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Hour-Long BET Special 'The Back Story: 12 Years A Slave' To Air 11/1, 9PM

by Tambay A. Obenson
October 31, 2013 7:11 PM
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Chiwetel Ejiofor, Alfre Woodard, director Steve McQueen and Lupita Nyong’o discuss “The Back Story: 12 Years A Slave” hosted by Shaun Robinson / Photo Courtesy of BET Networks

Even though I'm already suffering from 12 Years A Slave fatigue, given just how much coverage we've given the film, not only since its film festival circuit debut, but a good year+ before that, when the project was initially announced, I have to remind myself that the majority of you still haven't seen it, because it hasn't yet opened nationwide. 

The weekend it debuted in theaters, it opened on 19 screens; the weekend after that (last weekend), it expanded to 123 screens; and this weekend, starting tomorrow, it'll expand even further, playing on a total of 412 screens across the country. Still not quite as wide as some of you might like (especially if none of those 412 screens are in your neck of the woods, meaning you'll have to wait at least another week to see the film that's been the talk of the town for about a month now).

As the film expands to 412 screens tomorrow, BET will air a special on 12 Years A Slave, also tomorrow, November 1, at 9pm ET/PT.

Titled The Back Story: 12 Years A Slave, the hour-long special will include a sit-down with the film's key cast and crew, during which they will discuss the film's "back-story" in-depth.

Stars Chiwetel Ejiofor, Alfre Woodard and Lupita Nyong’o, as well as director Steve McQueen, will join the conversation, along with noted scholars, cultural critics and historians, which will be moderated by Access Hollywood anchor, Shaun Robinson, before a live studio audience.

Viewers and the audience will be treated to clips from the film during what the network says will be impassioned discourse.

Encores of the special will air on Saturday, November 2, at 12pm ET/PT on BET, and on Centric at 10am ET/PT.

For more information about the special, visit

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  • Pearl Duncan | November 1, 2013 4:46 AMReply

    Thanks for the news. The director, Steve McQueen, and his cast, especially Chiwetel Ejiofor, have been doing fabulous interviews. I look forward to this one. I reviewed the movie and the book in NewsOne. I cover a lot more than the movie, because so much more is in the book, Solomon Northup's memoir, on which it is based.

  • McQueen is The King! | October 31, 2013 11:19 PMReply

    Thanks for the heads up! Just set my DVR.

    P.S. The show's title is 'The Reel Story' not 'The Back Story' in case you have trouble finding it.

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