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Martin Lawrence Draws Top Honors at BET's 2005 COMEDY AWARDS Hosted by Steve Harvey in Laugh-Filled Telecast on September 27

Lawrence Named Comedy Icon Award Recipient; 'The Bernie Mac Show,' 'Diary of a Mad Black Woman,' 'Girlfriends,' and 'My Wife and Kids,' Top the List of 2005 Nominees

LOS ANGELES, Aug. 17 /PRNewswire/ -- Celebrating Black comedic prowess for the second straight year, BET will honor the outstanding success of urban comedy and the funniest performances in film, television and stand-up with the 2005 BET COMEDY AWARDS. Groundbreaking talent Martin Lawrence has been selected as the 2005 BET Comedy Icon Award recipient for his amazing body of work and contribution to the field of comedy, while outlandish comedian/actor Steve Harvey takes another turn as host of the annual laugh-fest. Themed "Oh! No They Didn't," BET will "bring the funny" back to the historic Pasadena Civic Auditorium with a live taping on September 25. The side-splitting telecast premieres on the network Tuesday, September 27, at 9 p.m. ET/PT.

Dominating the 18-category list of nominees for the second year running -- which includes a brand-new category, Outstanding DVD Release -- is "The Bernie Mac Show" (FOX), followed by "My Wife and Kids" (ABC), "Girlfriends" (UPN), "All of Us" (UPN) and "Half & Half" (UPN). Topping the box office list is "Diary of a Mad Black Woman" and "Beauty Shop," while breakout performers Bernie Mac, Chris Rock, Queen Latifah, Damon Wayans, Tyler Perry, Ice Cube and Eve are recognized across a spectrum of categories for their outstanding work.

"The Bernie Mac Show," "Girlfriends" and "My Wife and Kids" are the top nominated television series with eight, six and five nods respectively, while the "Diary of a Mad Black Woman" rules the box office categories with a record seven nominations. Nominated in the categories of Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series and Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Box Office Movie, Bernie Mac receives the BET COMEDY AWARDS academy's nod of approval for his well- rounded comic achievement. His cast mates, Kellita Smith, Jeremy Suarez and Dee Dee Davis will also be acknowledged for their comedic contribution to the show with nominations in such categories as Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series, Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series and Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series for their work on the hilarious "Bernie Mac Show."

Tyler Perry and his co-stars landed seven nominations for the comedic- drama "Dairy of a Mad Black Woman" in the Outstanding Box Office Movie, Outstanding Writing for a Box Office Movie; Perry and lady's man Shemar Moore earn nominations in the Outstanding Lead Actor in a Box Office Movie category, while the talented Kimberly Elise scores a Outstanding Lead Actress in a Box Office Movie nomination and Cicely Tyson earns a nomination in the Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Box Office Movie.

Bringing home six nominations, the sitcom "Girlfriends" is up for awards in the categories of Outstanding Comedy Series, Outstanding Writing in a Comedy Series, Outstanding Directing for a Comedy Series, while Tracee Ellis Ross is up for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series, Reggie Hays for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series, and Khalil Kain received a nomination in the Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series category.

The cast and production team of the television series "My Wife and Kids" will also be recognized for their comical contributions and will be considered in the categories of Outstanding Comedy Series, Outstanding Writing for a Comedy Series, and Outstanding Directing for a Comedy Series, while inaugural Comedy Icon Award recipient Damon Wayans is recognized in the Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series category. 2004 BET COMEDY AWARD winner Tisha Campbell-Martin has been acknowledged again for her contribution to the show, nominated in the category of Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series. Viewers can expect shows like "All of Us" and "Half & Half" to give "My Wife and Kids," "Girlfriends," and "The Bernie Mac Show" stiff competition with their multiple nominations.

The two-hour telecast is guaranteed to be a power-packed show with the most hilarious entertainers in the business, delivering an evening of side- splitting comic routines, sketches, stand-up acts and musical performances. The festivities kick off with star-studded red carpet arrivals during the half-hour BET COMEDY AWARDS Pre-Show at 8:30 p.m. ET/PT, capturing the evening's red hot fashions as the brightest stars in urban comedy stroll down the red carpet.

