“BET Her” Launches in October, Let’s Pitch Hypothetical Shows for a “BET Him” Network

By Nick Delmacy | Posted Sep 27 2017 | 24 Comments  

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This October 1st, BET’s struggling sister network, Centric, will be rebranded as “BET Her.” A 24-hour network for African American women.

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According to Variety, the rebranding of Centric as BET Her is “an effort to strengthen the channel’s appeal to African-American women. Centric launched in October 2009 as a rebrand of what was then BET on Jazz.”

For years now, Centric had already started an unofficial lean towards focusing on Black women for their content. Back in November 2014, the network subtly changed its’ subheading to “The First Network Designed for Black Women.” They started airing new episodes of the cancelled Queen Latifah produced VH1 show, “Single Ladies,” as well as docu-series featuring all women like “From the Bottom Up.”

However, the network is much more overt with its’ focus purely on Black Women now:

This made me think:

If there was ever a network created just for BLACK MEN called “BET Him,” would there be any uproar or dissent?

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I mean, there are plenty of networks directed to men out there already: ESPN, FX, Spike TV and Esquire Network comes to mind. But none of these networks are specifically catering to BLACK MEN. With hundreds of niche networks out there, is that even a thing we could imagine existing in our lifetimes?


One could make the argument that, besides sports related programming, there are not enough show ideas out there that Black Men would even care about. I disagree.

As this website demonstrates daily, Black men have varied interests and television watching habits. To prove this viewpoint, I though it would be fun to pitch our own show ideas for the hypothetical “BET Him” network. Cypher Avenue editor Octavius Williams already created a show idea that would be perfect for our network for Black men, here are some others:

1. EASY RAWLINS (The Series)

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The everyday man detective, Ezekiel “Easy” Rawlins, created by Walter Mosley in a series of mystery novels, was adapted for the screen back in 1995 for, “Devil in a Blue Dress,” starring Denzel Washington as Easy.

In the source material, the character lives in the Watts neighborhood of Los Angeles throughout the 1940s to 1960s. But a 10-12 episode network television version of character could easily be updated to modern times.

Last we heard, FX was supposedly developing a series adapted by Josh Boone, a lanky white guy from Virginia Beach who wrote and direct the upcoming X-Men: The New Mutants film. I’m not saying that he can’t do a great job with the series, but the show made for and by Black men on “BET Him” might ring truer to the source material.

2. MKBHD aka The Marques Brownlee Tech Show

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With 5 million subscribers and over 700 million views on YouTube, many of you already know about Marques Brownlee, the 23 year old online tech reviewer. He already has a huge fan base and deep ties in the tech community thanks to his high quality video reviews of tech products.

On top of that, its rumored that Brownlee has become a multi-millionaire from his YouTube channel that started 8 years ago when he was only 14 years old:

Standing at 6’3″ tall and very easy on the eyes, a tech series featuring reviews and interviews by Marques Brownlee would definitely be a perfect fit for “BET Him.”

3. Invisible Life (The Series) and B-Boy Blues (The Series)

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For Black gay men (like myself), E. Lynn Harris and James Earl Hardy were their first introduction to what it was like to be gay. If you were like me and you read novels by these writers while tucked away in a local library, you know that these were our adolescent peeks into what our older lives may be like.

Hard to believe that none of their works have been adapted to the large or small screens.

My first gay novel, E. Lynn Harris’ “Invisible Life,” was listed as one of the top “20 Classic Works of gay Literature” by the Los Angeles Times. Spanning several novels (“Just As I Am” and “Abide With Me”), we follow the story of Raymond as he makes the journey of self discovery. The recap of the first book alone could fill a season or two of television:

Synopsis: Law school, girlfriends, and career choices were all part of Raymond Tyler’s life, but there were other, more terrifying issues for him to confront. Being black was tough enough, but Raymond was becoming more and more conscious of sexual feelings that he knew weren’t “right.” He was completely committed to Sela, his longtime girlfriend, but his attraction to Kelvin, whom he had met during his last year in law school, had become more than just a friendship.  Fleeing to New York to escape both Sela and Kelvin, Raymond finds himself more confused than ever before. New relationships–both male and female–give him enormous pleasure but keep him from finding the inner peace and lasting love he so desperately desires.

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James Earl Hardy’s celebrated (and sex-heavy) 6-book “B-Boy Blues” series could also definitely work on our hypothetical “BET him” network as a 10-episode show.

