The network said it would air the six-part epic "The Book of Negroes," a historical drama based upon the Commonwealth Prize winning novel by Lawrence Hill. The story follows Aminata Diallo's capture in Africa, enslavement in America and emancipation in England., and stars Cuba Gooding Jr. and Aunjuane Ellis. Produced in partnership with eOne and The CBS.
"Our new shows and feature films, combined with our returning hits like 'Real Husbands of Hollywood' and 'Being Mary Jane,' make BET's original slate stronger than ever," said Debra L. Lee, chairman and CEO, BET Networks, in a prepared statement.
Other new programs include:
"The Start Up: Diggy Simmons makes his scripted series debut as Blake Monroe, founder of TheJetsetters.com, an entertainment and lifestyle blog. Also stars Teyana Taylor, Bria Murphy, Allen Maldonado, Chris Brew, and Stephanie Charles. From executive producers Mara Brock Akil, Salim Akil, Kenya Barris, James DuBose, Kevin Liles and Laurie Dobbins.
"Gone Gospel": Musicians compete in weekly challenges and embark on a journey to rebuild their careers. Under the mentorship of star-making songwriters, producers and life coaches, the artists will write an inspirational anthem.There will be egos. . Hosted by Kirk Franklin. Executive produced by Marilyn Gill and Kirk Franklin.
"Got Game": Eligible men and women have to woo a new prospect without relying on their great looks, killer body or fashion sense. Hosted by Donnivin Jordan.
" Let The Church Say Amen" (special): Actress Regina Kingsteps behind the camera to bring ReShonda Tate Billingsley's inspirational best-seller to the screen. Enter the world of Rachel Jackson,a preacher's daughter who surmounts incredible odds to reconcile with the father she disappointed. Stars Naturi Naughton, Steve Harris, Lela Rochon Fuqua, Hosea Chanchez and Collins Pennie. Produced by Queen Latifah, Shakim Compere, Shelby Stone, and Regina King. Executive producers are Reina King and TD Jakes.
"The Hot Chocolate Nutcracker" (special): From veteran executive producer and director Debbie Allen comes a new vision for a holiday classic. A young girl's dream comes to life when her Christmas gift shows her wondrous new worlds where original music and dance warm hearts, just like hot chocolate. Stars Raven-Symone' and Tichina Arnold.
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