Katt Williams Lands BET Hip Hop Awards Gig

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BET Tuesday announced that actor and comedian Katt Williams will return to host the network’s third-annual BET Hip Hop Awards show on Thursday, Oct. 23 at 8 p.m. ET.

Williams, known for his signature permed hair and over-the-top style, has previously appeared on popular BET shows including Comic View, The Black Carpet and 106 Park.

The awards show will be taped Saturday, Oct. 18 at the Boisefeuillet Jones Atlanta Civic Center in Atlanta. The primetime special will honor urban music, musicians and culture, network officials said.

Other performers, nominees and attendees will be announced later this month.

Last year's BET Hip Hop Awards drew an impressive 2.5 rating, which translated into 3.3 million viewers and was the No. 1 hip hop-themed telecast on TV for the second consecutive year, according to Nielsen Media Research.

BET officials said this year’s iteration returns with its Hot 16 challenge, a partnership with BET.com, producer Jermaine Dupri and MySpace in which users will enter an online rap battle for a chance to win a VIP trip for four to the 2008 BET Hip HopAwards and an in-studio session with Dupri.

Online viewers have until Monday, September 15 to vote for their favorite entries and help determine the five finalists. The finalists' videos will then be posted on BET.com on Wednesday, Sept. 17 for users to vote for their favorite before Wednesday, Sept. 24, with Dupri determining the grand prize winner.

Cosette Productions will produce the telecast with Stephen G. Hill, BET’s executive vice president of music and programming and Lynne Harris-Taylor, vice president of specials, serving as executive producers.

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