Millions Tune Into BET's 'American Gangster' Series

The successful programming year for BET continues as the network scored on of its best prime time performances of 2006, with the new documentary American Gangster.

The inaugural episode, which profiled LA's infamous Crips gang co-founder Stanley Tookie Williams, earned a 1.6 rating (1.3 million households and 1.6 million total viewers), according to Nielsen Media Research.

The documentary was the second highest watched debut in the network's history, behind Lil' Kim's reality series, Lil' Kim: Countdown to Lock down.

American Gangster is a six-part docu-drama narrated by actor Ving Rhames.

Each episode profiles an infamous crime figure, through the use of archival footage, photographs and interviews with people familiar with the various cases.

Upcoming episodes of the docu-drama include profiles of Leroy Nicky Barnes, The Chambers Brothers, Lorenzo "Fat Cat" Nichols and others.

The second episode will profile the rise and fall "Freeway" Ricky Ross, the first crack king of Los Angeles.

The show will also examine Ross' unwitting connection to the infamous Reagan-era CIA/Iran- Contras scandal.

American Gangster airs on Tuesdays @ 10 p.m. ET on BET with encore episodes of airing on Wednesdays and Sundays at 9 p.m. ET/PT.