‘BET Presents: The Encore’ Original Cast Revealed by Creator Carlos King

When BET Presents: The Encore arrived on TV, it brought a different lineup than initially intended. The first season features Nivea, Aubrey O’Day (Danity Kane), Shamari DeVoe (Blaque), Kiely Williams (3LW), Pamela Long (Total), Irish and LeMisha Grinstead (702), and Felisha and Fallon King (Cherish). But creator Carlos King initially had a different vision for the first season.

The logo for the series 'BET Presents: The Encore'
‘BET Presents: The Encore’

The creation of ‘BET Presents: The Encore’

BET Presents: The Encore only premiered in 2021, but King had been trying to get it off of the ground much earlier.

“I created the show seven years ago because I thought girl groups were a missing element in music,” he told The Jasmine Brand. King was able to get Farrah Franklin (Destiny’s Child), Melody Thornton (The Pussycat Dolls), D. Woods (Danity Kane), DeVoe, Williams, and the King sisters to shoot two pilots for various networks, but he never got the approval to do a full season.

“We went through two different networks,” said King, who also served as a producer on shows such as Real Housewives of Atlanta. “Long story short, the way it works in my business is that you pitch a show, you shoot a pilot, and it’s at the network’s mercy whether or not they want to pick it up. Unfortunately, at that time they did not pick it up.”

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A viral clip changed everything

Interest in the show began to grow in 2020 when footage leaked showing a verbal spat between Williams and Franklin. Everyone from Gabrielle Union to the Oscar-winning director Matthew Cherry caught wind of the clip, begging for someone to make the show happen. In the end, it wound up at BET.

“Long story short, I did not give up on this,” King added. “I love girl groups, I love these girls, and I never wanted to give up on this show, so I’m happy that BET decided to pick it up.”

King didn’t reveal what happened to the original cast. But Franklin, for her part, previously said she didn’t return because she wanted to focus on “other things.” She didn’t elaborate, but a look at her social media reveals that she’s still active in her music career, releasing the song “Push Up On Me” with Maino in 2020.

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Will there be more seasons of ‘BET Presents: The Encore?’

The future of BET Presents: The Encore is unclear. While it seems to be a hit with audiences, there hasn’t been any official word on a second season. If it does continue, King said he would love to see another iteration with all-male cast members.

“I think that’ll be dope,” he told The Jasmine Brand. “To see a male version of former boy band members… like imagine Sisqo the Dragon (Dru Hill), Raz-B (B2K), Q Parker (112), Day26, [Bel Biv DeVoe]… like imagine these amazing boy bands working on something. I think that’ll be dope.”

“So if we’re blessed with the opportunity for that to happen, I would definitely take advantage of it,” he added. “I want to see that.”

In the meantime, you can check out BET Presents: The Encore every Wednesday at 10 p.m.