Kelly Rowland, Snoop Dogg join new BET series’

FILE - In this Tuesday, June 2, 2009 file photo, former South African President Nelson Mandela smiles during a meeting with a group of American and South African students in Johannesburg, South Africa. BET says it will air a miniseries about Nelson Mandela next year, with actor Laurence Fishburne portraying the late South African leader. (AP Photo/Theana Calitz-Bilt, Pool, File)

PASADENA, Calif. (AP) — A roundup of news Wednesday from the Television Critics Association winter meeting, at which TV networks and streaming services are presenting details on upcoming programs:

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Khloe Kardashian says former NBA star Lamar Odom is doing well in his recovery from an apparent drug overdose last year in a Nevada brothel.

In a public appearance touting her upcoming talk show on Wednesday, Kardashian gave few details about Odom’s condition, saying it was his story to tell. Kardashian had filed for divorce from Odom, but she halted those proceedings after he was found unconscious last October, from an apparent overdose of cocaine and other drugs.

“He’s doing amazing, and I’m so proud of the strength that he has had to fight that battle,” said Kardashian, part of the reality TV juggernaut that includes “Keeping Up With the Kardashians” and, at one time, “Khloe and Lamar.”

The little-known FYI channel is premiering “Kocktails With Khloe” on Jan. 20. The show, filmed in a replica of Kardashian’s house, will feature celebrity guests and approximate dinner parties she throws at her home.

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LeVar Burton, who starred in the influential 1970s miniseries “Roots,” said the remake is arriving at a crucial time.

“As far as we have come in the area of race relations and the topics of social justice, fairness and equality, we still have a long way to go,” he told a TV critics’ gathering Wednesday.

ABC’s 1977 miniseries “Roots” was based on the Alex Haley novel that was inspired by stories about his family’s African roots and enslavement in the American South.

The first “Roots” was a television sensation, gripping the country with its story of an African-American family’s generational journey.

Burton played Kunta Kinte in the original series and is an executive producer on the remake, which stars English actor Malachi Kirby as Kunta. Other cast members include Laurence Fishburne, Anna Paquin and Forest Whitaker.

The new “Roots” will air on the History, A&E Network and Lifetime channels. The debut date has not been announced.

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There’s finally a subject to unite Comedy Central and the National Geographic Channel.

You guessed it. Sex.

Comic Nikki Glaser is the creator and host of “Not Safe,” a new series that premieres on Comedy Central on Feb. 9. Glaser, who got a little enthusiastic about sharing personal stories on Wednesday, will talk sex. Among the topics covered in the series are foot fetishists and men who text pictures of their genitals. Glaser, a comic buddy of Amy Schumer’s, interviews her parents about their sex life.

Glaser said she talked about her supposed sex life in standup comedy before she actually did it for the first time, at age 21. Now she describes herself as a “curious perv.”

“I’m perverted in the sense that I’m always thinking about sex, I’m always talking about it,” she said. “I’m kind of like a dude.”

The National Geographic Channel announced Wednesday that they had commissioned a six-episode series, “Original Sin: How Sex Changed the World,” to air this summer.

The network said the series will discuss how the Sexual Revolution impacted every aspect of society, and discuss how sexuality is expressed in different parts of the world. It will explore how sex on the Internet has led to a collapse of the traditional notions of privacy.

Famed sex therapist Dr. Ruth Westheimer will participate, and watched from the audience Wednesday as National Geographic announced the new series.

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SNOOP DOGG, ROWLAND, NEW EDITION STAR IN NEW SERIES’

It’s all about the music on BET, with the cable network doubling down on series featuring singers and entrepreneurs in behind-the-scenes glimpses of the industry.

Kelly Rowland, New Edition, Snoop Dogg and Birdman are among those showing what it’s like to try and make it in music, a topic made hot by the overwhelming success of the Fox series “Empire.”

Rowland hosts and is a producer on “Chasing Destiny,” debuting April 5 on BET. The singer from Destiny’s Child fame takes viewers on a quest to find the next big female group.

“It’s not a reality competition show,” Rowland told a TV critics gathering Wednesday. “No one has actually gotten to see the journey of a group. We actually wanted to have everything documented and cameras following us.”

Rowland and Frank Gatson, a creative director and choreographer who worked with Destiny’s Child, had already teamed on the project before BET came aboard to turn it into a series. There will not be a judges’ table like “American Idol” and “The Voice.”

The cable network announced another new series Wednesday called “Music Moguls,” featuring Snoop Dogg, Birdman, Jermaine Dupri and Damon Dash. The eight, one-hour episodes debut June 28. The rappers and producers try to balance their family lives with the demands of the industry.

BET has previously announced a miniseries on New Edition, the ’80s R&B group whose breakout star was Bobby Brown, ex-husband of the late Whitney Houston.

Another upcoming BET series is “Inside the Label,” about music industry entrepreneurs.

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‘GIRLS’ COMING TO AN END ON HBO

HBO says it will pull the plug on its hit comedy “Girls” after a sixth and final season next year.

The series about a group of young women in their 20s made creator and actress Lena Dunham a star, and was also a feather in the cap of veteran comic producer Judd Apatow.

The fifth season of “Girls” is set to launch on the pay cable network on Feb. 21.

Dunham said Wednesday that she conceived of “Girls” when she was 23 and now she’s about to turn 30, so it felt like the perfect time to wrap things up. Besides Dunham, the show’s cast includes Allison Williams and Adam Driver.

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BRANDY RETURNS TO TV SERIES

Brandy is back on series television although she’s not singing in her show. She plays a newly single mom with a famous boxer as her ex-husband in “Zoe Ever After,” which debuted Tuesday on BET.

The 36-year-old singer, who rose to fame on the series “Moesha” that ran for six seasons in the late ’90s, has new music out, too.

Her single “Beggin’ & Pleadin'” was released shortly after her show’s debut.

“It’s hot, you’re going to love it,” she said. “My fans have been starving for music and they’ve been so patient. I wrote the song two years ago. I just sat on it. I’ve got to do music.”

Brandy hasn’t put out an album since 2012. Missy Elliott weighed in with an early endorsement for more new music.

“Yssssss brandy. … Your vocals is top notch! Congrats!” the rapper tweeted.

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MANDELA MINISERIES TO AIR NEXT YEAR

BET says it will air a miniseries about Nelson Mandela next year, with actor Laurence Fishburne portraying the late South African leader.

Stephen Hill, the network’s chief programming executive, said Wednesday the six-hour “Madiba” series is being made with the cooperation of Mandela’s family.

Mandela, the longtime prisoner of the apartheid system, became South Africa’s first black president. He died in 2013 at age 95.

BET moved into miniseries last year with “The Book of Negroes,” about a girl who grew up in Africa who was sold into slavery in America.

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AP Writers David Bauder, Beth Harris and Lynn Elber contributed to this story.



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