Earlier this week, CASSIUS was onhand for a taping of Curtis “50 Cent” Jackson’s new sketch comedy show, 50 Central. Jackson is attempting to transfer his magic touch from his hit STARZ drama, Power, to the new variety show, which will include musical performances, celebrity appearances and sketch guest spots, and a cast of fresh new talent.
The show was filmed in a tricked out studio in New York City’s Midtown, on a sound stage that included a replica subway train and miniature Grand Central Terminal that featured the show’s logo carved into the wall. But the real action happened on the set. Here are the top five reasons we’ll tune in when the show debuts on September 27.
50’s Got The “Power”
C’mon. You know Power is one of the hottest shows on television. Despite sharing a time slot with the other hottest show on cable TV, Game of Thrones, the fan favorite still managed to pull in a season-high of 1.9 million viewers last month, according to Deadline.com. So it’s only right that we anticipate a great start for 50 over at BET, where 50 Central will air.
The Ish Is Funny
The skits are modern, on-trend, and relevant. We won’t give away too much, just think In Living Color meets Mad TV with sprinkles of The Chappelle Show. Yeah, that’s a big statement, but we stand behind it.
The Special Guests
50 has a lot of celebrity friends. Tons. And he promises to include the best of the best in his new venture. He hinted that a certain recent winner from the Money Team might be paying a visit to the set real soon, and that any of the people he has recently been spotted with could pop up. That could be a few folks. The cast of Power? Eminem? G-Unit? Vivica A.Fox?
We kid! Well, not really. With 50, anything is possible. And we’re ready.
BET Has Been Winning
BET has completely leveled up on its award shows. The “BET Awards,” “Black Girls Rock!,” and “The Soul Train Awards,” have all upgraded each and every year. Add original movies and programming like The New Edition Story and fan-favorite, Being Mary Jane, so one might say BET has gotten a bit of its swag back. Could this be the missing piece that puts BET back on top with Black viewers? We shall see.
50 put out a national casting call for upcoming talent via social media, but more importantly, the current VP of talent and casting for original programming at BET is the amazing Robi Reed. With more than 50 films and television shows to her credit, including The Best Man, In Living Color, Girlfriends and everything Spike Lee, Reed knows a little bit about picking talent.
Here’s a rundown of the main cast:
The Charlotte, N.C., native is an energetic actor, comedian, and artist. You may remember him from BET’s The Xperiment, and it’s worth noting that he received training from the British American Drama Academy. Vince not only brings high voltage energy, but he also lends his multi-facted talents to 50 Central. Evidence of this can be clearly seen with his many impersonations that will be on display in future episodes.
Hailing from Miami, Jasmin (or Jazzy) is a powerhouse comedic actress whose star is rising rapidly. She’s known for her “in-car” rants and her original characters, including Toya Turnup, Termite, and Reggie, but Jasmin ultimately managed to build an audience by simply being herself. She adds many things to the cast and, aside from hilarity and utter talent, her humility and passion are the attributes that stand out most.
Tristen J. Winger
Born and raised in South Los Angeles, Winger knew at an early age that the arts were for him. By 2000, he was enrolled at The Colburn School of Performing Arts and he later joined the Amazing Grace Conservatory, where he developed his acting, voice, and dance skills. We first saw the talented actor in The Misadventures of Awkward Black Girl as the whispering-ass, soft-spoken character Darius. These days he can be seen as full-voiced Thug Yoda on HBO’s Insecure.
Born in Richmond, Va., Kiya Roberts has always lived in performance mode. She appeared in her musical as a teenager, and hit the small screen with memorable characters on the hit show, Hell Date. As a cast member on 50 Central, Kiya brings her uncanny, chameleon-like acting abilities and triple-threat performance skills to not only make us laugh, but make us cry from laughing.
Mark Forbes Harley
Mark Harley is an actor and writer known for his projects The Hungover Games, Clearing House Sweepstakes, and The Illegal Way. He’s also pretty hilarious, bringing the comedic curveball to “50 Central.”
“50 Central” will premiere on BET on Wednesday, September 27 at 10:30 p.m. ET.