June 11, 2013 11:02am PT by Lesley Goldberg
Salim and Mara Brock Akil Project Among Four Unscripted Pilots at BET
BET is building up its unscripted offerings, putting four pilots into development.
Among the four are a fitness entry featuring celebrity trainer Jeanette Jenkins from BET's most prolific producers Salim and Mara Brock Akil (The Game, Being Mary Jane, Sparkle) as well as a hip-hop docuseries following six female rappers relaunching their careers.
Each of the four projects, BET noted in announcing the news Tuesday, displays the "thrills and triumphs" of second chances experienced through transformations of health, spirit, career and character.
The news comes after BET unveiled a robust slate in April featuring the renewals of six series including Let's Stay Together, Real Husbands of Hollywood and The Sheards.
Here's a look at the four pilots in development at the Viacom-owned network:
BACK TO ME WITH JEANETTE JENKINS gives participants the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to remove their roadblocks and start a journey back to healthy living. Every week, two subjects will be chosen based on their home video submission to have their bodies and lives transformed by celebrity trainer Jeanette Jenkins -- the trainer behind many of the hottest bodies in Hollywood including: Kelly Rowland, Tia Mowry, Paula Patton and Robin Thicke. From their first-day surprise by Jeanette until their final reveal, the participants will be empowered to remove all of their past excuses and tap into their greatness -- resulting in a much-improved mind, body and spirit. Mara Brock Akil and Salim Akil executive produce along with Lisa Haese (The Biggest Loser) and Jeanette Jenkins.
HIP HOP SISTERS is a docudrama following the relaunch of six female rappers’ careers. MC Lyte, The Lady of Rage, Yo Yo, Smooth, Monie Love and Lil Mama join forces and declare themselves the Hip Hop Sisters. Their goal is to reclaim their titles as the Queens of Hip Hop -- as they manage their drama-filled personal careers and lives and search for the next great female MC. MC Lyte joins Lemuel Plummer (Vindicated, The Sheards) as executive producer.
GONE GOSPEL is one-hour music competition docuseries that takes popular musical artists of yesteryear and immerses them in a Gospel boot camp, giving them a second chance to dig deep and transform their lives as they write their own personal inspirational anthem. In each episode, the castmembers will be mentored by gospel greats as they compete against each other in challenges that will test them musically and emotionally. At the end of the journey, one winner will be crowned. Gone Gospel is hosted by award-winning producer and gospel artist Kirk Franklin. Franklin also serves as executive producer alongside Marilyn Gill (Sunday Best, The Mo'Nique Show).
INTERNAL AFFAIRS chronicles the fascinating true-crime stories of internal affairs officers. It presents a series of stunning human dramas as officers face the most daunting personal challenges of their lives. Investigating officers can find themselves ostracized and shunned by their peers. The discovery of their colleagues' criminal activities haunts them and takes them to places they've never anticipated. At the same time, their dedication to law enforcement brings with it the commitment to treat these criminals as any other. It's these emotional human elements combined with high-stakes criminal investigations that makes Internal Affairs unique, compelling and provocative. Produced in partnership with Fox Television Studios, the series is being executive produced by Ted Haimes (The Locator, Aftermath).