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[03/03/08 - 04:02 PM]
March Mania Hits BET with the Premiere of New Original and Returning Series and Specials
The cable channel will roll out two new original series, two reunion specials and more this month.

[via press release from BET]

March Mania Hits BET With the Premiere of New Original and Returning Series and Specials

The Fight. The Game. The Fashion. The Fun.

NEW YORK, Mar. 3 -- March mania hits BET Networks with the premiere of two new original series, BLACK POKER STARS INVITATIONAL and IRON RING, two reunion specials COLLEGE HILL: CLASS REUNION and KEYSHIA COLE THE WAY IT IS: A FAMILY AFFAIR, the 4th annual RIP THE RUNWAY and COLLEGE HILL: ATLANTA.

The month kicks off on the fashion scene with the premiere of RIP THE RUNWAY on Tuesday, March 4 at 10PM*. Executive produced by Sean "P. Diddy" Combs and hosted by rapper and clothing designer, Nelly and Hollywood's newest starlet, Lauren London, this year's fashion extravaganza features collections from today's most eclectic designers including Sean John, Apple Bottom, Respect M.E. by Adidas, Zac Posen, Rich N Infamous, Coco Ri, Qristyl Designs, Monif C, and Sixx Foota as well as musical performances by Snoop Dogg, Missy Elliot, N.E.R.D., Trey Songz, Day 26, Cheri Dennis, Webbie and Flo Rida featuring T-Pain.

Immediately following at 11PM*, BET reunites the classes of its hit franchise COLLEGE HILL for an hour-long special, COLLEGE HILL: CLASS REUNION. In part one of this exciting reunion, the casts of season 3, 4, and INTERNS will each take the stage for the first time to relive those moments that made their season unique. From hookups to blow ups, the cast will finally get their chance to set the record straight.

A week later it's back to the books with the premiere of COLLEGE HILL: ATLANTA on Tuesday, March 11 at 10PM*. This season, COLLEGE HILL takes over the "ATL" and for the first time in the series' history, the show follows the lives of eight college students from different colleges and universities across the Atlanta area. There's no telling what will transpire with this colorful group as they learn to live, laugh, and love under one roof while taking international excursions and arranging charity events for hip hop artists.

On Tuesday, March 18, BET steps out of the box and into the worlds of poker and mixed martial arts with the premieres of BLACK POKER STARS INVITATIONAL and IRON RING. Beginning at 10:30PM*, these two half-hour series highlight the biggest celebrity trash talking poker players in Hollywood and the high stakes and competitive drive infused in a celebrity managed mixed martial arts fighting competition.

The first annual BLACK POKER STARS INVITATIONAL brings together some of the hottest talent in Hollywood to the Las Vegas grand opening of Planet Hollywood Casino for fun and high spirited No Limit - Texas Hold 'Em Poker tournament-all in the name of charity. Players include Katt Williams, Anthony Anderson, Nelly, Kevin Hart, Miguel Nunez Jr., Eddie Griffin, Orlando Jones, Faison Love, Eva Pigford, Wood Harris (The Wire), Al Shearer, Mekhi Phifer, Chris Spencer, Melyssa Ford with special guest appearances by Eddie Murphy and DMC. Unlike other poker tournaments, the party doesn't begin or end at the tables on BLACK POKER STARS INVITATIONAL. Viewers will get an intimate behind-the-scenes look as the cameras continue to roll from the celebrity guests rendezvous at the private "Millionaire Airport" in Van Nuys to the hotel check-in and throughout the entire tournament-capturing all the burns and bags of the biggest trash talkers.

Immediately following at 11:00 PM*, BET introduces IRON RING, a half hour weekly series that showcases mixed martial arts, the fastest growing new sports format in entertainment. With $100,000 in prize money up for grabs, these skilled competitors go toe-to-toe in the IRON RING using the combined fighting techniques of jiu-jitsu, judo, karate, boxing, kickboxing, and wrestling in teams owned and managed by Ludacris, Nelly, Floyd Mayweather, T.I., Lil Jon and Dipset. From competitive team tryouts and grueling practices to the final face-off at the live championship, IRON RING not only exposes the hardcore sport of mixed martial arts, but also explores the human element by providing insight into the lives of the fighters and coaches.

And, it doesn't stop there! On Tuesday, March 20 at 8PM* the highest rated series in BET history, KEYSHIA COLE: THE WAY IT IS, returns with a one- hour reunion special titled, KEYSHIA COLE: THE WAY IT IS "IT'S A FAMILY AFFAIR". Hosted by Ananda Lewis, catch up with R&B's sensation, Keyshia Cole and her loving but sometimes challenging family and work life.

**all times ET/PT

About BET Networks

BET Networks, a division of Viacom Inc. (NYSE: VIA, VIA.B), is the nation's leading provider of quality entertainment, music, news and public affairs television programming for the African-American audience. The primary BET channel reaches more than 87 million households according to Nielsen Media Research, and can be seen in the U.S., Canada and the Caribbean. BET is the dominant African-American consumer brand with a diverse group of business extensions: BET.com, a leading internet destination for Black entertainment, music, culture, and news; BET Digital Networks - BET J, BET Gospel and BET Hip Hop, attractive alternatives for cutting-edge entertainment tastes; BET Event Productions, a full-scale event management and production company; BET Home Entertainment, a collection of BET-branded offerings for the home environment including DVDs and video-on-demand; BET Mobile, a service venture into the lucrative world of ringtones, games and video content for wireless devices; and BET International, an extension of BET network programming for global distribution.

SOURCE BET Networks
http://www.bet.com





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· BLACK POKER STARS INVITATIONAL (BET)
· COLLEGE HILL (BET)
· IRON RING (BET)
· KEYSHIA COLE: THE WAY IT IS (BET)





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