Viacom’s BET Networks and Tyler Perry Studios have partnered for BET+, a new SVOD service focused on the African-American audience that is set to launch this fall.
The joint venture will feature more than 1,000 hours of content from the BET library—including series, movies and special—as well as programming from Perry and other African-American content creators. BET+ will also be the official home of Perry’s collected works across film, television and stage, including films from the Madea franchise, the original series House of Payne and Meet the Browns and a selection of his stage plays.
The first BET+ original, First Wives Club, will bow on the service this fall. The ten-episode scripted drama from Girls Trip screenwriter Tracy Oliver is a television remake of the 1996 revenge comedy; the show will star Jill Scott (Why Did I Get Married), Ryan Michelle Bathe (This Is Us, Empire) and Michelle Buteau (Isn’t It Romantic), among others. BET+’s slate of original programming is also set to include the premiere of a new series from Will Packer (Ride Along, Think Like a Man) and new original series from Perry.
The service will also feature a library of other series, films and documentaries from BET Networks and the Viacom portfolio—including Real Husbands of Hollywood, The New Edition Story, The Quad, College Hill, Comic View, Hell Date and more—most of which have not previously been available on streaming platforms.
Scott Mills, president of BET Networks, said: “African Americans are the leading consumers of streaming services, with higher SVOD adoption rates than other consumers, which is why we’re so excited to launch a premium product for this underserved audience. BET+ is a natural extension of BET’s linear network, which has been the leading home of black culture for decades. Our curated catalog and original programming will keep the BET+ content offering fresh, fueling subscriber growth, viewership and retention. Tyler Perry is the perfect partner for BET+. The combination of new, original shows and his giant library of popular movies, series and stage plays that Tyler brings to our joint venture creates an amazing product for his large and passionate fan base.”
Perry added: “In our industry, the way people consume content is constantly evolving. I’ve paid attention to my audience and what works for them and, for that reason, I’m very excited not only about the idea of partnering with BET to create new and exciting content, but also about the idea of giving people a personalized experience through the ability to curate the content they love to consume. On a personal level, this will also be the first time I’ll be working in areas like unscripted and variety television, which will afford me the opportunity to work in fresh, creative ways with new voices and to discover new talent.”