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The Game

TITLE: THE GAME - THE CW FALL 2006


Info:

Premiere Date: Sunday, October 1, 2006 (Happy Camper Productions)
Network: The CW
Time: Sundays at 8:30 p.m. et/pt
Cast: Tia Mowry as Melanie Barnett, Brittany Daniel as Kelly Pitts, Coby Bell as Jason Pitts, Pooch Hall as Derwin Davis, Hosea Chanchez as Malik Wright and Wendy Raquel Robinson as Tasha Mack.


Introduction:

From the hit show Girlfriends comes this spin-off titled THE GAME. Being the wife or girlfriend of a pro-football player might sound like a glamorous and stress-free existence, but Melanie Barnett (Tia Mowry, "Sister, Sister") is about to discover the truth. When her boyfriend Derwin Davis (Pooch Hall, "Miracle's Boys") is chosen as the new third-string wide receiver for the San Diego Sabers, she decides to forgo Johns Hopkins Medical School to attend a local college so she can be with him. While Derwin worries about the plays on the field, Melanie learns how to deal with egos, groupies and image consultants.

Melanie quickly bonds with Tasha Mack (Wendy Raquel Robinson, "The Steve Harvey Show"), a single mother who is the manager of her son, quarterback Malik Wright (Hosea Chanchez, "For Your Love"). She takes control of his career to make sure he is getting good deals (while also not getting the wrong women. Although Malik is a player on and off the field, he loves and respects him mom and encourages her to get back into the dating scene (as long as it is not someone he works with) to find happiness for herself after looking after him for all these years.

Welcoming Melanie and Derwin to the San Diego Sabers family is interracial couple Kelly (Brittany Daniel, "White Chicks") and Jason Pitts (Coby Bell, "Third Watch"). Kelly, who always receives flack about marring her African-American husband, is the typical supportive NFL trophy wife, but as a result of meeting Melanie and Tasha, she is empowered to explore the other aspects of her life. Although her husband is a star player, he is also a notorious cheapskate and demands that the family be extremely frugal.

As Melanie adjusts to her new lifestyle, she gets a play-by-play account of the lives and relationships among NFL wives, girlfriends and mom/managers who use their best "game" help their men stay on the field and on their arm.

THE GAME is from Happy Camper Productions and Grammnet Productions in association with CBS Paramount Network Television with executive producers Kelsey Grammer ("Frasier"), Mara Brock Akil ("Girlfriends") and Steve Stark.


Cast Details:

Tia Mowry as Melanie Barnett, Brittany Daniel as Kelly Pitts, Coby Bell as Jason Pitts, Pooch Hall as Derwin Davis, Hosea Chanchez as Malik Wright and Wendy Raquel Robinson as Tasha Mack.

Tia Mowry (Melanie Barnett), birthed in Germany, was an actress from the age of 12, she performed in school plays and talent shows, with her twin sister Tamera. The two sisters went on to star in the WB's long-running sitcom "Sister, Sister" which debuted in 1994 and ran until 1999. Tia went on to voice characters in "Detention," and "Bratz." She's guest-starred in numerous shows, such as "All That," "Are You Afraid of the Dark?," "Full House," "Blue's Clues," "Love, Inc.," "Smart Guy," and most recently, "Strong Medicine," and "Girlfriends," as her starring role of Melanie.

Brittany Daniel (Kelly Pitts), Florida born and bred, along with her twin sister, Cynthia. The sisters went into modeling in high school, and began appearing in such magazines as "Teen," "Seventeen," and "YM." She then began making guest appearances on "The New Leave It to Beaver," "Burke's Law," and "Swan's Crossing." Brittany (along with her sister Cynthia) went on to star in the popular "Sweet Valley High" series and the two sisters won Youth in Film Award for Best Actress. She went on to become a regular on "That '80s Show," as well as a season-long guest arc on "Dawson's Creek." More guest appearances include "It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia," "North Shore," and "That '70s Show."

Coby Bell (Jason Pitts), is the son of Broadway veteran Michel Bell. He graduated with Honors at San Jose State University and then decided to try his hand at acting. He landed small guest roles in "Buffy The Vampire Slayer," and "ER" before landing the role of NYPD Tyrone Davis on "Third Watch". Other guest roles include "Half & Half" and "L.A. Doctors."

Pooch Hall (Derwin Davis) began acting at the age of 7 and his first debut was on "Kids Say the Darndest Things." Hall acted in several movies, such as "Donít Think Twice."

Hosea Chanchez (Malik White), has very little acting background, but has guest starred in "Close to Home," "Girlfriends," and "The Guardian."

Wendy Raquel Robinson (Tasha Mack), is an acting veteran, having starred in "Cedric the Entertainer Presents," "Minor Adjustments," and "The Steve Harvey Show." Some guest starring roles include "All of Us," and "Baby Blues."


Pilot Plot:

Episode #1 "Away Game"
Sunday, October 1, 8:30 PM ET/PT

Melanie (Tia Mowry), a pro football player's girlfriend, adjusts to life in the NFL, in this "The Girlfriends" spin-off.

First Up: Derwin (Pooch Hall), Melanie's boyfriend, invites her to the team's first away game in Miami, but his teammates tell him he has to dis-invite her out of fear that she will be a spy for the rest of the wives. But in typical sitcom fashion, unbeknownst to Derwin and the guys, Melanie does indeed head to Miami -- and does indeed spy on him!


Analysis:

Overall, the show is actually well put together and the leads play off each other very well. For a CW sitcom, I do have to say this is one of their better ones. Although its typical sitcom fare (girlfriend spies on boyfriend without him knowing and is then caught), the writing is good and it's most of all funny. Since it is going to air on The CW, ratings will not be an issue, as mostly everything on the channel is not a ratings hit like on the big networks. But if you like typical sitcoms on the old UPN network, then you will love this.


Conclusion:

Like I've said, for a CW show, this is one of their better ones. It's a spin-off of the popular sitcom "Girlfriends" and has the cushy slot right after it.

So, this Sunday, make sure you get in "The Game" at 8:30 p.m. ET/PT on The CW!


Final Numbers (out of 5 stars):

Watchability: 4/5
Funniness: 4/5
Overall: 4/5

-- Reviewed by TVJunkie101 (Shawn Eaton) on 09/29/06

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