Synopsis: Mitchell Crawford always wished, hoped, and dreamed for a RUFFNECK – a hip-hop-lovin’, street-struttin’, cool posin’, crazy crotch-grabbin’ brotha. And he finally finds one in Raheim Rivers, who is a vision of lust: six feet tall and 215 pounds of mocha-chocolate muscle. Mitchell knows Raheim will take him for a walk on the wild side, especially between the sheets. But he doesn’t count on getting behind Raheim’s mask – and finding someone he can love.

4. BROTHERMAN: THE ANIMATED SERIES

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Co-created by real life brothers Dawud Anyabwile and Guy A. Sims in 1990, the Brotherman: Dictator of Discipline comic book series has been a visually breathtaking work or art that has inspired a generation of new artists.

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The unique visual style of Dawud Anyabwile’s art would be perfect for an animated series on “BET Him.” I can even imagine the great voice work from both unknown actors and celebrities to add an even greater flair to the “Blackness” of the comic book.

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5. BLACK MALE ENTREPRENEURS (The Docu-Series)

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A show featuring nothing but inspiring tales of young & old, past & present Black Male Entrepreneurs. Can you imagine that? No other network would even consider doing anything like this but a fake network like “BET Him.”

Flimed in docu-series form, we would see these entrepreneurs tell their origin stories in interviews and give keys to their success for other men out there looking to start a business as well.

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Imagine how encouraging a show like that would be to young boys of all ages. It would show them first hand that they could reach their dreams with hard work and dedication, no matter what their current circumstances were.

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A network series like this could also show the world that Black men are more than the stereotypes that the media depicts of us.


Shows based on original ideas, inspired from books or featuring real life public figures, the possibilities are endless. What show ideas would you pitch for the hypothetical “BET  Him” network?

 

About the Author
Nick Delmacy

Nick is a founder, editor and the pop culture expert at Cypher Avenue. Serving as the designer and webmaster of the site, he is the architect of The Cypher Avenue Matrix.

   
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24 Comments Feel Free To Join The Cypher.

  1. 850famuman
    850famuman | September 27th, 2017
    0

    I liked the majority of your ideas, Nick but this channel would not be complete with out its own version of the View meets the Real called [b]The Chill Spot[b]. An all black male talkshow panel/variety hour would work great on BET Him. Id imagine 5 hosts with one slot kept open for guest hosts. Id like to see Keith Boykin or TJ Holmes (hed cover politics, govt & glbtq stuff), Laz Alonso or Tank (to cover entertainment, celebrities, & fashion) DL Hughley (veteran comedian, man on the street and commentator) & maybe G.Garvin (home, family, and cooking) as the perm hosts. I could imagine Tip, Tyrese, Shaq, Kobe or even Grant Hill hogging the guest spot for entire weeks at a time!

    • Nicholan
      Nicholan | October 13th, 2017
      0

      @850famuman Like you already mentioned, DL Hughley would be PERFECT for a show like this! Jeff Johnson would also be a good addition to the panel.

  2. DJ Baker | September 27th, 2017
    0

    Can I say, we need to fundraise and get you a network buddy. Well thought out BET Him programming.. Almost forgot it was hypothetical for a min. I honestly was ready to empty out DVR and start recording… There is such a thirst for POC authentic LGBT storytelling, there is never enough voices. Now if we could get the viewers to support, but I’m sure with a few legit A or B list stars changes everything.. Great article!!

  3. DJ Baker
    DJ Baker | September 27th, 2017
    0

    Can I say, we need to fundraise and get you a network buddy. Well thought out BET Him programming.. Almost forgot it was hypothetical for a min. I honestly was ready to empty out DVR and start recording… There is such a thirst for POC authentic LGBT storytelling, there is never enough voices. Now if we could get the viewers to support, but I’m sure with a few legit A or B list stars changes everything.. Great article!!

  4. Ockydub
    Ockydub | September 27th, 2017
    +1

    I hope Black men will appreciate the network when it debuts in the year 2030 on Tyler Perry's sister network.

    But on the real, this post was very creative and dope.

  5. Ockydub
    Ockydub | September 27th, 2017
    0

    There needs to be balance. There should be one or two conservatives on the show like Larry Elder or Paris Dennard.

    • 850famuman
      850famuman | September 28th, 2017
      0

      I kinda feel like that is who & what the guest spot would be for..or there could be special segments/man on the streets done by a more conservative/right-wing type bruh. But the main hosts need to be black/men of color that other people of color actually like & follow for the show to work. Yknow black folks as a whole care more about interpersonal relationships than politics…

  6. Ockydub
    Ockydub | September 27th, 2017
    0

    Yo…we need an Iyanla Vanzant 'Fix my Male Life' type show on the network with a Black male host/s.

