BET to Launch New Hip Hop Awards - Multichannel

BET to Launch New Hip Hop Awards

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Pasadena, Calif. -- Black Entertainment Television will look to continue is success in the awards-show arena with the November launch of The BET Hip Hop AwardsShow.

The show, hosted by comedian Katt Williams, will join the network's ratings juggernaut BET Awards and BET Comedy Awards, BET president of entertainment Reginald Hudlin said at the network's Television Critics Association tour session here Tuesday.

VH1 currently offers a hip-hop-oriented awards show dubbed Hip Hop Honors, which focuses on classic rap artists. Hudlin said BET's version will have a different focus than VH1’s, but he would not reveal specific details.

Hudlin added that the network is working on several other projects, including scripted fare and original series, but he would not provide details.

BET will continue its development of celebreality series with the launch Wednesday of skeins featuring rhythm-and-blues artist Keyshia Cole and rap star DMX. The network later this month will also debut a special, Top 25 Hottest Bodies.

On the news side, BET beginning Aug. 7 and running through the month will offer daily news briefs leading up to the anniversary of Hurricane Katrina. At the end of the month, the network will develop a special dealing with the subject.

"We thought doing a [news] segment every day would have a tremendous impact," Hudlin said.

BET also announced that it has dropped its controversial late-night music-video series, Uncut. The weekly show, which aired Wednesdays at 3 a.m., offered risqué music videos.

On the BET J front, the 23 million-subscriber network will launch its first reality series, Committed: The Christies, based on the life and marriage of National Basketball Association player Doug Christie, according to Paxton Baxter, executive vice president and general manager for BET J and BET Digital Networks.