Interview with 2020 BET Awards producers Jesse Collins and Connie Orlando – Contenders TV – Deadline

Two of the people behind the 2020 BET Awards – a high-profile act in terms of logistics and rapidly evolving societal events – say that to be successful they have relied on history and the talent community.

Producer Jesse Collins and Connie Orlando, EVP Specials, Music Programming & Music Strategy for BET, took viewers behind the scenes of Deadline’s Contenders Television: Documentary + Unscripted Awards-Season.

“The first thing we decided was we were going to have a show,” Collins said, noting that many other awards have either been dropped or delayed due to the challenges of Covid-19.

Given that the June 28 telecast also dropped a month after George Floyd’s death, failure was not an option.

Contenders Television: documentary + unscripted: live broadcast, schedule, lineup

Orlando recalled that the central question was, “How do you do this in the new world?” What does that sound like? ”The show has a long tradition of embracing social issues, so“ it wasn’t a change ”to include it, she added, but rather a question. execution.

With host Amanda Seales filming her segments in her home (without a single crew member present), the other key was to create an electrifying moment to ‘show how culture feels’, as has been said. Collins said. One of the many signature sequences that kept that promise featured Alicia Keys playing a grand piano on a New York street and singing her song “Perfect Way to Die” as stars like Viola Davis, Jamie Foxx and Kendrick Lamar read names on the heart-wrenching roll appeal of the victims of the police shooting.

“The issues we’re dealing with – it’s not just one thing,” Collins said. “There are so many layers to it. There is so much history in the injustice that black people have endured in this country. We didn’t just want to say, “Oh, we’re going to do a George Floyd tribute and that’s going to tick that box.” “

Check back on Monday for the panel video.

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