Entertainment Studios has completed a multimillion- dollar, multi- year deal with BET Networks for all 208 episodes of two first- year sitcoms.
Most of the episodes of “The First Family” and “Mr. Box Office” are not yet produced. They will begin airing on BET’s Centric network April 19.
The usual TV business model is to start on a network, go to cable, then head to broadcast syndication. These sitcoms are doing it in reverse; then they’ll go to cable and Entertainment Studios HD network Comedy.tv.
“We’re thrilled to partner with Entertainment Studios and add these two incredible series to our growing comedy programming slate on Centric,” Paxton K. Baker, EVP and General Manager of Centric, said. “’The First Family’ and ‘Mr. Box Office’ star African American talent that resonate with our audience.”
“This is an historic deal,” Byron Allen, Founder, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Entertainment Studios, said. “We have bypassed the broadcast networks to produce two original sitcoms with hundreds of episodes that feature prominent TV and film stars, and we couldn’t be happier to have BET Networks as our cable premiere partner.”
Bill Bellamy, Gladys Knight, Christopher B. Duncan, Kellita Smith, Gary Busey, Jackee, Marla Gibbs, John Witherspoon, Jon Lovitz, Rick Fox, Tim Meadows, Essence Atkins and Vivica A. Fox.are among the stars of the two sitcoms.