Born Again: BET Bringing Back “Celebration of Gospel”

Tamela-Mann1 (1)The people have spoken and their voices were apparently heard!AlwaysAList.com is happy to report that BET has had a change of heart as it pertains to their annual special “Celebration of Gospel.

After being bombarded with calls to its main phone line and emails to its website, in addition to high-ranking executives at the company being called by many of Gospel’s top tier artists, BET will not move forward with canceling “Celebration of Gospel” even after previously deciding to end the franchise.

On May 1, AlwaysAList.com reported that BET had opted to cancel the yearly special despite its stellar ratings and it being the number one gospel/religious telecast on TV for 14 consecutive years.

Apparently, BET’s previous decision to cancel “COG” was strictly based on the show “not being profitable,” as it was explained by one BET executive who spoke to us anonymously.

“It was simple, the sales team said they couldn’t sell the show because it was a gospel show and without those big sponsorships, the show cost money to produce but didn’t make money for the network,” the source elaborated. “But BET never imagined ending this show would cause the outcry that it received from the viewing public and have decided to see if they can make things work.”

AlwaysAList.com was told several months before the airing of the 2014 “COG” in early April that the special was being cancelled. Things were solidified at BET’s upfront presentation to advertisers in New York when the show was omitted as one of the network’s returning “Mega-Specials.”Candice-Glover

In a follow-up document serviced to the media following the upfronts, the show was nixed from the production lineup as well.

Apparently, BET was overwhelmed by the backlash for cancelling its top-rated salute to gospel.  Privately the network started telling several artists that the show was omitted from the upfront presentation because “it was moved to a new month.” However, the award show special “Black Girls Rock” has also been moved to a new month but was still highlighted for advertisers and the media at the upfronts.

While a concrete date has not been solidified for “COG,” a new production schedule issued to employees late last week has the show slated to tape in September/October 2015.

BET originally taped “COG” each December and aired it in February for Black History Month. In 2012, the show started taping in March so that it could air in April closer to Easter.

With “COG” now scheduled to tentatively tape in late fall next year, it would likely air around Thanksgiving

Erica-Campbell

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Steve Harvey hosts world’s largest first date

Talk show host Steve Harvey set a Guinness Book of World Record for the “World’s Largest First Date” with 654 single men and women over the weekend.

Participants filled out a questionnaire and show producers matched up compatible singles.

The ladies were under the impression they were attending a dating symposium.

“We told them I was going to give them tips on how to date properly,” Harvey said.

Some daters called the experience “awkward,” while others said they “hit it off” and plan to go on a second date.

The event will be featured on an upcoming episode of The Steve Harvey Show.

Movie & Television producer Tyler Perry Donates $1 Million to Bishop T.D. Jakes Ministries

(In picture: Tyler Perry lays his hand in prayer over Bishop T.D. Jakes)

Dallas, TX — Writer, director, TV and Movie producer Tyler Perry recently spend some time in Dallas, TX for Megafest. 

While attending one of the services at Bishop TD Jakes‘ Potters House in Dallas, TX the Madea creator was moved to donate $1 Million to help Jakes build a youth center.

“I’ve just been touched to give $1 million,” Tyler Perry said in the Sunday morning service. “God I don’t know what you’re doing but I heard your voice. “

In response to his huge donation, you could hear screams echoing throughout the sanctuary as congregation met his comment with approval and as he began speaking in tongues.  He then said, ” When you hear the voice of God, you move.” His impromptu sermon ended with him laying his hands on Bishop Jakes saying,” I pray the Blood of Jesus will come upon you right now.”

Oprah Winfrey and Steve Harvey were among the other big names in attendance.

D.L. Hughley to Host Nationally Syndicated Afternoon Drive Radio Broadcast

Dallas, TX — REACH Media Inc. today announced that comedian, author, actor and television personality D.L. Hughley has been signed to host a weekday radio broadcast, with a launch date to be announced in the near future. THE D.L. HUGHLEY SHOW will be a daily themed, music intensive afternoon drive program from 3-7pm ET hosted by one of the brightest comedic minds. The show will be distributed by REACH Media Inc. which currently reaches an audience of over 12 million listeners, predominantly African American, through radio, as well as digital media.

