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The Game aired from October 2006 until May 2009 and from January 2011 until ? on The CW and BET.

Melanie ( Tia Mowry) was a first year medical student who had been admitted to prestigious Johns Hopkins University, but, instead, decided to move to San Diego with her boyfriend , nice-guy Derwin ( Pooch Hall), a rookie wide receiver with the fictional San Diego Sabres of the NFL. Unlike the mostly scatter-brained wives and girlfriends of most of the other players, Melanie was determined to have a career of her own as a doctor and was taking classes at a local college. Once settled into her new home she made two friends, Tasha ( Wendy Raquel Robinson), the protective, divorced mother/manager of the Sabres' star quarterback Malik( Hosea Chanchez), and Kelly ( Brittany Daniel), the pretty white trophy wife of veteran pass receiver Jason ( Coby Bell), the team's penny-pinching African-American captain. Derwin's concerns were mostly related to keeping his job and getting more playing time, while Melanie had to cope with the players' egos, the cattiness of the women in the wives/girlfriends organization, The Sabre Sunbeams, and the groupies trying to steal Derwin away-in addition to keeping up with her studies. In January Derwin proposed to her on live TV during halftime at one of the Sabres games , and she accepted. After the season ended Tasha gave Kelly a job as her assistant at her new management company.

The pilot for the game aired in April 2006 as an episode of Girlfriends in which Melanie's cousin , Joan Clayton, unsuccessfully tried to convince her not to move to San Diego with Derwin. Produced by Kelsey Grammer.

A Review from Variety

The Game
(Series -- CW, Sun. Oct. 1, 8:30 p.m.)

Filmed in Los Angeles by Happy Camper Prods. and Grammnet Prods. in association with CBS Paramount Network Television. Executive producers, Kelsey Grammer, Mara Brock Akil, Steve Stark; co-executive producers, Chuck Ranberg, Anne Flett-Giordano, Kenny Smith, Tim Edwards; producer, Dan Dugan; director, Tedd Wass; writers, Ranberg, Flett-Giordano;

Melanie Burnett - Tia Mowry
Jason Pitts - Coby Bell
Derwin Davis - Pooch Hall
Malik Wright - Hosea Chanchez
Kelly Pitts - Brittany Daniel
Tasha Mack - Wendy Raquel Robinson

Although played on potentially fertile turf -- football players' wives and girlfriends, not to be confused with the BBC's "Footballers' Wives" -- "The Game" feels pretty artificial and stages all its action near midfield. It's the kind of predictable attack meant strictly to hold the line established by lead-in "Girlfriends," which also comes from series creator Mara Brock Akil. The new CW is in a counterprogramming mode on Sundays, but the bar-raising feat the former UPN achieved with its comedy "Everybody Hates Chris" regresses here to more limited appeal.
Having junked its pilot, the series premieres with an episode that hits many of the same beats. Med student Melanie (Tia Mowry) is shacking up with an NFL rookie, Derwin (Pooch Hall), but she's threatened by the prospect of groupies, beginning with the gorgeous "image consultant" trying to help him maximize his few years of professional paydays.

Derwin invites Melanie to attend his first away game -- a no-no in the locker room, the veterans advise him, with their wives having correctly surmised that the road is "a license to cheat." As a result, nobody wants Melanie there, figuring she'll go back and fink on the players who aren't as upstanding as Darwin.

Guiding Melanie through this maze are Tasha (Wendy Raquel Robinson), the mother and manager to one of the team's stars; and Kelly (Brittany Daniel), who boasts about her marriage to Jason (Coby Bell), even if she doesn't trust him much further than an onside kick.

So the girls go all Lucy and Ethel by sneaking along on the road trip, hoping (or rather, not hoping) to catch their men in acts of infidelity, in which case the guys will have some 'splaining to do.

Part of an acting clan, the charming Mowry grew up on WB sitcoms and perhaps appropriately helps inaugurate the net's new incarnation. "The Game," however, is a throwback to the old UPN and a comedy block that, for better or worse, performed modestly well among African-American women but possessed virtually nil crossover allure.

