The longest running original series in the history of cable television and the top Sunday morning program on BET Networks, “Bobby Jones Gospel” will come to an end after 35 years on air this season. BET announced the cancellation of the show during its annual upfront meeting yesterday.
In an interview, the host of the program and gospel recording artist, Dr. Bobby Jones, 75, thanked his fans and BET Networks and said he looks forward to a continued relationship, but as for the show he pioneered, “it’s the end.”
The resplendent host from Henry, TN provided a national platform for many of the gospel artists we listen to today. Some of the top artists in the Gospel music industry first appeared before a television viewing audience by performing on the “Bobby Jones Gospel” stage. Jones says he gave mega gospel star Kirk Franklin his first exposure.
Franklin and Yolanda Adams celebrated Dr. Bobby Jones’ groundbreaking work throughout the years with a soul stirring performance in tribute to his phenomenal work on BET Networks.
BET promises this farewell season will be the best yet, with the final season featuring “gospel music’s most talented entertainers, choirs, evangelists, and newcomers appearing to wish Dr. Bobby Jones well wishes.” The network encourages fans to “tune in for a season filled with jubilant performances and mesmerizing interviews.”
What’s next for the Grammy award winning television trailblazer?
Says Jones, “We will see. I plan to maintain my brand name through BET and I know I’ll be doing something with Celebration of Gospel. . .”
As a part of his exit strategy, Jones said he intends to go to various cities and thank fans for watching his show over the years.
Without spilling any details Jones said in an interview “something else” is planned, but reflecting on the show he launched comes with a degree of sadness. (Check back with your Christian Music Examiner as the months progress for the scoop.)
Fonzworth Bentley currently hosts “Lift Every Voice,” the only other faith-based show in BET’s Sunday morning line up.
In year’s past the network has offered other inspirational content, but nothing out lasted Jones’ show.
Visit BET.com and “BOBBY JONES GOSPEL” to see a special message from Dr. Bobby Jones on his farewell season.
Fans protested online last year when it was rumored the popular program “Celebration of Gospel” was being cancelled, but in January of this year the network confirmed it will return at a new time.
Stay up to date with happenings on “Bobby Jones Gospel” on Facebook by liking the fan page at facebook.com/BETgospel. Join the conversation by following the show on Twitter @BETGospel.