Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Season Finale Tonight For KEYSHIA COLE: THE WAY IT IS

The Compelling Finale of BET′s Keyshia Cole: The Way It Is′ Captures the Essence of a Young Star′s Real-Life Struggle for Success

Series Finale Televises Tonight at 9:00 p.m. ET/PT

BET and Interscope A&M Records turns up the heat this summer with a provocative end to the six-part original docu drama featuring R & B′s newest princess, Keyshia Cole. Averaging 8 million viewers a week, THE BEAUTY AND THE BEAST, programming block truly exemplifies the origination and journeys of two unique individuals: Keyshia Cole and DMX. In the series finale of KEYSHIA COLE: THE WAY IT IS, the turbulence and personal struggles illustrated in the first five episodes culminates in a life-affirming and touching conclusion when Keyshia Cole comes full circle with her incarcerated mother tonight, August 16, 2006 at 9:00 p.m. ET/PT.

Yes, Keyshia is an accomplished 24-year-old singer who currently records with the likes of Grammy-Award winning talents Kanye West, John Legend and Diddy. But the reality is that Keyshia comes from a family plagued by drugs, poverty and violence. She was able to achieve success but still struggles with her family and searches for guidance on how to help her alcohol-abusing sister when she visits her mother in jail.

"My childhood was not easy," said Keyshia Cole. "I went through a lot of trials and tribulations, so it was important for me to share my struggles -- open up my life to my fans. I wanted this show to inspire young kids and let them know that no matter what their situation is, no matter where they come from, no matter where they are, no matter who they are -- with faith, you can always accomplish your goals. I did it and survived, and so can they."

The show is the brainchild of Ron Fair, Chairman of Geffen Records, and Reginald Hudlin. Fair, who signed Keyshia Cole while President of A&M Records and produced her platinum debut album, The Way It Is commented, "I′m thrilled that Byron Phillips and Reginald Hudlin have validated Keyshia Cole as a real life character that truly belongs in the fabric of the BET Network."

In the gripping finale, Keyshia and her biological mother have a candid mother-daughter conversation at an LA-area prison camp. Keyshia′s mother opens up about her struggle to overcome a crack cocaine addiction. She discusses her desire to leave jail in September 2006 and remain clean to help her family. As Keyshia comes face-to-face with her drug-afflicted mother, Frankie, she truly understands how far Frankie has come. A bittersweet reunion, Keyshia and her mother finally put the long, rocky road behind them, but she remains cautious in her hope that her mother will remain sober this time around. Keyshia′s mom also, for the first time, reveals information during their heart-to-heart talk about the identity of her biological father.

The six-part series debuted on BET on July 12, 2006 and found its niche by chronicling a determined songstress′ journey from her dysfunctional childhood all the way to "platinum" heights. In the premiere episode, set in Oakland, audiences followed Keyshia on her return home since beginning her tour some months prior. Keyshia′s most intimate and conflicted family relationships were introduced. The next couple of episodes candidly depicted Keyshia′s challenges and hardships throughout her young life and what she′s overcome to achieve her dream of success -- a dream that was fully realized when her record-breaking success was celebrated in a platinum party that included Monica, Jagged Edge and other notable musicians.

"Keyshia′s passion stems from her complicated past," said Reginald Hudlin, President of Entertainment, BET. "This is not a modern day Cinderella tale; this is the story of a talented young survivor that is teaching our youth how to cope with a struggling childhood and still come out on top."

The final two episodes reveal how Keyshia′s success is tampered by the realities of her family, as she worries about her older sister Neffie′s drinking problem. Neffie seems to refuse help from anyone and instead turns to alcohol when she can′t handle the responsibility of caring for her life and children. Things seem to come full circle as Keyshia, her sister and their biological mother, Frankie confront their issues of the past and come together for a teary-eyed reunion that starts the healing process for Keyshia and her family′s very promising future.