Some of that can be attributed to the audience, but given the praise rightfully heaped on "Chris" -- which returns in fine form with an episode guest starring Whoopi Goldberg -- the net might have sought to expand on those inroads.

As is, despite the football backdrop, "The Game" does little to capitalize on its milieu, simply tossing a slow underhanded pitch to the "Girlfriends" audience, with less chemistry among its central femme trio than that established show's quartet. And if the recurring through-line simply involves women stressing about their men stepping out, they may awaken to find that the audience has already left them.

A Review from The New York Times

TV Review | 'The Game'
Football Wives, Bridging 2 Views of Race
Published: September 30, 2006

To talk about “The Game,” a new sitcom about football wives that starts tomorrow on CW, we must be blunt about race — or rather, about sitcoms and race. Because on sitcoms, unlike dramas like “Six Degrees” or “Nip/Tuck,” race as an issue must be faced and cannot be handled in that quasi-liberal television way, meaning with outward decorousness, a deep sense of duty and high anxiety.

Put another way, sitcoms are supposed to be funny. They can’t require that all street criminals be white and all judges black; they must occasionally be real, or at least more relaxed about inverting biases. They can also target specific audiences more openly than dramas do — “The Game” is positioned as an African-American sitcom — just as, in their storylines, they aim to relieve ideological tensions instead of creating or ignoring them.

Thus the central clique on “The Game” is composed of white women who read Ebony and black women with silky hair like Jennifer Connelly’s. The idea is that the pro football players’ wives, who lead lives of luxury and philanthropy in San Diego, are one of those groups of stereotype-defying superfriends, much like the Tyra-Miss Jay-Mr. Jay trio of biracial-seeming androgynous personas who preside over Tyra Banks’s “America’s Next Top Model.” And the race-bending women of “The Game” have been written that way for a reason.

The somewhat banal reason is this: The new sitcom comes on after “Girlfriends,” with its largely black cast, and before “America’s Next Top Model.” On CW, which incorporates UPN with its history of black programming, “The Game” is intended to serve as a bridge from one way of depicting race to another. The first way is represented by “Girlfriends,” which follows the lives and loves of four strong black women and has been nominated for 14 N.A.A.C.P. Image awards. The second way is “America’s Next Top Model,” which has won little N.A.A.C.P. attention, with its men in makeup and constant talk of “Miss Thing” and hair weaves.

It’s a tall order for a sitcom to bridge this sensibility gap. But CW, which may be short on time, cash and confidence, is not dumb, and for “The Game” it has shrewdly built strong, straight black female characters (à la “Girlfriends”) who are nonetheless divas and therefore somewhat “above” race (à la “America’s Next Top Model”).

Tasha (Wendy Raquel Robinson) is the mother of a rising-star player, Malik (Hosea Chanchez); she’s all attitude and fierceness, and she takes a dim view of white women who marry black men. Melanie (Tia Mowry), by contrast, is an ingénue dating a rookie, Derwin (Pooch Hall); she’s wholesome and a good student, a kind of “Cosby Show” figure, who on the first episode tries to resist getting drawn into the meddling henhouse of football wives who are threatened by “away-game hoochies” who might sleep with their husbands.

Finally, Kelly (Brittany Daniel) is a white woman married to a black man, Jason (Coby Bell); she’s extremely suspicious of him and monitors him for infidelity at every turn. When Melanie asks Kelly why she can’t trust her husband, Kelly reminds her that their men are not ordinary mortals. Instead, they get things like text messages from Miss Universe. “Not Miss America, not Miss World,” says Kelly. “The prettiest woman in the universe.”

The suggestion that fame and money on this scale (Malik, we’re told, makes $40 million annually) require the suspension of ordinary norms underscores the hypothesis behind the whole show. “The Game” is about black characters, like “Girlfriends,” but more important, it’s about stardom, like “America’s Next Top Model.” And stardom has an interesting effect on race: it removes an individual from the binary black-white trap, as Ms. Banks — who explores both black and white styles of glamour on her show — well understands.

