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BET Gets Top Ratings With American Gangster TV Series
The BET series titled "American Gangster" was second in the ratings only to the Lil Kim TV series "Countdown to Lockdown."
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Posted by Dave
Rap News Network
12/4/2006 12:20:49 PM

Tags and topics realted to this article include Lil Kim. Hip Hop, Rap and TV.

Tuesday night, viewers handed down a favorable verdict on the debut of original series AMERICAN GANGSTER, a chilling yet gripping depiction of crime and it's consequences.  Narrated by award winning actor Ving Rhames, BET's latest offering set a new milestone as the #1 original series November telecast in the network's history.  The first in a series of 60-minute episodes, the premiere profiled LA's infamous Crips gang co-founder Stanley Tookie Williams and earned a 1.6 rating (1.3 million households and 1.6 million total viewers), according to Nielsen Media Research.  AMERICAN GANGSTER's numbers helped fuel one of the network's best primetime performances of the year with an overall 1.3 rating.
 
AMERICAN GANGSTER posted some other impressive gains as well, up 146% versus last year in its daypart and up 191% compared with previous programming this quarter in the 10 - 11 p.m. timeslot.  It's noteworthy bow also makes AMERICAN GANGSTER the #1 4th Quarter series premiere in BET history and the #2 series debut overall (behind LIL' KIM: COUNTDOWN TO LOCKDOWN which garnered a 1.7 rating, 1.4 million households, 2.0 million viewers).
 
The premiere of AMERICAN GANGSTER garnered critical success in addition to ratings success. The following are a few excerpts of show reviews:
 
"Based on a viewing of next week's profile of former crack king Ross (the show bowed last night with a look at Williams, founder of the Crips gang, who was executed last year), "American Gangster" is sober, intelligent and appropriately judgmental." - Verne Gay, Newsday
 
"BET makes a savvy push into more challenging territory with this documentary series." - Brian Lowry, Variety
 
"Grade: B" - Ben Spier, Entertainment Weekly
 
Executive produced by Nelson George and Frank Sinton (Asylum Entertainment), along with Mark Rowland and BET, the series will profile an infamous crime figure each week through the use of archival footage, photographs and interviews with people familiar with the various cases. Featured experts include ex-members of these polarizing criminals' organizations, police officials from the time period, attorneys that represented the criminals and crime historians.
 
AMERICAN GANGSTER airs on Tuesdays @ 10 p.m. ET/PT. BET will air encore episodes of AMERICAN GANGSTER on Wednesdays and Sundays at 9 p.m. ET/PT. The second episode which premieres on Tuesday (12/5) @ 10 p.m. ET/PT will profile "Freeway" Ricky Ross, the first crack king of Los Angeles whose dealings not only impacted the local community, but the international drug trade as well. This episode will chronicle Ross' rise and fall in narcotics distribution, as well as discuss his unwitting connection to the infamous Reagan-era CIA/Iran- Contras scandal.

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