Creator / BET
BET (Black Entertainment Television) is a Viacom-owned cable network based in Washington, D.C.. It was one of the first channels to specialize in programming for African-Americans. The network was launched on January 25, 1980, by its founder, Robert L. Johnson. For years it primarily showcased music videos by black artists (with a strong leaning towards hip-hop and pop-R&B), public interest programs such as Teen Summit, and even a nightly news broadcast.

Viacom acquired BET in 2001. In the same year, it hosted the inaugural BET Awards, to honor black contributions to the media and sports. However, since Viacom's acquisition, BET's schedule was reduced to syndicated reruns, B-movies, and reality shows. 106 & Park, its flagship music program, ended its run in 2014; banishing music videos to BET's spinoff channels. In addition, many black leaders, such as Bill Cosby, have accused BET of promoting black stereotypes and corrupting the youth, and because of this, the network now censors music videos with inappropriate content.

On the upside, BET does air a few notable first-run shows such as The Game (following its Channel Hop from The CW, becoming BET's biggest show in the process), The Real Husbands Of Hollywood, and drama series Being Mary Jane. The ratings success of The Game and critical acclaim of Being Mary Jane inspired BET's current push towards more scripted fare.

On Sundays, BET shows gospel-oriented programming under the BET Rejoices branding. In 2008, it established The BET Honors to honor the lives of important black figures. Other tentpole events seen on the network include: BET Hip Hop Awards (since 2006), Black Girls Rock! (since 2010), and the Celebration of Gospel (since 2001).

The network has gone on to spawn a number of spinoffs.
  • Centric - Originally launched in 1996 as "BET on Jazz", this network has since become an adult-oriented entertainment channel targeting women.
  • BET Movies: Starz 3 - a multiplex of Starz that airs African-American movies, launched in in 1998. After BET was purchased by Viacom, the channel became what is now known as "Starz inBlack".
  • BET Hip-Hop - A network that airs Hip-Hop related programming, launched in 2007.
  • BET Gospel - A network dedicated to Gospel-related programming, launched in 2007.
  • BET Jams - Originally launched as a spinoff of MTV, airing Urban-genre music videos. On October 5, 2015, the network re-aligned itself under the BET brand.
  • BET Soul - Originally a spinoff of VH1, devoted to soul, R&B and funk music. The network changed its name on December 28, 2015.

Past Shows

  • Video Soul
  • All
  • Rap City (before The Basement was added)
  • Teen Summit
  • Midnight Love
  • Video LP
  • Video Vibrations
  • Planet Groove
  • Caribbean Rhythms
  • ComicView
  • BET Nightly News
  • 106 & Park: Named for the original location of the studio in Harlem (at the intersection of 106th St. and Park Avenue). The show most people think of when they think of BET and its highest-rated show.

Original Shows:

  • American Gangster
  • Being Mary Jane
  • Bobby Jones Gospel
  • BET Inspiration
  • Black Panther
  • The Deal
  • The Family Crews
  • The Game (from 2011-2015; previously on The CW)
  • Hey Monie
  • Let's Stay Together
  • Monica: Still Standing
  • The Mo'Nique Show
  • My Black is Beautiful
  • Punk'd (The 2015 Reboot, hosted by King Bach and DeStorm Power)
  • The Real Husbands Of Hollywood
  • Reed Between The Lines (now airs on Centric)
  • Sunday Best
  • Toya: A Family Affair

Syndicated shows:

Alternative Title(s): Black Entertainment Television