BET, Hallmark seal movie package deals


BET Networks and Hallmark Channel have acquired film packages from the Weinstein Co. and Twentieth TV, respectively.

BET's deal includes the first network-window premiere rights to "The Longshots," starring Ice Cube and Keke Palmer, as well as the upcoming films "Soul Men," starring Samuel L. Jackson and Bernie Mac, and "Hurricane Season," starring Forest Whitaker.

The deal — BET's first such agreement with the Weinstein Co. — also gives the network the basic cable premiere of "The Great Debaters," starring Denzel Washington.

In addition, BET will be a promotional partner on "Soul Men" and "Hurricane Season." BET's "106 & Park" will broadcast from the premiere of "Soul Men" at the Apollo Theater in New York on Tuesday and rename the show "106 & Soul Men" for the night. For the basketball-themed "Hurricane Season," BET will air a primetime special from John Ehret High School in Marrero, La., featuring a town hall discussion.

Meanwhile, Hallmark has acquired 80 "family-friendly" titles, including "Big," "Cheaper by the Dozen," "Cocoon," "Doctor Dolittle," "Garfield," "Speed" and "Ice Age." The deal includes the world TV premiere of "Young @ Heart." (partialdiff)