This powerful notion has had authority in pop culture at least since Madonna’s “Vogue” in 1990. “It makes no difference if you’re black or white,” Madonna explained. “You’re a superstar, yes, that’s what you are.”


CW, tomorrow night at 8:30, Eastern and Pacific times; 7:30, Central time.

Created by Mara Brock Akil; Kelsey Grammer, Ms. Akil and Steve Stark, executive producers. Produced by Happy Camper Productions and Grammnet Productions in association with CBS Paramount Network Television.

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

A Review from USA TODAY

'Game' garners very few points
Updated 9/28/2006
By Robert Bianco, USA TODAY

As you've no doubt noticed, some games are more fun than others.
Unfortunately, fun is in short supply at The Game, a sitcom from Girlfriends creator Mara Brock Akil. It's pleasant enough, in a completely inoffensive way. The characters are for the most part likable, and the performances are for the most part passable. Like all CW shows, it's admirably diverse. It even makes a passing attempt to deal with some of the important racial and social issues behind the scenes in professional sports.

It just isn't funny. At all. Ever. Whatever else we may ask of sitcoms, they should at least be required to make us laugh somewhere along the half-hour line.

The problem starts with Sister, Sister's Tia Mowry, who stars as the girlfriend of a rookie football player. Mowry has grown into a very pretty young woman. But she has yet to become a comfortable comic actress, which causes her to fall back on the exaggerated reactions and readings that work for child actors, but not for adults.

Tonight her character, Melanie, is worried that her boyfriend (Pooch Hall) will cheat on her during an away game. Her fears are fed by one player's mother (Wendy Raquel Robinson, the best performer in the group) and another player's wife (Brittany Daniel). The Game has been reworked and recast since it made its debut as an episode of Girlfriends, but the changes haven't made any perceptible difference.

Underfunded and insufficient, The Game is both the beneficiary and the victim of a system that marginalizes an audience that yearns to see itself leading the team on TV, rather than just providing support. It's one of the few sitcoms on TV today with a black lead — and it's stuck in a block with all of the others. Yet if there weren't a hole to fill in that block, it's unlikely The Game would be on the air at all.

That's an old TV game if ever there was one. One wonders when we'll all grow tired of it.

An Article from The Boston Globe

Sans sister, she's back in 'The Game'
Tia Mowry lands the role her twin originally sought

By Suzanne C. Ryan, Globe Staff | October 1, 2006

PASADENA, Calif. -- Tia Mowry is finally ready to play a television character who doesn't have a twin sister.

For 14 years, the actress has thrived on the fact that she has an identical twin, Tamera . Together the duo starred in the long-running sitcom ``Sister, Sister" in the '90s and more recently in ``Twitches," a Disney Channel film about identical twin witches.

Tonight at 8:30, Tia is going it alone as the lead actress in the new CW comedy ``The Game," a series that follows the girlfriends and wives of pro football players on a fictional team in San Diego.

Mowry will portray Melanie, the girlfriend of a rookie wide receiver who must tolerate groupies, image consultants, and women throwing themselves at her boyfriend , all while she maintains her studies in medical school.

``This is my chance to start fresh," says Tia, 28 . ``It's a weird experience. All my life, Tamera has finished my sentences or if I didn't understand a question, she did. We used to rehearse together at home. We have great chemistry. I miss that. But at the same time, this is a way for me to focus on my individuality. That's healthy for twins."

Transitioning from a childhood acting career in Hollywood to an adult one is notoriously difficult, even without the twin factor.

``The odds are against you. You are in danger of getting typecast," says Alex McNeil, a Boston-based television historian and author of ``Total Television." ``There's also an entirely different skill set required. Kid actors can get by on being cute. You can't do that in film or television as an adult. Look at Shirley Temple. You couldn't put the adorable, bubbly girl out of your mind when you saw her in World War II - era films with a boyfriend."

