NAMIC 2009: BET To Debut Scripted Web Series
Short-Form Series To Star Tatyana Ali
by R. Thomas Umstead 10/28/2009 1:01:51 AM
Black Entertainment Television will launch a scripted comedy series via the web beginning Nov. 3.
The 10-part short form series, dubbed Buppies, stars Tatyana Ali (Fresh Prince Of Bel-Air) as a young, socialite publicist trying to recover from a broken relationship, said BETN digital media president Denmark West Tuesday afternoon during a NAMC Conference panel session. BET.com will stream the series, with new episodes premiering on consecutive Tuesdays.
West said the network has signed cosmetics company CoverGirl as a sponsor for the series' 4 to 5 minute episodes, for which Ali also serves as executive producer. West would not reveal viewer projections nor production cost for the series, but added that creating a short form series for the web is more cost efficient for the network than creating a half-hour sitcom on the African-American targeted network.
He also wouldn't rule out the possibility of the series being picked up by the network if it proves to be popular with BET.com users. West also said the network would explore other web original series, which he says could appeal to BET's target young adult audience that's predisposed to surfing the web.
BET launched its first scripted series, Somebodies, in 2008 but the show was not a big ratings draw and was cancelled after its freshman season.