BET NETWORKS ANNOUNCES SECOND SEASON PICK UP FOR ITS IRREVERENT AND CRITICALLY-ACCLAIMED SCRIPTED SERIES "BOOMERANG" AND "AMERICAN SOUL"
SEASON FINALE OF "AMERICAN SOUL" AIRS TONIGHT, APRIL 2 STARTING AT 9 P.M. ET/PT, FOLLOWED BY A SPECIAL EPISODE OF "BOOMERANG" PENNED BY EMMY-WINNING WRITER LENA WAITHE AT 10 P.M. ET/PT
NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 2, 2019 - Today BET Networks announced second season pick-ups for both its half-hour subversive, smart, serialized comedy series "BOOMERANG," and the critically-acclaimed period drama based on the untold rise of the iconic music and dance program "Soul Train," "AMERICAN SOUL." BET is investing in partnerships with leading Black content creators with unique creative voices to bring viewers elevated storytelling and premium programming.
"BET Networks is so proud to be the television home for the compelling scripted series, BOOMERANG and AMERICAN SOUL," said Scott Mills, President, BET Networks. "Our continued partnership demonstrates BET's commitment to the elevation of creative and authentic storytelling that viewers expect from the brand."
Executive Produced by Emmy Award-winning actress, writer and creator Lena Waithe and Academy Award-winning actress, Halle Berry, "BOOMERANG," is the #1 new cable scripted comedy for African Americans in the key 18-49 demo and AA2+*, and has been hailed as "emotionally searing" by The Hollywood Reporter. Produced by BET Networks and Paramount Television, the 10-episode series, picks up roughly twenty-five years after the iconic film, and centers on Simone Graham (daughter of Marcus Graham and Angela Lewis) and Bryson Broyer (son of Jaqueline Broyer), who are marketing professionals trying to step out of their parents' shadows. "BOOMERANG" airs Tuesdays at 10 PM ET/PT on BET, with its season finale bowing Tuesday, April 9 at 10 PM ET/PT.
The penultimate episode penned by Waithe airs tonight, Tuesday, April 2, bringing her fresh take on a timely topic - #MeToo. "Us Too" explores what happens when notorious womanizer Marcus Graham (Eddie Murphy's seminal character) is brought down by scandal. Over twenty years later, Marcus' once charming hijinks land him in hot water and The Graham Agency is closed forever. The blowback is swift and his daughter and her squad are left to wonder what happens to *Us* after #MeToo? Exploring everyone from Bill Cosby to R. Kelly, "Us Too" is an honest and intimate look at all sides of the #MeToo movement from the black millennial perspective.
"Making Boomerang has been one of the highlights of my career and the positive feedback we've gotten from fans and critics has been so validating. I'm beyond excited to dive even deeper into these characters' lives in season two," said Executive Producer Waithe.
Executive Producer Halle Berry added, "I'm so proud of these young actors and the heart, depth and modern reality that they bring to this series. They are truly ambassadors of our culture and their generation.
"BET Networks is thrilled to partner once again with the creative visionary Lena Waithe on BOOMERANG as she is without a doubt a leading relevant voice of our generation and a disruptor in her own right," said Connie Orlando, Head of Programming, BET Networks.
Produced by Jesse Collins Entertainment, "AMERICAN SOUL," is the #1 new cable scripted drama for African Americans 18-49 and AA2+*. The 10-episode series chronicles "the hippest trip in America" and what became of one of the most prominent and groundbreaking television shows for African-American culture. Hailed by Essence as "peak black excellence," "AMERICAN SOUL" features a cast of multi-talented actors including Sinqua Walls (Power, The Breaks) who plays a young Don Cornelius. Series regulars also include Kelly Price (Grammy(R)-nominated singer), Jason Dirden (Greenleaf), Iantha Richardson (This Is Us), Christopher Jefferson, Katlyn Nichol, and Jelani Winston. "AMERICAN SOUL" airs Tuesday at 9 PM ET/PT on BET.
"We are incredibly grateful to continue to tell the American Soul story. Season one was so well received by the culture and we feel that season two will be even more fun and exciting," said Jesse Collins, Executive Producer, "AMERICAN SOUL."
"The partnership and creative trust of Tony Cornelius and everyone at Jesse Collins Entertainment resonated with audiences in a significant way and ensured AMERICAN SOUL's success. BET Networks is invested in showcasing black excellence in our programming and we look forward to digging even deeper into the incredible legacy of Don Cornelius and Soul Train in season two." said Connie Orlando, Head of Programming, BET Networks.
The season finale airing Tuesday, April 2 at 9 PM ET/PT features guest appearances by Gabrielle Dennis (Whitney Houston, "The Bobby Brown Story") as Tina Turner and McKinley Freeman (BET's "Hit the Floor") as Ike Turner. As Encore achieves its greatest success, opening for Ike & Tina Turner, Simone, Kendall, and JT must reconcile their own lives before committing to the group. Meanwhile, Don secures a second season for Soul Train, and decides to focus on repairing his family but may find it's too little, too late.
