Not sure how this fell off our radar, but it looks as if BET has announced a brand new original web series entitled Shop Talk: “What’s on the Hearts Men”. The show, set to premiere Today at 3:00 p.m, is a documentary style web series in a barbershop setting, covering a wide array of topics including; interracial relationships to commitment to President Obama . The series which is written by, directed, and starring Malik Yoba (“New York Undercover”) will be accompanied by an interactive blog in which viewers can sound off on the issues presented in each episode. “Our goal is to stimulate dialogue within our community about issues from a male perspective rarely seen in mainstream media,” said Malik Yoba, creator of SHOP TALK. “We want to push the viewers to think beyond the obvious ideas that they just saw and create discussion on the blog.”
This online web series is the second of what seems be a consistent theme in BET.com’s programming focus. The company, you may recall, released Buppies, a tale of LA’s young black professional elite, starring Tatiyana Ali in November. If you recall I mentioned in our first post about Buppies, that the show’s fate would be dependent upon BET’s willingness to invest the money, time, and efforts into the technologies to make marketing the series more viral. At launch Buppies had garnered about 5 million page views. The series has also been nominated for a Indie Soap Award. (Editors Note: You can check out our full interview with the creators of Buppies and the business behind it in our series Blueprint.) So far, other than this press release, I haven’t heard one thing about the series. Is it me, or is BET not marketing this well? Or maybe we’re just not important enough for them to reach out to us to cover it…even though this is what we do all day every day. Either way it does seem like Buppies got more of a push.
We were able to find a list of characters on the BET.com:
Malik Yoba . . . “ShopTalk’s” main man will electrify the barbershop, leading the conversations, knowing how to navigate the dialogue and inspiring realness as only he can.
Josiah Yoba . . . Malik’s 7-year-old son consistently looks to his father for advice and continues to learn about the issues men face while at the shop.
Phil . . . Although the youngest, he seems to have the most drama. He graduated from college a few years ago and still can’t find a job. Plus, his girl has a secret.
Trina . . . Phil’s girlfriend who is of Indian descent and is having a tough time being accepted into Phil’s family.
Percy . . . The oldest in the room, Percy acts as the referee and is always willing to help a young lady out…in any way he can. He has no problems telling it like it is, and wants to make sure the hard work his generation put in isn’t wasted away by these new young guns.
Gee ‘DaBarber’ . . . The main barber and owner of KNAPS in Brooklyn, NY. He’s the level-headed guy who has overcome numerous challenges in his life to become the successful man he is today.
Kazi . . . This young guy is very open to advice and always wants to know the perspectives of the other folks in the room.
Mike . . . The all-around funny guy from Brooklyn whose views on relationships and life in general are certainly unique.
Malika . . . This opinionated beautician has appointed herself the one to keep the fellas in check. She is a successful woman, owns property and is still searching for a few things missing in her life.
Jakene . . . A Southern belle who says the simple things will make her happy, but the basics seem to be a little hard to come by.
Here’s some really raw footage of what the show is like, shot in ATL by Fabian Muzik on Qik. Embedding was disabled so you’ll have to click though to view. It’s about 17 mins. long and should give you a good idea of what to expect later today. We have more to saw on this model form a business perspective…stay tuned.
Seems interesting enough, Will you watch SHOP TALK?Category: Featured, News | Tags: BET, BET Digital Networks, BET Webisode, buppies, Denmark West, Malik Yoba, Shop Talk, webisode