EXCLUSIVE: Carlos King On How He Uses Black Twitter As Inspiration When Creating Shows, Who He Initially Cast In ‘BET Presents: The Encore’ & If He’ll Consider A Male Version Of The Show [Part 1]

EXCLUSIVE: Carlos King On How He Uses Black Twitter As Inspiration When Creating Shows, Who He Initially Cast In ‘BET Presents: The Encore’ & If He’ll Consider A Male Version Of The Show [Part 1]

Reality TV producer Carlos King spoke with theJasmineBRAND for an EXCLUSIVE interview and dished on Black Twitter inspiring his work and his latest series BET Presents: The Encore. 

Carlos King first revealed how he envisions his shows, specifically revealing he keeps Black Twitter in mind when thinking of potential ideas. He said:

“The biggest thing that the company is looking for is anything that is unexpected, buzzy, you know? I always think about Black Twitter when I’m creating shows along with my team. I’m always like ‘Is this gonna make Black Twitter go crazy?’ Because if it’s not, I’m not interested. I’m not here to produce shows for anyone else but Black Twitter. Because I want my shows to be a conversational piece.”

He continued, providing examples of what he means by his shows being conversational pieces:

“I was at the barbershop this morning, and… my barber was like ‘Yo, I caught The Encore!… Like, yo, that show is lit!’ I want my shows to be a conversational piece at the barbershop, the beauty salon, the Dollar Tree, the gas station, group text, all that.”

Carlos King then proceeded to dish on his latest hit, BET Presents: The Encore, revealing that it has been in the works for seven years and fueled by his long-term passion for girl groups. He stated:

“I created [BET Presents: The Encore] seven years ago because I have a passion for girl groups–I grew up listening to TLC, Xscape, SWV, you know? I was just this boy who was obsessed with girl groups. So can you imagine the first day I met Kandi Burruss when she decided to do [The Real Housewives of Atlanta]? I was such a groupie to Kandi, and I thought Kandi did not like me when I met her!”

Kandi Burruss

After explaining how he and Kandi Burruss eventually hit it off over some gossip, Carlos King continued explaining how BET Presents: The Encore started. Additionally, he shared who his original cast was, claiming:

“I’ve always been a fan of girl groups. I created this show seven years ago because I felt that girl groups [were] a missing element in music. And long story short, I contacted Kiely, Shamari… Felicia [and] Fallon from Cherish. I had Melody Thornton from The Pussycat Dolls, Farrah from Destiny’s Child… that was the original cast… At that time, [the network] did not pick it up. And long story short, I never gave up on this. 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.”

He then continued to explain why he thought BET would be a good home for his production, saying:

“We thought BET was the best home because BET has launched the careers of Black artists, and as somebody whose first job in television was at BET, I wanted to give back to a network that has propelled my career. And when you think about Black music, when you think about girl groups… BET has had a hand in breaking [every girl group on this show] as artists. And I thought it was a great sort of ‘thank you’ to BET to give them this show.”

At this point in the interview, Carlos King took some time to discuss what sets his productions apart from others, as well as how he achieved his favorable reputation:

“The reason why my audience knows [it’s] a Carlos King-produced show is it’s not scripted, it’s very real, and it’s that way because–unlike most people who produce reality TV–I don’t put words in your mouth.  I don’t tell you what to do. I cast the right people who I know are going to be very authentic. It’s all about the element of this experiment of what happens when you get people together in a group setting, and sometimes fireworks happen. But it’s never to the point where on my shows punches are being thrown–because we don’t do that at the Kingdom. I always tell people we throw shade, we don’t throw drinks. So my shows have that sort of expectation and reputation.”

Segueing back to BET Presents: The EncoreCarlos King briefly discussed Kiely Williams‘ supposed creative director position. Specifically, he spoke on whether or not he asked her to take on that title, saying:

“That is the most asked question of the universe right now! I’ll say this much: if we have a reunion, I wanna wait until the reunion. But I will say this… I know everything. I’ll say that much. Nothing surprises me, and one thing about Kiely–who I’ve worked with for seven years–is anytime these ladies want something, it’s my job to make it happen.”

Staying on the topic, Carlos King then dished on whether he’d be open to doing a second season of the series, as well as what the cast would look like. He claimed:

“I love my cast. I would like for you all to see how it ends, and I want Black Twitter to tell me who they want back. But I definitely think, for me, I want to follow the reality. So is a group going to form in the end?  And if so, who’s in the group? So those are things I have to always take into consideration if we are blessed enough to get a second season. But I’ve been reading a lot of tweets and people have already been pitching me artists they want on the show, so we’ll see what happens.”

Carlos King spoke on whether or not he’d be open to producing a male version of BET Presents: The Encore–even naming who he’d consider casting! He said:

“I think that would be dope to see a male version of former boy band members. Like, imagine Sisqó, Raz-B, Q Parker, Day 26, [Bell 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. I want to see that!”

Carlos King addressed a question on the minds of many: whose idea was it to bring Cita back to television? He responded:

“BET executive [Tiffany Williams had the idea]. We had a big meeting, and because she and I are friends and she knows my craziness, in front of everybody at this meeting she was like ‘Carlos, I’ve been thinking. What do you think about Cita hosting it? That’s corny, right?’ And I was like ‘Uh-uh, that’s a gag!’ Again, I think about Black Twitter, so I was like ‘Black Twitter is going to gag if they see Cita on the show!’ So it was her idea, and we made it happen. And that is also pretty dope because this show’s about giving these women a second chance, and we gave Cita a second chance! So it all worked out.”

What do you think about Part 1 of our EXCLUSIVE interview with Carlos King? Comment down below to let us know!

Authored by: Nick Alexander Fenley