Written by | Ray Cornelius 

I know. I know. You have a lot to choose from tonight in terms of television shows but let me help you out. Here are five good reasons why I think you should be watching BET’s “MADIBA” and “THE QUAD.” #LetsGo

#1 It’s February 1 and the first night of Black History Month. What better way to kick off a month long celebration of our African American heritage than by watching an amazing story about an uberly amazing Black man, the late Nelson Mandela. #EnufSaid!

#2MADIBA” is the first Nelson Mandela story directed by an African American. Yes, all of those other films (which shall remain nameless) were not told by a person of color and this one is. The legendary Kevin Hooks is serving as director (If you don’t know him, click here) and the movie is starring one of the film industrys’ most respected actors —Laurence Fishburne.

#3 BET has already proven that they will not “jack up” a biopic with last week’s airing of “The New Edition Story.” According to the network, “err’body and they mama” was tuned into “Ronnie, Bobby, Ricky and Mike.” The film was a bona fide phenomenon and attracted 29 million total viewers including the premiere telecasts + encores on BET and Centric. So in other words, the numbers don’t lie.

#4 BET’s “THE QUAD” is the only drama on cable television that focuses on the Black college experience. It is directed and executive produced by my frat brother Rob Hardy (“Stomp the Yard”) and it’s going to be a hit for sure. You really don’t want to be the person around the water cooler tomorrow morning who didn’t see that “kitchen scene” with the show’s star Anika Noni Rose. Trust me…err’body will be talking about it!

#5 Jasmine Guy is back on primetime! As much as this show is not like “A Different World,” she does represent a time in the lives of many Generation Xers when it was dope to pursue a higher education. I mean, I’m sure I wasn’t the only one who was inspired by “Hillman College.” It’s also a wonderful thing to see Black faces on TV that are not arguing on a reality show or twerking in a music video or running from the law. This series actually shows another side of the Black experience and how educated we are. #IJS

Remember, it all goes down TONIGHT beginning at 8 p.m. with the premiere of “MADIBA” followed by the debut of “THE QUAD” at 10 p.m.

Click here to check out what the cast of “THE QUAD” had to say about their roles and the relevance of the show.

Photo Credit: BET.com and RayCornelius.com