AlwaysAList.com reported back in January that there was speculation that Black Entertainment Television had ended T.J. Holmes’ late-night series “Don’t Sleep” – though they refused to acknowledge it at the time.
Now, BET has confirmed that the show will not return. Holmes has also acknowledged that he is no longer with the network, telling Richard Prince’s Journal-isms column, “I’m a completely free agent.”
Holmes’ “Don’t Sleep” premiered on Oct. 1, 2012 and the 30-minute late night show struggled from low ratings. Despite its debut landing more than one million viewers, it only averaged 349,000 viewers in the days following. On Nov. 14, the network switched the show to a one-hour weekly format that they claimed was an effort to “grow that audience.”
The show quietly went away in December with no announcement from BET. Holmes then guest-hosted several times on MSNBC, which further fueled rumors of “Don’t Sleep’s” cancellation.
The 35-year-old former CNN anchor spoke to Journal-isms about the show’s end.
“I will never, ever regret thinking that my heart was in the right place. A young black man taking his skills to do something that was not being done for our community. That is, providing a daily news show geared toward African Americans. You learn from the mistakes, there are questions I should have asked, things that should have been cleared up,” explained Holmes. “But reaching the Black community in that way was an opportunity I would love to have again.”
BET issued a statement to Multichannel News about “Don’t Sleep.”
“‘Don’t Sleep’ delivered smart social commentary on significant issues important to African Americans with the nation’s most prominent thought leaders. BET remains committed to being a resource for our audience on issues that directly affect the African American community,” it stated.