*BET has chosen to end “Bobby Jones Gospel” after 35 seasons on the air. Despite the cancellation being known for months by gospel insiders, the site notes the network publicly acknowledged its decision last week during its upfront presentation to advertisers and media in New York City.
Hosted and launched by Dr. Bobby Jones, “Bobby Jones Gospel” premiered in 1980 and is credited for bringing gospel music to an international audience as “premiere destination for faith-based recording artists to be seen on television.”
In addition, “Bobby Jones Gospel” was instrumental in launching the careers of various artists, including Kirk Franklin, Yolanda Adams, among others. While the show boasts a who’s who of gospel artists that have appeared, “Bobby Jones Gospel” has provided exposure for mainstream performers such has Patti LaBelle, Ashford & Simpson, Stephanie Mills, Kenny Lattimore, Dionne Warwick, Coko of SWV, Raheem DeVaughn, Lil’ Mo and the late Maya Angelou.
According to AlwaysAList, the 75-year-old TV fixture will retire from hosting “Bobby Jones Gospel.” Despite this, he will continue touring in the U.S. and abroad with renowned Nashville Super Choir, which served as the show’s choral cast of under the direction of musician Derrick Lee.
While Jones played an important role in “Bobby Jones Gospel,” he never received any recognition for his record-breaking small screen achievement by the Emmy or TV Land Awards. Nevertheless, Jones did get his due with a star on the Music City Walk of Fame in Nashville as well as a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
The final season of “Bobby Jones Gospel will begin taping this summer in Washington, DC. The final shows for the series will begin airing its last shows in October.