    Maybe with both Jeff Gardere Dr. Michael Bernard Beckwith
    [​IMG] [​IMG]

    • 850famuman
      850famuman | September 28th, 2017
      0

      Hmmmm…for that to work specifically targeted on black males who need life coaching, I feel that would have to be a male/female duo. The guy coach would handle the physical barriers & issues while the female coach would handle the deeper, psycho-emotional stuff. Iyanla be coming close to getting swung on on her show, could you imagine what would happen to a black male life coach on a reality-based show like her’s? lol

  7. SB3
    SB3 | September 27th, 2017
    0

    They've tried this a couple times, but male viewers just don't show up enough. They even tried it w white guys (I think I remember Tony Danza being on it) and that tanked too.

    However, I do think it could potentially have a better shelf life in this age of social media and allowing viewers to have their voices and opinions heard.

    • 850famuman
      850famuman | September 28th, 2017
      0

      Agreed. Dude..the first week of shows would revolve around black love and relationships. A few segments on interracial relationships alone (with the correct participants) would be ratings gold….

  8. LeMignon
    LeMignon | September 28th, 2017
    0

    I'd also like a show about black men coming out of jail and overcoming the lack of job prospects. It'd be dope to hear stories of black men who came out, overcame their circumstance, and are now successful… despite getting caught in the system.

  9. BlackguyExecutive
    BlackguyExecutive | September 28th, 2017
    0

    I think you will need a drama soap series. The Counselor starring Edris Elba. He plays a high-powered Defense Attorney working to get people wrongfully accused off…and he goes after bad cops.

    [​IMG]

  10. BlackguyExecutive
    BlackguyExecutive | September 28th, 2017
    0

    Can we have a Black Shark Tank programming? Brotha making pitches to start businesses?

  11. BlackguyExecutive
    BlackguyExecutive | September 28th, 2017
    0

    Who is the black male version of Suzie Orman? I could use some financial advice!

    • 850famuman
      850famuman | September 28th, 2017
      0

      Do you think maybe making Black Enterprise Magazine into an hour long info/interview series for the fictional Him channel would cover those bases?

  12. Rico
    Rico | September 28th, 2017
    0

    oh LORD…Suze Orman? Yeah her black male counterpart is Steve Harvey or Russell Simmons pushing prepaid cards. Orman is a joke, no real financial analyst would recommend her or Dave Ramsey. The white corollary would be Ric Edelman. Or Louis Rukeyser (but that was before your time, young brother)

    Besides, Earl Graves Sr. is very much alive. I propose a show with him and Jr. Two generation perspective…

  13. Ockydub
    Ockydub | September 29th, 2017
    0

    Completely disagree about Suzie Orman

  14. Rico
    Rico | September 29th, 2017
    0

    Feel free to, but my criticism wasn’t personality based, it’s based on what financial planners and investment advisors who know better say about her and her “advice”. Just because someone is popular doesn’t mean they are right. People like her and Dave Ramsey.

    I mean if we’re just shooting the breeze about pretend shows, I’d want black men to get better technical and informed advice about financial planning than from someone like her who spews highly generic and often WRONG advice…

  15. Aejae
    Aejae | October 9th, 2017
    0

    @Nick Delmacy it does seem like a great idea because by naming it BET:Her, they're only making it obvious that they're catering to black women and not their counterpart. If they really want to re-brand their network, they just need to change the content they put on these channels. And like BET, MTV, and lastly the network who really disappointed me, VH1, thy need to stop replaying these old movies and these old TV shows! Yes they are classics that we enjoy every now and then, but there needs to be new shows and apparently better people behind the scenes because, you might as well replace these channels with digital cable channels like MTV or Revolt TV or NBA or NFL Network. Changing the name of a TV channel is like changing a picture frame I stead of the actual picture itself. Very pointless.

  16. OhSheit
    OhSheit | October 9th, 2017
    0

    BET: Uncut return, let's be realistic here.

  17. Nicholan
    Nicholan | October 13th, 2017
    0

    I love all of these ideas! I’m going to tweet this post to BET. Lol

  18. LeMignon
    LeMignon | October 16th, 2017
    0

    Really though! That would be a great idea! I actually started working at a financial firm and started learning about her and Dave Ramsey! I'm so about growing my money and helping my family and friends do the same! This would be a dope show.

  19. LeMignon
    LeMignon | October 16th, 2017
    0

    Another question I'd like to pose for this BET: Him channel is: "How would gay black males be incorporated into this network?" What role could we play in the network without pushing most straight black guys away? What do y'all think?




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