In a move that really shouldn’t be much of a surprise, BET/Viacom has signed what is being called a mega multi-year production deal with husband/wife team, Mara Brock Akil and Salim Akil, the brains behind the network’s hit series, The Game and, out in theaters currently, Jumping The Broom.

The deal includes a 3-year agreement, with commitments to new, original series, which means we should expect more new scripted programming from BET – a step in the right direction IMHO.

Along with The Game, the network also has Let’s Stay Together, which will return for a second season next year; and, this fall, the family comedy Reed Between the Lines, starring Malcolm-Jamal Warner and Tracee Ellis Ross, will make its debut; additionally, there are also a number of newly-acquired web series that may eventually make their way into the networks regular TV programming.

This is a very important deal for us. It reflects our belief in (the Akils) as storytellers and creators and our commitment to the world of scripted TV in general… Mara and Salim are going to play a very important role in our strategic planning for this channel going forward,” said Loretha Jones, head of original programming for BET Networks.

Stay tuned…