TELEVISION: BET’s ‘The Game’ Ending After Season 9

BET’s The Game is finally set to end for good after the taping of their 9th season. The TV series originally aired on The CW back in 2006 and after 3 seasons, the show was cancelled in 2009. After a two year hiatus, BET decided to pick up the show in 2011 and the 4th season premiere drew in a record breaking 7.7 million viewers for BET. Things seemed to be looking up for the series, but after the main couple, Melanie (Tia Mowry Hardrict) and Derwin (Pooch Hall), left the show the ratings went down. It was very refreshing to see Lauren London and newcomer, Jay Ellis, take over as the new couple in Season 6 along with the arrival of Brandy as a permanent role.

It’s just like 106 & Park, things weren’t the same once Free & AJ left and the same goes for Melanie and Derwin. The football themed comedy drama appears to always have a long gap in between seasons and the 7th was their shortest, with only 10 episodes. It is hard for viewers to stay interested or keep up. Some fans didn’t like how the show became so dramatized and losing the live audience aspect. Nonetheless, the show is still taping for the remaining two seasons, and should set to air Season 8 in early 2015. Series creator, Mara Brock Akil, did an interview with BET.com stating…

I’m very happy BET gave The Game five additional seasons to explore these characters and this world. We made history when we got to the network and it’s nice to be able to celebrate the great achievements of the show.

I’m really proud of the look of our show, that we took a multi-cam budget and turned it into a single camera show. Its look, its tone, its approach, the characters’ development — that, yes, we were a half-hour comedy but we used our moments to deepen the characters. We also offered drama in a half-hour space. And that was my own personal desire, but it was also reflective of what the audience has been wanting, which is more well-rounded, deeper, richer, layered characters, and they got that inThe Game.

The bigger legacy was the conversation that the audience had with the network. There was a partnership that was created and the use of social media — we were part of the history of television and how it interacts with social media and how it can be an asset to a show and the support of a show. I think The Game is locked in history about that movement.

BET is known in the social media world as “EBT”. It has been a lot of ups and downs for the network in what it does for the black community. The Game was a great show for the network at the end of the day. With its ending coming soon, it will be interesting to see what is next for BET and how they will try to evolve the network into what it used to be.

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