In a surprising announcement this morning, television channels HBO (Home Box Office) and BET (Black Entertainment Television) have revealed a deal to start broadcasting the hit fantasy series Game of Thrones on BET. The show, based on the book series “A Song of Ice And Fire” by George R.R. Martin, premiered on HBO and has steadily increased in ratings for each subsequent season. The producers say that they believe this move will help Game of Thrones to reach a “wider, more diverse audience”.
The show is known for its bloody violence, profanity, and graphic sexual content. Since BET is a basic cable channel, the show’s more objectionable elements will be edited out for its run on BET. Viacom president Philippe P. Dauman said, “The show will still retain certain adult themes. It’s definitely a TV-14, but we’ve toned down the violence and sexuality in order to reach a wider demographic.”
Some have expressed surprise at this decision, considering that the majority of characters in the show are white and BET mainly features programs directed towards African-Americans. However, a source who wished to remain unnamed pointed out that BET “doesn’t discriminate”. “Yes, it’s called Black Entertainment Television, but that doesn’t mean ‘No Whites Allowed’. The majority of our shows already feature actors and actresses of many different races. There are also many people of color in Game of Thrones, actors such as Nonso Anozie, Lucian Msamati, Jacob Anderson, and Nathalie Emmanuel. We are very excited to be able to broadcast this show on our channel.”
The fifth season of Game of Thrones is scheduled to premiere in Spring 2015.