Black Entertainment Television, which is more commonly known as BET, has been airing unique programming aimed at the African American community since 1980. During its first few years, BET existed as a block of programming on another network, but it received its own channel in 1983. At first, the network aired programming that consisted of music videos and sitcoms, but it has grown to include a number of other types of programming. Some of the highest rated shows on BET are produced by the network as original programming, but its core remains rooted in the world of music videos.
One of the longest-running and most popular programs on BET is its music video show, “106 & Park.” The program debuted in 2000, and it is still going strong today. Throughout its history it has featured the top music videos of the day from black performers with commentary from an affable host and interviews with musical artists. The show is popular with a wide range of viewers, most of whom are under the age of 30. Because of the content of the videos, the program has seen its share of controversy, but most viewers agree that the program only showcases the best and most popular music video programming.
Talk shows can be hugely successful if they are presented by a likeable host. BET’s “The Wendy Williams Show,” which has been airing on the network since 2009, is just such a program. As one of the highest rated shows on the network, “The Wendy Williams Show” treats viewers to interviews with celebrity guests as well as a number of popular segments like “Hot Topics” and “Ask Wendy.” Thanks to the efforts of Ms. Williams as the show’s host, the syndicated program has become a favorite among women from the ages of 24-50.
BET has always had a strong connection with gospel music, and its show “Sunday Best” is the latest program to highlight the musical style. The show, which is extremely popular with viewers of all ages, particularly religious African Americans, is a reality competition program that is designed to select the next superstar in the world of gospel music. The program has been airing for five seasons, and its champions have been very successful.
BET is designed as a niche network, but it is popular among a large segment of the population. Its highest rated shows make up a terrific cross-section of the network’s overall programming philosophy, and they tend to highlight music and entertainment. As the channel continues to grow and expand, it will certainly add more outstanding programming to its schedule.