Viacom-owned Black Entertainment Television (BET) is the latest entertainment brand to launch its own SVOD service. BET+ will debut in the fall with 1,000 hours of content — comprising both exclusive originals, fan-favorite series and movies, and specials — focused on African American viewers.
When it launches, BET+ will be a joint venture with Tyler Perry, the filmmaker and performer best known for his Madea franchise. Perry’s works across film, television, and theater will live on the service — including the Madea films, as well as other original series like House Of Payne and Meet The Browns. Perry will also be developing new formats exclusively for BET+, including his foray into unscripted and variety television, he says. A price for the service has not been disclosed.
“African Americans are the leading consumers of streaming services, with higher SVOD adoption rates than other consumers,” BET networks president Scott Mills said in a statement.“Tyler Perry is the perfect partner for BET+. The combination of new, original shows and his giant library of popular movies, series, and stage plays that Tyler brings to our joint venture creates an amazing product for his large and passionate fan base.”
On top of Perry’s contributions, BET+’s first original marks a 10-episode scripted drama from Girls Trip screenwriter Tracy Oliver titled First Wives Club — a remake of the 1996 classic revenge comedy with an African American cast headlined by Jill Scott, Ryan Michelle Bathe, and Michelle Buteau. BET+ will also host hits from BET’s expansive library, including Real Husbands Of Hollywood, The New Edition Story, The Quad, College Hill, Comic View, and Hell Date.
In addition to his collaboration on BET+, Perry also operates a multi-year content partnership with BET on a linear level. His first series as part of that pact, The Oval, will precede 75 hours of original TV content over the next year from Perry that’s set to premiere on BET, including another drama, two comedy series, and a live holiday-themed event. Perry also received the ‘Icon Award’ at last night’s BET Awards.
BET+ will be available on Android and iOS devices at launch. Separately, BET recently launched a channel on Viacom-owned Pluto TV.