Hudlin out at BET

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BET Networks president of entertainment Reginald Hudlin has left the company after three years on the job.

Hudlin said he would return to his entrepreneurial roots as an independent producer. Before arriving at BET, his credits included films like "House Party" and TV series including "The Boondocks."

"From the moment he joined the BET family, Reggie infused our program development with incredible creativity, energy and passion," BET chairman and CEO Debra Lee said in announcing the departure.

Under Hudlin, BET revved up its original programming efforts, including the network's first scripted series, "Somebodies," and the network's highest-rated series, "Keyshia Cole: The Way It Is." He also launched divisions related to film, DVD and animation.

But the network still lacks the breakthrough signature series that often can single-handedly boost the profile of cable networks. The network also continues to be a lightning rod for criticism from within the black community, including BET's greenlighting last year of the series "Hot Ghetto Mess," which drew accusations of racial stereotyping.

The search for Hudlin's successor is under way, with executive vp music programming and talent Stephen Hill serving as the interim head of entertainment.

Andrew Wallenstein contributed to this report.
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