Can I Get a Rerun? 7 Shows BET Should Bring Back
We’ve talked about BET quite a bit over the past week. We discussed why VH1, a network which is owned by BET’s parent company, seems to have all the high-rated programming, while its sister station is on struggle mode. We even asked whether ratchet reality shows were “not good enough” for the network. Who really knows the answer. All we can say for sure is that once Bob Johnson, the creator of the network, sold it to Viacom, things started to take a turn toward terrible, boring or just plain awful. But this wasn’t always the case, there was a time when BET’s shows were quite entertaining. Check out the shows we wish the network would bring back.
I will forever be indebted to “Midnight Love” for being the first place I saw D’Angelo’s “Untitled (How Does it Feel)” video. In contrast to BET’s Hip Hop heavy content, “Midnight Love” was the time to slow everything down and focus on the slow jams. It was like the “Quiet Storm” in video format. Due to the fact that people could request or dedicate their favorite videos, via a request line, there were often a lot of repeats from night to night– (Anybody remember how they used to play N’Sync’s “Gone”?)–but that didn’t stop the show from being amazing. In 2005, it was reformed to “BET: After Dark,” but things just weren’t the same.
Sing with me…”It’s Comic View on BET, comin’ at you six nights a week, Get your laugh on, When you wanna get your laugh on. (Get your laugh on baby!)” I don’t know about you, but few shows provided as much entertainment as “Comic View” did back in the day. Essentially, it was a direct rip off of “Def Comedy Jam,” but for a new generation of comics. I can’t tell you how many times I watched that show, wishing I was old enough to be in the studio audience. “Comic View” introduced us, or at least me, to the likes of Ricky Smiley, Lavell Crawford, Sheryl Underwood, Bruce Bruce and my personal favorite Arnez J. The things that man could do with his body were amazing. The show had an insanely long run from 1992 to 2008, moving around to different cities. Perhaps the ratings slipped a little bit. Either way, it’s a show, the network could stand to reinstate.
BET News (preferably with Jacque Reid)
BET News became a part of the programming just eight years after the network’s launch in 1980. The program covered local and international news concerning black communities. At that time it was hosted by Ed Gordon and then eventually by Jacque Reid. Personally, Jacque was my favorite. She was the perfect balance of professional and keep-it-real relateable. But like so many other of BET’s programs, it ceased to exist in 2005, just two years after Johnson sold it to Viacom.
Before there was the ever-popular “106th and Park,” there was “Teen Summit.” A program dedicated to talking about the very real issues black teenagers were facing during those times, it also featured guest performances from some of the hottest musical acts. The show first aired in 1989 and ended in 2002. Five years later, in 2007, BET brought a type of backstage access to the show but that was the last we’ve ever heard of it.
I could appreciate Cita because she was what she was: hood. With her super short mini skirts, buxom frame and loud mouth, Cita was quite entertaining. She introduced the music videos like no one else, and provided commentary that sounded much like something we would say to our own friends. Was I the only one who completely shocked to find out that Cita was voiced by Kali “Miss Kitty” Troy. If you don’t recognize her by name, she was the same woman who was on the reality show, “Let’s Talk About Pep,” which also starred fellow BET colleague, Jacque Reid. Cita was the embodiment of a stereotype, which is probably why BET got rid of her. If you don’t remember her show, check out the clip below. What do you think, was she too funny or too much?
Rap City/ Rap City: The Basement
In response to MTV’s “Yo! MTV Raps,”which launched in 1988. BET debuted “Rap City” in 1989. The show was good not only for the Hip Hop heads and music lovers in general because it featured interviews with rappers but also the now famous freestyle sessions in the booth. In the later years, “Cousin Jeff” came on the show and added a little something extra to the show with his news updates and commentaries. That was his launch into the mainstream world of political and social commentary. Today, you better not call him “Cousin Jeff,” he’s just Jeff Johnson these days.
How I’m Living
This show was a straight rip off from MTV’s “Cribs” but you could guarantee that when you were watching “How I’m Living,” 9/10 it would be somebody you cared about. The show featured everyone from A.J. and Free (a shoe in.) to Steve Harvey, to Alicia Keys. While I’d love to see this show come back the “Cribs” and “How I’m Living” days were before paparazzi became out of control and people started stanning for their favorite celebs.
What did we miss? What were your favorite shows from BET back in the day?
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