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BET Acquires Sitcoms 'The First Family' & 'Mr. Box Office' To Premiere On Centric

by Tambay A. Obenson
April 4, 2013 4:25 PM
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BET Networks announced today it has licensed over 100 episodes each of two hit sitcoms, The First Family and Mr. Box Office, from Entertainment Studios to air on Centric starting April, 2013. 

Both first-run original series feature are scheduled to premiere in prime-time on Centric weeknights beginning Friday April 19, 2013.

The First Family, a sitcom about an African American family that resides in The White House, and Mr. Box Office, a sitcom about the biggest movie star in the world who is sentenced to community service, teaching English at the "toughest" high school in America...

The First Family cast includes Christopher P. Duncan (The Jamie Foxx Show) as President William JohnsonKellita Smith as First Lady Katherine JohnsonGladys Knight as his mother; Marla Gibbs as the First Lady’s mother; Paul Rodriguez as Dictator Rafael; and Jackee Harry as the First Lady’s sister.

Mr Box Office stars Bill Bellamy (as Mr Box Office), Tim MeadowsVivica A. Fox, former NBA star/actor Rick FoxKeshia Knight PulliamJon Lovitz (SNL) and Gary Busey.

"We're thrilled to partner with Entertainment Studios and add these two incredible series to our growing comedy programming slate on Centric," said Paxton K. Baker, EVP and General Manager of Centric.

"This is an historic deal," said Byron Allen, Founder, Chairman, and Chief Executive Officer of Entertainment Studios. "We have bypassed the broadcast networks to produce two original sitcoms with hundreds of episodes that feature prominent TV and film stars, and we couldn't be happier to have BET Networks as our cable premiere partner."

The deal was negotiated by Barbara Zaneri, Executive Vice President, Program Strategy, Scheduling and Acquisitions, BET Networks and Byron Allen, Founder, Chairman, and Chief Executive Officer, of Entertainment Studios.

Now we wait for trailers for each.

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  • The Question | April 5, 2013 4:13 AMReply

    Is "Centric" short for "garbage-centric?"

  • ALM | April 4, 2013 9:18 PMReply

    I have tried to watch both shows. I believe both shows are shot in L.A., so there is no excuse for the low quality of both shows. Why is Bill Bellamy running from Viveca as if she is Medusa? #NotBelievable #Disappointed

  • getthesenets | April 4, 2013 7:16 PMReply

    it's the ultra low production values that make the shows look so bad

    the last show on tv that was so poorly put together was the sitcom that flavor flav briefly starred in

    I've seen school plays that had higher production values than the First Family show

    actual storylines and jokes are standard tv nonsense

  • Aswilliams | April 4, 2013 6:04 PMReply

    @AshleyD you are not alone. These shows are pure garbage laced with buffonery on the side with a take out of coonery. I went past both of these shows and that looked terrible. After watching a minute of ''The First Family'' and ''Mr. Box Office'' I knew from that point on to turn the channel and read a great book. Byron Allen is a scapgoat for outlandish entertainement. I've seen better shows then these in my lifetime when dealing with the state of black sitcoms but by far both of these take the cake for the worst storyline and characters that are stereotypical for a black sitcom. We gotta stop with the brainwashing when these two sitcoms. We can do better. We have the potential.

  • Ashley D. | April 4, 2013 4:39 PMReply

    The first time my remote stumbled upon "The First Family", I thought it was a joke. It's literally one of the worst things I've ever seen in my life. I know we talk about this all of the time, but there really really must be a dearth of roles for all of these well-established actors to be working on this god-awful show. I mean, really. Lord help us if this is where things are headed. #sorryimnotsorry

  • Hugh Betcha | April 5, 2013 2:04 AM

    You know, it's funny but when quality shows like 'Frank's Place' aired, no one watched. Everyone who hollers they want better don't support better. Byron may not have it right yet but, hopefully in time, he will. Not being on the air won't help him.

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