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November 21, 2012

"Don't Sleep" with TJ Holmes Now One Hour Once a Week

"Our audience always says they want this kind of programming, but they don't show up," -Debra Lee, CEO of BET.

Who’s to blame for sleeping on Don’t Sleep?

Did BET really give the show a chance to shine? Don't Sleep with TJ Holmes has been cut back to a one hour show airing once a week on Wednesday nights at 11 p.m. The show had been airing as a half hour four nights a week series Monday through Thursday.

In much of the same way radio audiences are built, viewers of 106 & Park and "Keyshia & Daniel: Family First" are not the type of demos that would be interested in an issue and news driven entertainment information program even with an engaging host. Would anyone dream of putting on a half hour news program on an Urban/Hip Hop radio station at let's say 6:00 p.m. each night then say our audience is not tuning into this program. (By the way Adult Contemporary station 96.3 WHUR airs "The Daily Drum" each evening in Washington, D.C. because their is an audience there for it. Meanwhile The Front Page with Dominique DiPrima airs at 4:30 A.M in Los Angeles on KJLH. Note that both stations are not corporately owned)

What Debra Lee is a bit confused about is the fact that African American audiences do want this type of programming, however the BET audience does NOT want this type of programming. Especially at 11 o'clock at night! We wonder if she even watches at that time of night. BET is not a good match for people who might be interested in the show.

As social commentator Dr. Boyce Watkins said “You can’t give your child candy for breakfast, lunch and dinner until he’s 10 years old, and then expect him to become a vegan.”

Rahiel Tesfamariam, a columnist and blogger for The Washington Post and The RootDC ponders the question in an article she wrote: "Who’s to blame for sleeping on ‘Don’t Sleep!’? Not the viewers." 

The threat of “too much of a good thing becoming a bad thing” particularly holds for BET’s efforts to push forth socially conscious material to an audience whose palate has largely been cultivated for junk.

Read more... from the Washington Post

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