Once upon a time, BET played more than “Baby Boy” and “Martin” reruns. Believe it or not, Black Entertainment Television had an arrangement of great tv shows that predominantly centered around black music and culture. So let’s reminisce on some of the best throwback B.E.T shows we only wish our kids could have experienced.
Cita’s World – Back in the day, we loved Cita for her attitude and funny commentary on the latest music videos. ‘Cita’s World’ was a music video show the debuted in 1999 at the crack of the new millennium, so the fact that she was computer animated made the show even more fun to watch. Cita’s voice work was done by Kali “Kittie” Troy. It only ran for three seasons, ending in 2003. Possibly because the stereotypes with Cita were pretty strong when it came to black women. But we can still honestly say, there hasn’t been another show quite like it.
Hits From The Street – Hosted by Al “Hits” Shearer, ‘Hits From The Street’ was a music video and sketch-comedy program that debuted in 1999. Hits would visit various HBCUs around the country and interact with students in hilarious interviews and skits. How could anyone forget his fraternity at Jackson State University Moo Psi Moo “Milk it, milk it, milk it!”
106 & Park – 106 & Park may very well be one of the best B.E.T shows, period. Originally hosted by the beloved Free and AJ, the show was a Top 10 video countdown that featured celebrity guest interviews and performances from every artist you could think of. The show maintained the number one spot on the network throughout its entire 14-year run.
Uncut – Nelly’s “Tip Drill” video where he slides a credit card down the crack of a girl’s ass… Enough said. It was called ‘Uncut’ for a reason, and it was always set as last on your remote control, just in case mom walked in at midnight. Remember those days? In 2006, the pressure to censor hyper-sexuality on tv caused the network to end the series…and end an era.
Rap City – To rival ‘Yo! MTV Raps’, BET introduced ‘Rap City’ in 1989. Originally hosted by “the unseen host” and then well-known host Big Tigger, the show played rap music videos and showcased some of the best underground and mainstream rappers. During Big Tigger’s run, the freestyle booth was the place to really show fans who was the hottest on the mic. How many of today’s rappers do you think could handle an appearance on ‘Rap City’?
Comicview – This was THE show to be on if you were an aspiring comedian back in the day because EVERYONE tuned in to watch at 10 p.m. Reynaldo Rey and Miss Laura hosted the comedy talent show that gave us famed comedians like Cedric the Entertainer, Sommore, Gary Owen and Rickey Smiley. The show originally ran from 1992-2004 but made a comeback in 2014 and still remains on-air today.
Video Soul – ‘Video Soul’ was one of BET’s first music video programs and was hosted by the pretty eyed, Donnie Simpson. The show had a main focus on R&B music videos, but Simpson also interviewed the top artists out at the time. If you weren’t tuned in watching this, you better believe your mom was!
Bobby Jones Gospel – For the mothers who didn’t always attend church but didn’t want to miss the word, ‘Bobby Jones Gospel’ played on Sunday’s while everybody cleaned the house. The longest running show in the network’s history, Dr. Bobby Jones, showcased up and coming gospel artists and helped launch the careers of artists such as Yolanda Adams, Hezekiah Walker, and Kirk Franklin. After 35 years, the showed ended in 2015.
College Hill – ‘College Hill’ was another BET spin on an MTV reality tv show ‘The Real World’; however, BET’s series has just a tad bit more substance as it followed the lives of students at historically black colleges. Originally airing from 2004-2009, ‘College Hill’ was the one show EVERY college student in America could relate to. From the parties, the fights, the exams…it was almost liked you lived in the dorms with them. Unfortunately, the show caused so much controversy for the colleges and universities featured on the show, the series couldn’t make it past season 6 in Miami.
Planet Groove – Hosted by Rachel Stuart, ‘Planet Groove’ debuted in 1996 and was a 2-hour talk show that featured black entertainers that also featured a Top-20 countdown on Friday nights. This was the show that let you delve into the lives of your favorite celebrities and hear their insights on current events at the time. The show lost traction in 1999 and was canceled, only to be followed up by 106 N Park.
Teen Summit – In 1989, B.E.T premiered ‘Teen Summit,’ which can possibly go down in history as the first and only tv show featuring real teens discussing real topics they faced every day. No topic was off limits and no judgment was allowed, not to mention performances from the hottest acts at the time. The show ended in 2002 and has yet to be duplicated, although we certainly need it today. BRING BACK TEEN SUMMIT!