BET Experience at L.A. LIVE presented by Coca-Cola® includes a series of interactive events such as a free Fan Fest, live music, Celebrity Basketball Game presented by Sprite, Celebrity Dodgeball Game and Genius Talks with A-list talent; as well as a partnership between BET Networks and AEG to bring a star-studded electrifying concert series to the L.A. Live complex.

BET HIP HOP AWARDS – The BET HIP HOP AWARDS returns to highlight the best of the year in hip-hop music, with bold performances and breakthrough freestyle cyphers.  This seminal awards show singularly celebrates hip-hop and sets social media on fire with the click of a hashtag, placing it among the most social award shows all year.

BLACK GIRLS ROCK!™ – Featuring emerging and legendary talent, touching tributes to present-day role models and soulful, surprising musical performances, BLACK GIRLS ROCK!™ celebrates the brilliance and beauty of Black women.  This Award-winning special is both timely and timeless, saluting dynamic leaders in entertainment, business, philanthropy, and beyond. Past award winners include film legend Cicely Tyson, music and fashion icon Rihanna, director Ava DuVernay, educator Nadia Lopez, and veteran actor Taraji P. Henson.  Created by executive producer Beverly Bond, BLACK GIRLS ROCK™ highlights the wide spectrum of talent and contributions of women of color who are shaping our world.

SOUL TRAIN AWARDS – The iconic brand that defined a generation returns with an awards show that delivers world class talent and honors the best in R&B and soul. Recent performers include Jill Scott, Tamar Braxton, Luke James and more. In 2017, the SOUL TRAIN AWARDS honored Toni Braxton with the Legend Award and SWV with the Lady of Soul Award. The SOUL TRAIN AWARDS is guaranteed to deliver Love, Peace, and SOUL!

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