Wednesday, April 20, 2016

BET Picks Up New Scripted Series 'Tales,' 'Benched,' 'Rebel,' 'Comedy Get Down' and 'New Edition'

During its Upfront presentation today in New York, BET revealed a massive push into scripted programming - handing out series orders to 5 diverse shows.

Here's the details on all of the new scripted programming on BET:

TALES - From executive producer Irv Gotti Lorenzo comes Tales, a 60-minute scripted anthology series of "song stories" weaving classic hip-hop songs into visually stunning 3-act narratives. Far beyond the music video or the live event, Tales brings hip-hop alive in a completely new way for television. Each song's lyrics are imagined as cinematic adventures with a different director and screenwriter per song story.

The series is a multi-platform cross-collaboration with TIDAL, the global music and entertainment platform, where the director's cut versions of each episode will live exclusively after premiering on BET. Tales is produced and created by Irv Gotti Lorenzo and his Visionary Ideas production company.

BENCHED - A one-hour original scripted dramedy about a reluctant, recently appointed judge who is not quite ready to give up his life as a bachelor to begin a new life as a public servant. Each week he confronts the underbelly of the criminal justice system that has derailed a generation of African Americans, including those close to him - as he upholds the tenets of the same system.

Scott Brown created the series, and will executive produce for BET.

REBEL - An extraordinary take on the seminal police drama that examines the unique and conflicted relationship officers of color have with their jobs - at a time when police forces are rife with brutality and misconduct. Oakland police officer, Rebecca "Rebel" Cole, has always excelled by playing by the rules. She has always know that she must be better and smarter on the job because she is both black and female. After her brother is slain by police, Rebel soon becomes disillusioned with the system and is forced to take matters into her own hands and become a private investigator and a champion for her community. Caught between family loyalty and the fraternity in blue, Rebel's actions set in motion a cause-and-effect crisis that can' be undone.

Oscar nominee John Singleton (Boyz in the Hood) created the series, and will serve as executive producer and director. Dallas Jackson will also executive produce. MarVista Entertainment will produce.

COMEDY GET DOWN - The first scripted comedy series about what really happens behind the scenes of a massive stand-up comedy tour featuring five legendary comics - George Lopez, DL Hughley, Cedric the Entertainer, Eddie Griffin and Charlie Murphy. They're hilarious, insane and unapologetic on stage, but the second they step off is when the real show begins. The storylines are based on actual events that have taken place not only on their wildly successful Comedy Get Down arena tour, but throughout the 25 plus years each has been a nationally headlining comedian. A workplace comedy at its core, the 30 minute, single-camera series explores the personal and professional relationships of these five comic titans as they navigate the challenges of life on the road: seedy venues, racist road managers, pushy wives, angry baby mamas, obsessive fans, demanding celebrities, shady politicians and more.

Tom Brunelle, Brad Wollack, Michael Rotenberg, Greg Walter, Kimberly Carver and Eric C. Rhone serve as executive producers. Free 90, 3 Arts Entertainment and A Bird and A Bear Entertainment will produce.

NEW EDITION: THE MOVIE - New Edition laid the foundation for how modern-day boy bands look, feel and sound. Boyz II Men, N'SYNC, The Backstreet Boys, and New Kids on the Block all took their cues from Ronnie, Bobby, Ricky, Mike, Ralph and Johnny. After 30 years of breaking hearts on the record and from the stage, New Edition finally gets the biopic that their stellar tenure in entertainment so richly deserves. This 3-part miniseries follows the group from their humble beginnings as kids in Boston to global megastardom - weathering the highs and lows of controversy, personnel changes and the ultimate cost of fame.

The cast will include Bryshere Y. Gray, Elijah Kelley, Luke James, Keith Powers, Algee Smith and Woody McClain.

Abdul Williams is writing the miniseries, with Chris Robinson set to direct. Jesse Collins Entertainment will produce.