BET Media Submits for More Emmys Than Ever Before: Ms. Pat, ‘Average Joe,’ ‘Diarra From Detroit’ and More Seek Nominations (EXCLUSIVE)

BET wants some Emmys.

In a year where major streamers and legacy networks dominate the Emmy conversations, BET Media Group, which includes BET+ and BET Studios, has had a record-breaking year for its critically acclaimed content, such as Lee Daniels’ racy sitcom “The Ms. Pat Show,” the drama thriller “Average Joe” and the dark comedy “Diarra From Detroit.” All in all, the legacy broadcast media network has submitted in over 35 Primetime Emmy categories, the most in its history.

More from Variety

BET+ surprised many in 2022 and 2023 when it picked up back-to-back nominations for “The Ms. Pat Show” director Mary Lou Belli. A veteran in the TV business, she’s helmed notable episodes of “Sister, Sister,” “Monk” and “NCIS.” After dropping its fourth season on May 23, Belli is up for consideration once again for the premiere episode “I’m the Pappy,” alongside co-creator and showrunner Jordan E. Cooper for “The Book of Denise” episode. Commonly referred to as the youngest showrunner on television, Cooper is fresh off his two Tony nominations in 2023 for best play and featured actor for his work in the sketch comedy “Ain’t No Mo’.” “The Ms. Pat Show” has been submitted in six Emmy races, including outstanding comedy series.

Most recently, the new hit dark comedy “Diarra From Detroit” from star, writer and executive producer Diarra Kilpatrick has garnered glowing reviews, leading to BET executing a full FYC campaign. Already in the club with an Emmy nom for actress in a short form (comedy or drama series) in 2018 for “American Koko,” Kilpatrick is bringing in a lot of industry goodwill. Executive produced by Kenya Barris, a four-time Emmy nominee for ABC’s hit family comedy “Black-ish,” the show follows a divorcing schoolteacher who refuses to accept being ghosted by her rebound Tinder date. The show is submitted in 10 categories, including guest drama actress for Phylicia Rashad.

Also up for Emmy consideration is BET’s dark drama “Average Joe” starring two-time Emmy nominee Deon Cole (writing for a variety program for “The Tonight Show With Conan O’Brien” and “Conan”), who pivots from his brilliant comedic work to a bloody and violent narrative. Inspired by creator Robb Cullen’s life, “Average Joe” follows a blue-collar plumber (Cole) who chases money stolen by his deceased father, triggering a chain of bloody and violent events.

Kingdom Business
Kingdom Business

Rounding out the entries is the sophomore season of “Kingdom Business,” which has put forward Grammy Award winners Kirk Franklin and Warryn Campbell in the music supervision and song category for the number “The Way.” In addition, the show has veteran director Oz Scott (“Black Lightning”) and Loretta Devine in supporting drama actress on the ballots.

“This year was extraordinary for BET Media Group in both scripted and unscripted programming, and we are proud to expand our lineup of FYC-eligible content,” said Scott Mills, President and CEO of BET Media Group. “Critically acclaimed shows like ‘Average Joe,’ ‘Diarra from Detroit,’ and ‘The Ms. Pat Show’ are wonderful examples of the quality, breadth, and depth of the authentic stories we produce with our amazing creative partners.”

The network has also submitted its “Celebrity Squares” in the game show category along with host D.C. Young Fly, in addition to the 2023 BET Awards in the variety special (live) category, where it will compete against the Oscars, the Super Bowl Halftime Show and other event ceremonies.

On Thursday, BET held its FYC Emmy House at Neuehouse Hollywood in Los Angeles, celebrating its series and creatives.

The full list of BET’s Emmy submissions is below. Emmy voting begins on Thursday, June 13.

Read: All Primetime Emmy predictions in every category on Variety’s Awards Circuit.

“Diarra From Detrioit”

  • Comedy Series

  • Lead Actress in a Comedy Series – Diarra Kilpatrick

  • Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series – Morris Chestnut

  • Guest Actress in a Comedy Series – Phylicia Rashad

  • Directing for a Comedy Series – Chioke Nassor (“Chasing Ghosts”)

  • Writing for a Comedy Series — Diarra Kilpatrick (“Chasing Ghosts”)

  • Casting for a Comedy Series

  • Production Design for a Narrative Contemporary Program (One Hour or More)

  • Picture Editing for a Comedy Series

  • Music Composition for a Series (Original Dramatic Score)

“Average Joe”

  • Drama Series

  • Lead Actor in a Drama Series – Deon Cole

  • Lead Actress in a Drama Series – Tammy Townsend

  • Supporting Actor in a Drama Series – Michael Trucco

  • Supporting Actress in a Drama Series – Cynthia Kaye McWilliams

  • Writing for a Drama Series

  • Casting for a Drama Series

  • Directing for Drama Series

  • Cinematography for a Series (One Hour)

  • Music Composition for a Series (Original Dramatic Score)

  • Special Visual Effects in a Single Episode

  • Stunt Coordination for Drama Programming

  • Stunt Performance

“The Ms. Pat Show”

  • Directing for a Comedy Series – Mary Lou Belli

  • Directing for a Comedy Series – Jordan E. Cooper

  • Lead Actor in a Comedy Series – J. Bernard Calloway

  • Lead Actress in a Comedy Series – Ms. Pat

  • Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series – Tami Roman

  • Comedy Series

“Kingdom Business”

  • Original Music and Lyrics – “The Way”

  • Directing for a Drama Series – Oz Scott

  • Music Supervision – Kirk Franklin and Warryn Campbell

  • Supporting Actress in a Drama Series – Loretta Devine

“BET Awards 2023”

  • Production Design for a Variety Special

  • Choreography for Variety or Reality Programming

  • Directing for a Variety Special

  • Music Direction

  • Variety Special (Live)

Best of Variety

Sign up for Variety’s Newsletter. For the latest news, follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.