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10/02/2005

 
From the Streets to the Boardroom - BET Launches 2005 Fall Season With BET's ULTIMATE HUSTLER

The First Ever Television Series From Hip Hop Mogul Damon Dash

One-Hour Unscripted Competition Will Premiere Tuesday, October 4, 2005 at 9:00 ET/PT

NEW YORK, Sept. 30 /PRNewswire/ -- BET lights the fuse on its new Fall season with the debut of BET's ULTIMATE HUSTLER, an edgy, one-hour unscripted competition that will test 16 aspiring entrepreneurs on their business savvy. Executive produced by entertainment mogul Damon Dash and produced by Kenny Hull and Rabih Gholam (Huck Films); it's the first ever television series from Dash, one of the most prominent business men in entertainment. The surveillance begins Tuesday, October 4, 2005 at 9:00 ET/PT.

Over 13 episodes, the competition puts 16 hopeful entrepreneurs through a series of business challenges to determine who has the best combination of business skills and street savvy. In each episode viewers watch as contestants face a series of mental and physical challenges. Tasks put forth by Dash, run the gamut from boxing ring stamina, innovative street sales to all night studio sessions --- the hustle never stops. "You are being watched," is the consistent theme throughout the series with the contestants under constant surveillance by Dash, even in their private quarters.

Get ready to meet a colorful gang of characters, including a party promoter from Atlanta, fashion designers from Miami and New York, a street hustler from New Orleans and even an adult entertainer from Long Island. The ULTIMATE HUSTLER winner receives a position within the Damon Dash Empire to shepherd their winning "big pitch" idea, a platinum and diamond chain worth $15K, a 2006 Jeep Commander, and a myriad of additional prizes (Roc Box, clothing, etc.) fit for an Ultimate Hustler from Damon Dash.

In a departure from other network reality shows, BET viewers will have an insider peek from Dash's perspective on how to "get paper" (make money). From downtown parties to Harlem basketball courts; the "hustlers" will be tested on advertising, marketing, negotiating, work ethic, problem solving, networking, communication skills, as well as their ability to master the art of "hustling" as they vie for the top spot.

"What I love about the series is that beyond Damon's big personality and street swagger, he's teaching fundamental business ethics -- work hard, pay attention to detail, be honest in your dealings with people," said Reginald Hudlin, BET President of Entertainment.

"I started from nothing and built a $500 million dollar empire," said Damon Dash. "I want to teach these young hustlers-in-training how to achieve what I have achieved. This program will be the blueprint on how to become an entrepreneur and BET is the perfect place to demonstrate it to my culture."

With the business capital of the world -- New York City -- as the backdrop, the "hustlers," are put through the ultimate business boot camp. The "hustlers" will live in Harlem in the former home of legendary 1970's gangster, Nicky Barnes; fully equipped with state-of-the-art technology which delivers their weekly challenges. Each task will focus on a different arena of Dash's empire. Dash's vast array of businesses includes America Magazine, Damon Dash Music Group, Dash Films, Armadale Vodka, Dash Management, PRO-KEDS, State Property, Team Roc and Dash/DiBella Boxing. He also owns a Lear jet, a private yacht, custom-made vehicles, deluxe and plush properties on both coasts and a recording studio.

The "hustlers" were chosen based on their drive, personality and entrepreneurial prowess from a nationwide search involving auditions and reviews of video submissions. Dash does not follow the usual formula of one contestant eliminated per episode. Contestants may be asked to leave the show at any given point, sometimes in multiples. Viewers will be introduced to Life as the Dash -- "Business 101" starts October 4th.

ABOUT BET

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.

http://www.bet.com/

Source: BET (Black Entertainment Television)

CONTACT: Marcy Polanco, +1-212-975-4154, Marcy.Polanco@BET.net, or
Tricia N. Newell, +1-212-975-8230, Tricia.Newell@BET.net, or Tara Smith,
+1-212-975-3390, Tara.Smith@BET.net, both of BET

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




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