Fast Talk: Matching Message and Medium

Reginald Hudlin

President of Entertainment, BET
Los Angeles, California

Reginald Hudlin, 45, delivers original programming--from comedy-reality show We Got to Do Better to Sunday Best, a gospel American Idol--all with an eye on TV that can be extended online to expand the storytelling possibilities.

"When I was a filmmaker, I never said, 'Oh, I'm a movie guy, I don't care about TV,' or else I wouldn't have this job. And I don't say, 'I'm a network guy, I don't care about online,' because it's all about storytelling. It's about creating a connection to the audience. And finding the right message for the right medium.

As a rule, if I create a show that works on only one platform, I consider it a failure. On Sunday Best, not only did people stand in line to audition live, but people could upload auditions on the Web. And we have a category of online contestants in which the audience can vote for the best one to participate in the series. We even took a Web site, HotGhettoMess.com, and turned it into the TV show We Got to Do Better. What it comes down to is, what is unique about this, how do the qualities of this particular thing translate into another medium, and what's the best way to do that?"

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