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James Hibberd

BET Banks on Reality

July 11, 2006 2:18 PM

BET wins for most defensive presentation of a reality slate.

President of Entertainment Reginald Hudlin just noted during the network’s presentation that some people equate reality programming with “evil.” Chairman and CEO Debra Lee promised “BET is not the same old BET”—which would be more convincing if BET executives hadn’t made similar proclamations at every TCA. Still, fueled by a recent embrace of reality programming, BET’s ratings are up – 7 percent in prime among total viewers for second quarter.

At last January’s Press Tour, BET angered critics by giving their employees cards with pre-written questions to ask the panelists – ringers! This session’s had its own drama: The fire alarm went off, but executives gamely soldiered on.  


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