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BET and VH1 to Share Hip-Hop Drama

In a rare move for two major cable TV networks, BET and VH1 have announced plans to jointly develop and air a hip-hop related original drama called Wifey. According to the Hollywood Reporter, the show will revolve around the widow of a slain hip-hop mogul who takes control of his record company following his death. Rapper and actress Queen Latifah, will executive produce the series, and is expected to bring in some celebrity friends for cameo appearances. “It’s a real progressive move on VH1 and BET’s part to make it happen,” Latifah said. “It gives us a shot at really succeeding as a show and broadening the audience.” The idea for the series was born at VH1, where it was originally envisioned as a reality show, but later evolved into a scripted drama. BET president of entertainment Reginald Hudlin will oversee production on the pilot episode, which will mark that network’s first foray into original scripted drama. While networks have collaborated on programming in the past, the Wifey experiment is unique in that the show will debut and air simultaneously on both channels, which would be a first. “This is absolutely an experiment, a gamble,” said VH1’s executive VP of original programming and production Michael Hirschorn, “These kind of seemingly counterintuitive leaps are the kind of leaps linear networks need to make these days.”

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