July 27, 2007 / 5:44 AM / 11 years ago

"Better" not great for BET despite furor

LOS ANGELES (Hollywood Reporter) - The controversy surrounding BET’s new series “We Got to Do Better” — formerly known as “Hot Ghetto Mess” — didn’t translate into huge ratings for the show’s premiere Wednesday night.

“Better” averaged 1.1 million viewers in its debut at 10:30 p.m., according to Nielsen Media Research. That’s on par with other recent BET series premieres, including the July 10 debut of reality series “Baldwin Hills,” which also drew 1.1 million total viewers.

However, “Better” didn’t match the series debuts of the reality show “Lil’ Kim: Countdown to Lockdown” and the documentary series “American Gangster,” which broke records for the network. The March 2006 debut of “Lil’ Kim” averaged 1.9 million total viewers, while “Gangster” on November 28 drew 1.6 million.

“Better,” hosted by Charlie Murphy, is described as a “tongue-in-cheek examination of the good, the bad and the ugly of black popular culture.” It made headlines this month after a few advertisers pulled out over mounting criticism that its content perpetuated racial stereotypes. BET changed the show’s title earlier this week.

Reuters/Hollywood Reporter

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