BET Networks, a division of Viacom Inc., has debuted its television programming available for download and purchase on Apple’s iTunes Store. BET’s new crime docu-drama AMERICAN GANGSTER is one of the ten most-downloaded cable TV shows on iTunes, and has garnered a four out of five star rating from iTunes users.
AMERICAN GANGSTER is also a runaway hit on BET with a November debut that made it the network’s #1 original series telecast ever during the fourth quarter of any year. It is also this quarter’s #1 weekday original series on cable among Black households, with more than 1 million Black homes tuning in for new episodes on Tuesdays at 10 p.m. ET/PT. Narrated by multi-talented actor Ving Rhames, AMERICAN GANGSTER chronicles the rise and fall of the country’s most notorious Black criminals and the terrible toll their actions levied on the Black community.
“We are delighted that BET programming is now available on iTunes as an important element in BET’s global digital strategy,” said BET Networks Chairman and CEO Debra Lee, in the December 12th press release. “As the world’s most popular digital download store, iTunes is a key platform for serving our existing audience of African-American media super-consumers, and for introducing our breakthrough programming franchises to other audiences.”
Along with AMERICAN GANGSTER, BET offerings on iTunes feature star-studded and highly-rated programs including LIL’ KIM: COUNTDOWN TO LOCKDOWN; DMX: SOUL OF A MAN; BEEF: THE SERIES; BET COMIC VIEW; and from BET’s adult-targeted companion channel BET J, THE CHRISTIES: COMMITTED. These BET shows can be purchased and downloaded for $1.99 per episode, and represent the first wave of BET content that will make its way to the iTunes store:
• LIL’ KIM: COUNTDOWN TO LOCKDOWN – The most-watched original series in BET history and this year’s #1 new original series on cable in Black households, hip-hop diva Lil’ Kim takes viewers on an emotional rollercoaster ride during her final two weeks of freedom as she prepares to serve a prison sentence for giving false testimony to a federal grand jury.
• BEEF: THE SERIES – Explore the conflicts that have captivated the public with an insatiable hunger for juicy celebrity controversy. This hard-hitting original series features conflict between Lil’ Romeo vs. Bow Wow; Houston’s Northside vs. Southside (with Paul Wall, Slim Thug, Bun B, Pimp C and others); The Roc-A-Fella Records break-up (Jay-Z vs. Damon Dash); Dave Chappelle vs. Comedy Central; Oprah Winfrey vs. Rappers; Jay-Z vs. R. Kelly; The Game vs. Ras Kass; Jackie O vs. Foxy Brown; The Source Magazine vs. Kim Osorio; and many others.
• BEST OF BET COMIC VIEW – Television’s longest-running cavalcade of stand-up comedians marches on with the most hilarious joke-makers from nearly 15 years of BET’s primetime favorite laugh machine. Catch some of today’s hottest comics in the early years of their careers as well as celebrated veterans who were always proud to call BET home. Major headliners in the series include D. L. Hughley and Cedric “The Entertainer”.
• DMX: SOUL OF A MAN – A top new cable series among Black households for 2006, this BET original features DMX, perhaps the most notorious hardcore rapper in the music business. But he’s also a father, neighbor, friend and local citizen in the unlikeliest of locations – dry and dusty Carefree, Arizona. Find out what tugs at his soul; touches his heart; and ignites his provocative, sometimes controversial rap lyrics.
• THE CHRISTIES: COMMITTED – Is it marital bliss or the prototype of a “whipped” husband ruled by an overbearing wife? You be the judge as NBA star Doug Christie and his strong-willed wife Jackie allow the cameras of BET’s adult-targeted companion channel BET J to spotlight their infamous marriage. It’s an up-close reality series like none other.