Monday, September 28, 2009

BET Jazz Renames to Centric; The CW and TBS Cancelations

We all know about the name change Viacom is doing for The N turning into TeenNick starting today, but did you know Viacom's BET Jazz is turning into Centric today? BET is rebranding its nearly 32 million subscriber "BET J" network under the Centric title, which will target African-American viewers with music and lifestyle programming. The network for the short-term will rely on acquired reality and music programming fare from its sister networks, including such shows as MTV's Run's House and VH1's The Salt-N-Pepa Show and I Want To Work for Diddy. Centric will also feature new shows originally slated to premiere this fall on BET J, including Leading Men, Lyrical Café and Urban Living. The network will also air classic episodes from the long-running Soul Train syndicated music/dance series, including singer Michael Jackson's first appearance on the show as a member of The Jackson Five. The network will pay homage to the "King of Pop," who died this past June, with a Jackson-themed primetime programming block tonight at 9pm (and encoring Friday at 11am). Also, the network will air the original Fame series to launch the network today from 9am-9pm with an encore on Sunday from 6am-6pm. Episode titles from the 1982 series airing in the block are "The Strike," "A Musical Bridge," "Passing Grade," "Tomorrow's Farewell," "The Crazies," "Teachers," "Class Act," "Feelings," "Star Quality," "Solo Song," "Ending on a High Note," and "Not in Kansas Anymore." I believe this is in honor of the new Fame movie that opened this past weekend. As of now, Centric is not airing this series as a regular.
While the network is officially on the air today, BET and MTV are not planning any major marketing campaigns for Centric until 2010. For the immediate future, Centric will run cross-promotional spots through such MTV Networks properties as VH1, MTV and BET. Hopefully we see some sitcoms on Centric, but it doesn't seem like we will see any...I guess sitcom will be just for BET itself.

The CW has canceled new Wednesday drama The Beautiful Life: TBL after just two airings. TBL was the fall's first cancelation, after draw just over 1 million viewers for its second episode not holding much of anything of the America's Next Top Model lead-in. Starting this Wednesday at 9pm, repeats of Melrose Place, which is not doing much better, will take over the slot. Melrose Place airs original episodes Tuesdays at 9pm.
And finally TBS has canceled multi-camera sitcom The Bill Engvall Show after three seasons. The series moved to Saturdays for its third season and didn't generate much numbers. TBS opted to go with a fourth season of single camera sitcom My Boys instead I guess.

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