Three original prime time series will launch during BET’s ’04-05 season: "Style," offering entertainment news; "Speak Now," a talker about political and social issues affecting African-Americans; and "On and Off," a behind-the-scenes look at music superstars. The net also will get back into made-for films with "Book of Love," a Valentine’s Day romantic comedy starring Robin Givens. An annual comedy awards special will debut in Sept and concerts will be a monthly feature. Returning series include "College Hill," "106 & Park," "Coming to the Stage," and "ComicView." BET made the announcements at its first NY upfront Tues night, an event marked by rousing performances from Missy Elliott and Alicia Keys, and an extended "Twilight Zone" spoof of advertiser misperceptions of the channel. The latter aimed a few pointed barbs at rivals UPN, which like BET, is Viacom-owned, and TV One. — SiTV will hit NY next month with its debut upfront program, barely 3 months after the English-language Latino net’s premiere. – Simon Applebaum

The Daily


Zaslav on Top With AT&T-Discovery Merger

Discovery CEO David Zaslav has spent the last 15 years building a factual content empire, but a $43 billion merger with WarnerMedia will soon have him overseeing a dynasty with more than 20 traditional cable networks, two young streaming services, and probably a partridge and a pear tree.

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