"BOOMERANG" is a half-hour subversive, smart, serialized comedy, fueled by romance, friendship, gender politics, love and of course, sex. The story picks up roughly twenty-five years after the movie and centers on Simone Graham (daughter of Marcus Graham and Angela Lewis) and Bryson Broyer (son of Jaqueline Broyer), who are marketing professionals trying to step out of their parents' shadows. The series follows a group of childhood friends who are looking to make their own mark in the world... all while navigating their feelings for each other. "Boomerang" is Executive Produced by Emmy Award-winning actress, writer and creator Lena Waithe and Academy Awards winning actress, Halle Berry, who starred in the original film.
ABOUT "AMERICAN SOUL"
Inspired by the personal trials and professional successes of a young, ambitious and troubled impresario Don Cornelius, the 70s period drama is an unflinching look at the entrepreneur, his Soul Train dancers, and musicians set against the backdrop of a cutthroat Hollywood - how they work, play, rise and fall. Filled with music, dance, fashion and glamour, "AMERICAN SOUL" reveals what it took to launch the first nationally-syndicated Black music show and what happened when the music stopped. Battles with record labels for top talent, off-camera drama as young dancers vie for the spotlight, stand in the way of a 30-something Don Cornelius who is sacrificing all that he loves to follow his dream. The journeys of these characters collide in a racially charged LA with the odds stacked against them. All they have is each other and the magic of Soul Train. Season one guest stars include Kelly Rowland as Gladys Knight, Michelle Williams as Diana Ross, Wayne Brady as Little Richard, Bobby Brown as Rufus Thomas, K. Michelle as Martha Reeves. Produced by Jesse Collins Entertainment, "AMERICAN SOUL" is executive produced by Jesse Collins, Jonathan Prince, Devon Greggory and Tony Cornelius with Co-Executive Producers Andy Horne and Dionne Harmon. Greggory and Prince also penned the pilot.
*Source: Nielsen (Live+SD) AA P18-49, AA P2+ | 2+ telecast minimum | Premieres only | Excludes sports, news, kids | ranked on AA18-49, AAP2+ avg impressions | "New" defined as programs originating in FY19 broadcast season (10/1/18 - 3/26/19)
About BET Networks
BET Networks, a subsidiary of Viacom Inc. (NASDAQ: VIA) (NASDAQ: 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 is in nearly 85 million households and can be seen in the United States, Canada, the Caribbean, the United Kingdom, sub-Saharan Africa, France and South Korea. BET is the dominant African-American consumer brand with a diverse group of business extensions including BET.com, a leading Internet destination for Black entertainment, music, culture, and news; BET HER (formerly CENTRIC), a 24-hour entertainment network targeting the African-American woman; BET Music Networks - BET Jams, BET Soul and BET Gospel; BET Home Entertainment; BET Live, BET's growing festival business; BET Mobile, which provides ringtones, games and video content for wireless devices; and BET International, which operates BET Networks around the globe.
About Paramount Television
Paramount Television is a leading studio, developing and financing a wide range of cutting-edge and entertaining television content across all media platforms for distribution worldwide. The studio's robust slate includes Tom Clancy's "Jack Ryan" (Amazon), "13 Reasons Why" (Netflix), "Maniac" (Netflix), "Berlin Station" (EPIX), "The Alienist" (TNT), "The Angel of Darkness" (TNT), "The Haunting of Hill House" (Netflix), "Catch-22" (Hulu), "First Wives Club" (BET), "Looking for Alaska" (Hulu), "Boomerang" (BET), "Dream Team" (BET), "Briarpatch" (USA) and "Home Before Dark" (Apple), among others. Paramount Television is part of Paramount Pictures Corporation (PPC), a global producer and distributor of filmed entertainment. PPC is a subsidiary of Viacom (NASDAQ: VIAB, VIA), a global content company with premier television, film and digital entertainment brands.
About Jesse Collins Entertainment
Jesse Collins Entertainment (JCE) is a full service television and film production company founded by entertainment industry veteran Jesse Collins. For more than a decade, Collins has played an integral role in producing some of television's most memorable moments in music entertainment. Collins has produced ground-breaking and award winning television programming including the BET Awards, the Grammy Awards, Soul Train Awards, BET Honors, UNCF An Evening of Stars, ABFF Awards and the BET Hip Hop Awards. Collins was an executive producer of the hit TV series, Real Husbands of Hollywood starring Kevin Hart, the critically-acclaimed The New Edition Story, a biopic on the boy band that aired as a 3-part mini-series on BET in January 2017 and posted record ratings for the network and attracted nearly 30 million viewers. He is also the executive producer of VH1 shows Dear Mama and Hip Hop Squares with Ice Cube. He has appeared on the cover of Vibe magazine and has been featured in numerous publications including Ebony magazine. JCE will next debut The Bobby Brown Story. The mini-series will pick up where The New Edition mini-series left off and chronicle the talented but troubled singer's exit from the popular '80s boy band through his solo success and tabloid-fodder marriage to pop icon Whitney Houston. Spanning 30 years of Brown's life, the new project follows his story from the hard streets of Roxbury, where he turned to a life of drug dealing before being given the chance to prove himself as a solo artist. The Bobby Brown Story also will be a story about redemption. Through sobriety, the singer learns to be a better man, husband and father - finding love again and remarrying in 2012. The hit biopic debuted on BET on September 4 and 5, 2018 drawing over 13MM total viewers in its premiere week.