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BET is digging into the Viacom vaults for one of its new series. The cable network announced Thursday that it’s reviving MTV prank show Punk’d as one of its seven new show orders.
Though no talent was announced for the deal — the original Punk’d maestro was Ashton Kutcher — the network’s upfront slate announced the new version would be “tailored” for the BET audience and would include a behind-the-scenes look at how the celebrity pranks are conceptualized and carried through.
Punk’d ran on MTV from 2003 to 2007, with a one-off revival in 2012.
Also on the slate is a sitcom vehicle for Brandy Norwood and a singing competition hosted and exec-produced by Destiny’s Child singer Kelly Rowland, news of which broke on Wednesday.
“Black consumers experience BET Networks differently than any other network because of our 35 years of history, tremendous experience and insights. We continue to give our viewers what they want — high-quality content that respects, reflects and elevates them.” said BET Networks chairman and CEO Debra Lee. “With more hours of original programming than ever before, our new shows coupled with our returning hits like Being Mary Jane and Nellyville make our original slate stronger than ever.”
The No. 1 network for African-American audiences, BET also announced docuseries About the Business, Criminals at Work, Desean Jackson: Home Team and The Label — a look inside classic record labels from executive producer Chris “Ludacris” Bridges.
In the realm of event programming, there will also be news specials on Muhammad Ali, the 10-year anniversary of Hurricane Katrina and the 20-year anniversary of O.J. Simpson‘s murder acquittal, and an exploration of race and justice in the U.S. that will view the hot-button issues through the lens of events from the Rodney King beating through the recent deaths of Michael Brown and Eric Garner.
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