Hughley, ready to take people on a no holds ride of humor and reality in the afternoons, stated, “I’m very excited to get back to radio and it couldn’t have come at a better time.  I think radio fits my sensibility.  I want to be fast, I want to be funny, I want to be topical.  I want to make people laugh a lot and think a little. Some people want to push the envelope – I want to see if I can singe it a little.”

Hughley established himself as a stand-up comedian propelling to stardom with the Original Kings of Comedy Tour and a subsequent movie release. He went on to a have hit television show, The Hughleys, and has followed that up with a successful best-selling book, comedy specials, and television appearances.  Known for being astute and politically savvy in true comedian style, D.L. served as host of his own talk show on CNN, D.L. Hughley Breaks the News.

On radio, Hughley previously hosted a fast developing morning show in New York in 2009 -2010. According to REACH Media CEO David Kantor, “D.L. is the right personality to provide a new style of content in afternoon drive time. The D.L. Hughley Show will be engaging and fun, along with great music.” Cumulus Media Networks will partner with REACH Media Inc. in affiliation and other aspects of the show.

Photo Credit: Rance Elgin (left to right D.L. Hughley with David Kantor, REACH Media CEO)

Switching Lanes Trailer Now Available

switchlanes

Indianapolis, IN —  It’s officially here! Tyscot Films has released the trailer for its upcoming film, Switching Lanes via the Tyscot’s Youtube Channel.

Switching Lanes is a coming-of-age tale that uniquely addresses the topic of racial reconciliation through the unlikely friendship between Kaneesha and Sarah. Residing in the ‘separate-but-equal’ town of Sumerton, the girls forge a strong bond despite the racial segregation that exists in their town. The girls soon discover that their unlikely friendship will not only change their lives but also their community.

The film features a mix of seasoned actors and gospel stars including: Kim Fields (Living Single), Terri J. Vaughn (The Steve Harvey Show), Marla Maples (Executive Decision), Michael Lerner (GLEE), Angie Stone (R&B Divas), Fred Hammond (Gospel artist), and Wess Morgan (Gospel artist).

This past weekend company president and executive producer, Bryant Scott along with co-producer Shannon Nash and Director Tommy Ford (Fox’s Martin) , debuted the trailer for the first time at the Indiana Black Expo in Indianapolis.Ford, who also acts in the film, said Switching Lanes is more than a movie about race, it’s about healing.

To stay up-to-date on Switching Lanes, please visit: www.switchinglanesmovie.com to join the mailing list.

Production begins on ‘Think Like a Man Too’

Production on Think Like a Man Too has officially begun, according to a press release from Screen Gems.

All the couples return for the highly anticipated sequel to Think Like a Man, a film inspired by Steve Harvey’s best-selling book Act Like a Lady, Think Like a Man.

Think Like a Man brought in $91 million in the United States alone after its opening in April 2012. The original Screen Gems film grossed $33 million on opening weekend, almost double what studio executives had expected.

Starring Meagan Good, Regina Hall, La La Anthony and Keven Hart, among other big names, Think Like a Man Too centers around a wedding the couples attend in Las Vegas and their misadventures surrounding the big event.

Tim Story returns as director, Will Packer returns as producer, and Keith & David A. Newman return to write the screenplay for the sequel.

Think Like a Man Too is scheduled to hit theaters on June 20, 2014.

Third Annual Faith Based Prayer Breakfast Set for Friday, March 15, 2013

harveyBET is set to host its third Annual Faith based Prayer Breakfast, this Friday, March 15, as a kick off to this year’s “Celebration of Gospel.”  The special annual breakfast was created to unite various religions, cultures, and denominations together the day before the taping of the show.

This year’s invited guests include Dorinda Clark Cole, RCA Gospel recording artist Deon Kipping, comedian Nikita B. Columbia, Devon Franklin and many others.

The evening will be hosted by entertainment personality Fonzworth Bentley.

On Saturday March 16, 2013 taping gets underway for “Celebration of Gospel” and will be hosted by Steve Harvey. The “Celebration of Gospel” is set to air Sunday, April 7, at 8:00 p.m Pacific 7:00 p.m Central !