BET will also present two very special awards -- the BET Comedy Icon Award will be presented to funny man Martin Lawrence for his prolific work in the world of comedy. As a successful comic, actor, writer, producer and director, BET is paying homage to Lawrence for his inimitable comic ability, which is evident in every project he has touched. From his movie debut in Spike Lee's "Do the Right Thing," to his own, award-winning sitcom "Martin," Lawrence parlayed his unique style and clever physical comedy into superstar stature. He showcased his talents in such movies as "House Party" and "House Party 2," "Boomerang," "A Thin Line Between Love and Hate," "Bad Boys" and "Bad Boys II," "Big Momma's House" and "Blue Streak," and who can forget his stand-up performances in "You So Crazy," "Runteldat" and while hosting Russell Simmons' "Def Comedy Jam."

The Platinum Mic Stand-Up Award recognizes a stand-up comedian featured on the network who has enjoyed break-out success this year and will be decided by BET viewers. As "virtual" members of the BET COMEDY AWARDS voting academy, fans will log onto http://www.bet.com/ to cast their votes for their favorite comic. Kicking off today with the unveiling of the nominees, the poll will continue through September 24 and continues during the course of the telecast. Viewers can tune in to the ceremony to see if their chosen comic takes home the statue, and also check out other interactive features.

Comedy fans can get the full frontal impact of every punch line by attending the ceremony. Tickets are on sale now through all Ticketmaster outlets, online at http://www.ticketmaster.com/ or at the Pasadena Civic Center box office. BET COMEDY AWARDS ticket prices range from $25 - $50.

BET has teamed again with Cossette Productions, famed producers of the GRAMMY Awards (R) and the past five record-setting BET AWARDS shows, to handle production of the telecast. This year's BET AWARDS telecast delivered 5.6 million viewers nationwide, distinguished as the most-watched entertainment special in BET's 25-year history. Following the success of the inaugural BET COMEDY AWARDS telecast last year, which delivered a 1.7 rating (1.9 million viewers; 1.3 million households), all indicators predict another unprecedented success. Additional announcements regarding more celebrity performers and presenters will be issued as part of an ongoing series of awards-related announcements leading up to the September 25 taping.

Following is a complete list of BET COMEDY AWARDS nominees:

Outstanding Comedy Series
* Girlfriends -- UPN
* Half & Half -- UPN
* My Wife And Kids -- ABC
* That's So Raven -- DISNEY CHANNEL
* The Bernie Mac Show -- FOX

Outstanding Comedy Variety Series
* Comic View -- BET
* Coming To The Stage -- BET
* MADtv -- FOX
* P. Diddy Presents the Bad Boys of Comedy -- HBO
* Saturday Night Live -- NBC

Outstanding Lead Actor In A Comedy Series
* Bernie Mac, The Bernie Mac Show -- FOX
* Damon Wayans, My Wife and Kids -- ABC
* Duane Martin, All of Us -- UPN
* Flex Alexander, One on One -- UPN
* Reggie Hayes, Girlfriends -- UPN

Outstanding Lead Actress In A Comedy Series
* Eve, Eve -- UPN
* Kellita Smith, The Bernie Mac Show -- FOX
* Raven-Symone, That's So Raven -- DISNEY CHANNEL
* Tisha Campbell-Martin, My Wife and Kids -- ABC
* Tracee Ellis Ross, Girlfriends -- UPN

Outstanding Supporting Actor In A Comedy Series
* Donald Faison, Scrubs -- NBC
* Jeremy Suarez, The Bernie Mac Show -- FOX
* Khalil Kain, Girlfriends -- UPN
* Malcolm-Jamal Warner, Listen Up -- CBS
* Tony Rock, All of Us -- UPN

Outstanding Supporting Actress In A Comedy Series
* Camille Winbush, The Bernie Mac Show -- FOX
* Dee Dee Davis, The Bernie Mac Show -- FOX
* Sherri Shepherd, Less Than Perfect -- ABC
* Telma Hopkins -- Half & Half - UPN
* Terri J. Vaughn, All of Us -- UPN

