Rapper, celebrity, producer and actor 50 Cent, is taping his new show 50 Central in NYC this year. 50 Cent will join the late-night show family on September 27, 2017 with his Broadcast to air at 10:30 pm on the inglorious BET channel.
50 Cent is attempting to translate the skills he has gained over the past 3 years as executive producer and star on Starz’s hit drama Power. His production company G-Unit Film & Television produces Power and are also producing 50 Central in collaboration with Back Roads Entertainment. 50 Cent’s new show has variety show elements that include musical performances, celebrity/special guests and sketches. Alongside those elements, 50 Central also features hidden camera pranks.
Challenge to Wild N’ Out and Tales
50 Central is a big divergence from existing TV shows of this ilk currently on the small screen that includes Nick Cannon’s Wild N’ Out and Irv Gotti’s Tales. Being the successful All-American rapper that 50 Cent is, his new TV show will also include a rap battle giving MTV’s Wild ‘N Out and Nick Cannon a run for their money. The would-be-rivals are stepping up the pace with BET’s 50 Central show airing on Wednesday nights and MTV’s Wild N’ Out broadcast following it on Thursday nights, with both shows targeting the same demographic. Nick Cannon’s TV career has garnered him millions of followers but we will see how loyal his fans are when the more successful audio recording artist and rapper, 50 Cent, challenges him to the ultimate rap battle for NYC black entertainment supremacy. 50 Cent’s long time rival, Irv Gotti, has also just premiered his new show Tales on BET and it was not long before the two took shots at each other on social media. 50 Cent called Tales “BS garbage” and “badly executed” to which Irv Gotti responded by taking shots at 50’s other show, Power, by saying that 50 was only “an actor that got EP credit”. But given that BET has such poor ratings in the first place, it seems that the two are feuding over breadcrumbs instead of cake and it is a feud that no one really cares about.
For neophytes, BET is one of those hard-to-find channels on the cable dial stuck somewhere in the TV graveyard between VH1 and MTV. For the more digitally advanced and the Millennial cord-cutters, BET has been on Roku and Apple TV for over a year now. But like some prehistoric TV dinosaur clinging to life at the bottom of a rotting bog, you actually have to be a customer who subscribes to BET through a participating cable or satellite TV provider to get it on Roku, what the blazes? Did they not get the memo that TV was dead?
50 Central Taping Information
BET has signed 50 Cent for 24 episodes for his first season of 50 Central and is currently filming the show at 106 and Park’s old studio, Metropolis Studios, located at 105 East 106 St. The producers may be hoping for some of the good luck that 106 and Park may bring, despite the studio being less-than-stellar. 50 Central promises to be a “late night party” but the actual filmings are at 2 pm and 6 pm, giving way to claims of “fakeness” from the notoriously fickle audience. The studio audience members are actually being compensated $40 cash for 3.5 hours of film time that eventually turns to a 30 minute episode. Conversely, Nick Cannon’s Wild N’ Out taping takes over four hours to shoot and no one is paid. Cannon did, however, pay for the audience for the short-lived Wild N’ Out Live TV show, but the audience at the main event of Wild N’ Out are not paid and are subject to many hours of grueling taping, just to produce a paltry 30 min show, that ends up being just 22 minutes of actual filmed content after eight minutes of commercials are added. Nick Cannon has taken his show “on tour” charging audience members $30 – $139 to attend the non-taped 2 hour events, that are a great deal more fun than the four hour tiresome ordeals. It is easy to see that audience members would prefer to go to a 50 Central taping as they are paid to be there and the filming time is significantly shorter than Cannon’s NYC taping borefest.
50 Cent’s Previous Attempts at a TV Show
It seems like 50 Cent has been trying to get his variety show picked up for a while now. Back in March of 2016 there were rumors and even press releases stating that 50 Cent was to host a show called 50 Cent Presents on the A&E network. So much so that Elaine Frontain Bryant, head of A&E’s programming, commented “Leaning into A&E’s legacy in showcasing the arts, we’re setting out to redefine the traditional variety show, 50 Cent is the perfect partner to refresh this classic format. He is a true taste maker across industries and we are excited to see his impressive showcase of talent.” But as quickly as this show appeared on the radar it then disappeared. There was no further news about 50 Cent’s variety show until April 27, 2017 when BET did its annual Upfront presentation for the 2017-2018 programming year where they announced 50 Central’s 24 episode run.
50 Central’s Expected Show Ratings on BET
According to Nielsen, BET’s TV ratings are now the lowest in years and it may have just become a marginalized cable TV network slipping away on life support, despite the recurrent steroid injections prescribed by would-be-doctors Debra Lee and Michael D. Armstrong, the chief executive and general manager at BET. The network is run out of Washington DC with a heavy management control approach that extends to its strategy of low-budget production and cost control measures. The channel makes a clear point of cutting out white viewers, which is a big majority of TV viewership that advertisers want to see to make the big bucks. The problem is, other networks are producing better TV shows for black viewers, leaving BET failing at its mission. BET may be hoping that 50 Cent’s 50 Central will save their network, much like Nick Cannon did for MTV2, where he went on to become the no.1 TV show on that network and saved the day for the dying-on-the vine cable channel. 50 Cent is a talented artist, but Nick Cannon is an all-around entertainer, who took to TV like a duck to water, whereas 50 Cent, does not have the same skill set despite his on-screen presence, so it may be a big stretch for him to win over TV viewers. 50 Cent may also have become irrelevant in this age of Migos, Lil Yachty, Meek Mills and Chance the Rapper.
50 Cent Rants on Social Media Could Pose a Problem
50 cent is also known as flying off the handle on social media, so if he pulls that kind of stunt at the TV show taping, his TV producing days could be over before they even get started. TV production companies do not tolerate divas on set, especially given the dire marginalization situation that BET now faces. 50 Cent loves to rant and rave and BET could take the low road and encourage him to rant about recent current events including the white power demonstrations in the South and Black Lives Matter, but it remains to be seen if 50 Cent will get that desperate to go topical. This opportunity could be the last of its kind for both 50 Cent and BET, that could see both head to the hills in a cloud of smog if they don’t hit the hammer right on the nail, so to speak. Taping starts on August 28, 2017 and the first show airs on September 27, 2017. It remains to be seen if they end up taping all 24 episodes as the dailies don’t look too good, but they are paying cold hard cash for a studio audience, so they are serious about it.
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