BET's 'The Next Big Thing' talent contest gets premiere date; Lil' Kim, Tamar Braxton among guests
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BET's talent contest "The Next Big Thing," which is set to premiere Oct. 16 at 10 p.m. ET/PT, will feature Lil' Kim, Tamar Braxton and radio personality Joe Budden among the celebrity guest stars. The 10-episode series, which was announced in April, is executive produced by Swizz Beatz, Tina Davis and Holly Carter. Davis, a former Def Jam executive who used to be Chris Brown's manager, is on the show's judging panel with Grammy-winning producer Zaytoven and Roc-A-Fella Records co-founder Damon Dash.

According to a BET announcement, "The Next Big Thing" will feature aspiring R&B/hip-hop artists competing to win a major record deal. Based on BET's description of the show, which will involve a "boot camp," it sounds like it will follow a format similar to "American Idol."

Ever since "American Idol" became a cultural phenomenon in 2002, there have been dozens of talent contests on TV aiming to find the "next big thing" in music. The TV franchises that have been the most successful at discovering music artists who went on to become major international stars are "American Idol" (with, most notably, past winners Kelly Clarkson and Carrie Underwood) and "The X Factor," whose alumni include One Direction and Fifth Harmony. ("The X Factor" U.K. can be seen in the U.S. on AXS TV.)

It remains to be seen what will become of the contestants of "The Next Big Thing," but the show will face some challenges, as there have been many similar shows that have come and gone that tried to have the impact that "American Idol" and "The X Factor" have had, but were eventually canceled after one or two seasons.

Meanwhile, Lil' Kim is working on her fifth studio album, whose title and release date are to be announced The album is her first since 2005's The Naked Truth. One of the songs on the album is "Nasty One," which was released in August.

Braxton, who co-stars with her sisters and mother in the long-running reality show "Braxton Family Values," released her fifth solo studio album, Bluebird of Happiness, in 2017. As previously reported, she's co-starring with Snoop Dogg in his first stage musical, "Redemption of a Dogg," which goes on a U.S. tour that begins Oct. 5 in Houston and ends Nov. 11 in Washington, D.C.