Outstanding Directing For A Comedy Series
* All of Us, UPN -- Debbie Allen, Alfonso Ribiero
* Girlfriends, UPN -- Sheldon Epps, Mary Lou Belli, Leonard R. Garner
Jr., Katy Garretson, Roger Christiansen
* My Wife and Kids, ABC -- Dean Lorey, Kim Wayans, Damien Wayans, Jim
Vallely, Ron Moseley, Annice Parker, James Wilcox, George O. Gore II,
Vito Giambalvo, Randy Fletcher, Craig Wayans, Mattie Curruthers, Tisha
* One on One, UPN -- Ken Whittingham, Brian K. Roberts, Maynard Virgil,
Chip Hurd, Mary Lou Belli
* The Bernie Mac Show, FOX -- Linda Mendoza, Warren Hutcherson, Victor
Nelli Jr

Outstanding Writing For A Comedy Series
* All of Us, UPN -- Arthur Harris, Stacy A. Littlejohn, Lori Lakin,
Jewel Wormley, Josh Wolf, Demetrius A. Bady, Jared Bush, Byron Hord,
Ray Lancon, John Simmons, Rob Rosell, Chad Drew, Betsy Borns,
* Girlfriends, UPN -- Mara Brock Akil, Mark Alton Brown, Dee LaDuke,
Veronica Chambers, Michael B. Kaplan, Karin Gist, Tim Edwards, Regina
Y. Hicks, Time Edwards, Michele Marburger, Kevin Marburger, Shauna
Robinson, Prentice Penny
* Half & Half, UPN -- Yvette Lee Bowser, Jamie Wooten, Beth Seriff,
Geoff Tarson, Carla Banks Waddles, Micaela Feeley, David M. Matthews,
Chanuncey B. Raglin-Washington, Heather MacGillvray, Linda Mathious,
Temple Northup, Winifred Hervey, Bill Fuller, Jim Pond, David L.
Moses, Carla Banks Waddles
* My Wife and Kids, ABC -- Don Reo, Kerry Parker, Rodney Barnes, Craig
Wayans, Damien Wayans, Valencia Parker, Kim Wayans, Tony Hicks, Ron
Zimmerman, Kevin Knotts, Elvira Wayans, Dean Lorey, Ayesha Carr, Kevin
* The Bernie Mac Show, FOX -- Peter B. Aronson, Marc Abrams, Michael
Benson, Richard Appel, Warren Hutcherson, Kate Angelo, John Riggi,
Jerry Collins

Outstanding Theatrical Film
* Are We There Yet? -- Columbia Pictures
* Beauty Shop -- MGM Pictures
* Diary of a Mad Black Woman -- Lions Gate Films
* Hitch -- Columbia Pictures
* Mr. 3000 -- Touchstone Pictures

Outstanding Lead Actor In A Theatrical Film
* Bernie Mac, Guess Who -- Columbia Pictures
* Ice Cube, Are We There Yet? -- Columbia Pictures
* Shemar Moore, Diary of a Mad Black Woman -- Lions Gate Films
* Tyler Perry, Diary of a Mad Black Woman -- Lions Gate Films
* Will Smith, Hitch -- Columbia Pictures

Outstanding Lead Actress In A Theatrical Film
* Angela Bassett, Mr. 3000 -- Touchstone Pictures
* Gabrielle Union, The Honeymooners -- Paramount Pictures
* Kimberly Elise, Diary of a Mad Black Woman -- Lions Gate Films
* Mo'Nique, Hair Show -- UrbanWorks Entertainment
* Queen Latifah, Beauty Shop -- MGM Pictures

Outstanding Supporting Actor In A Theatrical Film
* Andre 3000, Be Cool -- MGM Pictures
* Bernie Mac, Ocean's Twelve -- Warner Brothers Studios
* Cedric "The Entertainer," Be Cool -- MGM Pictures
* Chris Rock, The Longest Yard -- Columbia Pictures
* Don Cheadle, Ocean's Twelve -- Warner Brothers Studios

Outstanding Supporting Actress In A Theatrical Film
* Christina Milian, Be Cool -- MGM Pictures
* Cicely Tyson, Diary of a Mad Black Woman -- Lions Gate Films
* Nia Long, Alfie --- Paramount Pictures
* Regina King, Miss Congeniality 2: Armed and Fabulous -- Warner
Brothers Studios
* Wanda Sykes, Monster In Law -- New Line Cinema

