BET Officially KO’s ‘Don’t Sleep!’


BET has officially put to bed its latest attempt at offering a late night show.

The network said Thursday that it will not bring back T.J. Holmes’ Don’t Sleep! late night news/talk show, eight months after its initial launch.

The half-hour series, which vowed to “tackle current headlines that affect our community while also creating awareness about vital stories mainstream media tends to disregard,” for the most part attempted to deliver on that promise with segments that dealt with issues ranging from the Trayvon Martin shooting to New York’s City’s controversial “stop and frisk” laws to voter suppression.

But the show, which aired Monday through Thursday, failed to draw a significant audience. After generating a series-high 1 million viewers for its Oct. 9 episode, the series averaged less than 400,000 viewers before being revamped into a weekly, one-hour format on Nov. 14. The last new episode of the series aired Dec. 19. 

In a statement, BET said Don’t Sleepdelivered smart social commentary on significant issues important to African Americans with the nation’s most prominent thought leaders. BET remains committed to being a resource for our audience on issues that directly affect the African American community."

Holmes, who arrived at BET from CNN in early 2012 amid much fanfare, will not return to BET for any future projects, according to network sources. Holmes said in a statement: "I thank the audience and my fans for all of their support. I am proud of Don't Sleep and I look forward to continuing to speak to broad issues affecting the national and global communities."

The launch of Don’t Sleep! came one year after BET’s cancelled its previous late night entry, The Mo’Nique Show. Network executives say they don’t have any immediate plans on developing another original late night series project.