Outstanding Writing For A Theatrical Film
* Beauty Shop, Kate Lanier, Norman Vance Jr., Audrey Wells
* Diary of a Mad Black Woman, Tyler Perry
* Hair Show, Andrea Wiley, Sherri McGee, Devon Watkins
* She Hate Me, Michael Genet, Spike Lee
* The Cookout, Queen Latifah, Shakim Comprere

Best Performance In An Animated Theatrical Film
* Chris Rock, Madagascar -- DreamWorks Pictures
* Jada Pinkett-Smith, Madagascar - DreamWorks Pictures
* Raven-Symone, Kim Possible -- DISNEY CHANNEL
* Samuel L. Jackson, The Incredibles -- Walt Disney Pictures
* Will Smith, Shark Tale -- DreamWorks Pictures

Platinum Mic Stand-Up Award
* Adele Givens
* Alex Thomas
* DL Hughley
* Kevin Hart
* Sheryl Underwood

Outstanding DVD Release
* Bruce Bruce, Bruce Bruce -- Ventura Distribution
* Chris Rock, Never Scared -- Warner Home Video
* Dave Chappelle, Chappelle Show, 2nd Season -- Paramount Home Video
* DL Hughley, Live -- Ventura Distribution
* Steve Harvey, One Man -- 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment

Outstanding Directing For A Theatrical Film
* Beauty Shop, Billie Woodruff
* Be Cool, F. Gary Gray
* Diary of a Mad Black Woman, Darren Grant
* Hair Show, Leslie Small
* She Hate Me, Spike Lee


BET, a subsidiary of Viacom, Inc. (NYSE: VIA; VIA.B), is the nation's leading television network providing quality entertainment, music, news and public affairs programming for the African-American audience. The BET Network reaches more than 80 million households according to Nielsen media research, and can be seen in the United States, Canada and the Caribbean. BET is a dominant consumer brand in the urban marketplace with a diverse group of branded businesses: BET.com, the Number 1 Internet portal for African Americans; BET Digital Networks -- BET Jazz, BET Gospel and BET Hip Hop, attractive alternatives for cutting-edge entertainment tastes; BET Event Productions, specializing in a full range of event production services, including event management, venue selection, talent recruitment, sound, lighting and stage production; and BET Books, the nation's leading publisher of African-American themed romance novels under the Arabesque imprint, which also publishes compelling fiction under the Sepia imprint and inspirational fiction and nonfiction under the New Spirit imprint.


Cossette Productions is Hollywood's most unique and comprehensive production company, with more than 35 years of experience offering diverse and creative consultation, direction and execution of entertainment production. To its credit, Cossette Productions has produced 33 years of the Grammy Awards telecast; eight weekly television series totaling more than 500 episodes; numerous award-winning Broadway theatrical plays and musicals; 50 major performance specials, award shows and celebrity tributes; corporate events for the nation's largest companies; and countless made-for-television motion pictures and mini-series.

Source: BET (Black Entertainment Television)

CONTACT: Tosha Whitten-Griggs of BET, +1-818-655-6712,
Tosha.whitten-griggs@bet.net; or Amber Koger of Bobbi Marcus PR,
+1-310-889-9200, amber@bobbimarcuspr.com, for BET

Web site: http://www.bet.com/

NOTE TO EDITORS: Editor's Note: Video and clips of 2005 BET COMEDY AWARDS nominees and sound bites from BET executives, host, and select nominees are available via satellite on August 17 from 1:00 - 1:15 p.m. PT and 3:30 - 3:45 p.m. PT at the following coordinates: IA5 Transponder 9 C-Band Downlink Frequency: 3880 Vertical Photography is also available by contacting BET Corporate Communications at (202) 608-2208. In addition, the COMEDY AWARDS logo, downloadable photography of the host and select nominees, as well as the BET COMEDY AWARDS credentials requests submission is available at www.bet.com/pr. A national media teleconference took place on Wednesday, August 17 featuring Steve Harvey, Terri J. Vaughn, Reginald Hudlin BET President of Entertainment, and Stephen Hill, BET EVP of Entertainment Programming and Talent. A playback of the teleconference is available at https://cis.premconf.com/sc/scw.dll/usr?cid=vlllrsdslnnvlzrml. For more details, please contact Zabrina Horton at 818-655-6737 or zabrina.horton@bet.net.

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