Mowry is hopeful she can continue to act with her sister and without her. ``Hollywood has really supported us in this," says Tia. ``My sister is [voicing characters] in `Family Guy' right now. She just finished `Strong Medicine.' We are about to do `Twitches 2' and we're doing a Lifetime movie. It's cool that the industry can see us as individual adults but yet we're still this very marketable unit."

Brittany Daniel, who plays an NFL wife on the show, is also an identical twin who starred opposite her sister Cynthia in the TV series ``Sweet Valley High" in the 1990s. Daniel says her sister, however, was never that interested in the craft and has since become a photographer. ``She just had a baby, so she's taken a different path than I have," she said during a press conference this summer.

``The Game," which is co-produced by Kelsey Grammer and Mara Brock Akil , is a spinoff of ``Girlfriends," which was formerly on UPN and has now been moved to the CW. Brockton native Pooch Hall will star opposite Mowry as her boyfriend , Derwin Davis.

Tamera Mowry, who couldn't be reached for comment, actually auditioned for the Melanie role first, her sister said. The duo, who live five minutes from each other and dine together three nights a week, are very close. Still, business is business. ``When we go out on stuff, we don't communicate with each other. She does her thing. I do my thing," says Tia.

The actress says she and her sister are quite different. ``I'm very organized and structured. She's spontaneous," Tia says. ``She's a social butterfly. I stick to one best friend. She likes to go party. I'm at home reading a book."

Tia's serious personality is what struck producers, says Akil. ``No disrespect to Tamera , but Tia really wanted this role. She made all the necessary adjustments to get this part.

``When I heard that they both wanted to come in, I was like `What?' You immediately go back to `Sister, Sister.' That's your last image of them, these wholesome girls. I said, `Is their management aware of my style of writing?' I'm writing about a young adult woman, underline adult. I'm not doing nudity but the character is in a relationship. As much as we can get away with, I want to get away with for the sake of being real.

``Tia told me, `I'm a woman , Mara. I can do this.' "

An Article from FlashNews

Monday, October 8, 2007

Tia Mowry Learns About ‘The Game’ Of Football Groupies

LOS ANGELES (Wireless Flash - FlashNews) – Actress Tia Mowry plays a football star’s girlfriend on the series The Game, but while researching for her role, Mowry learned it’s pretty tough dating a ball player.

Mowry – best known for her role on Sister, Sister, opposite her real-life twin sister, Tamera Mowry – says to get a feel for her role on The Game, she chatted with real NFL wives who said the most difficult part about being a football wife is dealing with gridiron groupies.

Says Mowry: “Football groupies have absolutely no shame. It’s a game for them to try to see which football players they can get with. They’ll put themselves directly in the players’ eye lines during games and walk up to them when they’re with their wives and say, ‘I could be better than her.’ It’s crazy! The football world is a whole other cruel world.”

And while loving a football player could lead to a fumble, Mowry says with the right frame of mind, football wives can score a touchdown. She adds, “You must be strong, love the game, and be able to travel with your man a lot. It’s like you’re the First Lady, but of football!”

The Game airs Mondays on The CW.

An Article from S2S Magazine

Tia Mowry's 'Game' interrupted

Mon, 06/08/2009 - 17:21 — whitney

Tia Mowry, like everyone else, wasn't surprised when she heard about "The Game" being cancelled. She recently sat down with BET's TV blog, Stay Tuned, to talk about the show and her future plans.

"To be honest with you, it wasn’t a shock to me," Tia said. "I’ve been in this business since I was 14 years old and you pick up things and learn from past experiences."

So, she wasn't shocked, but did she think it was unfair? "That’s a very hard question to answer." she told BET. "Now to say if it’s racism, I don’t really know if I can answer that question, but I mean, it is what it is. What I will say is that certain shows did get more attention, certain shows did get more money put into their marketing, which it helps with ratings. 'The Game' was not getting that and we are a Black show."

And while she was on the subject, Tia was also asked to weigh in on this fact: Tyler Perry's "House of Payne" and "Meet the Browns" are the only Black shows on television, and both have been criticized by high-profile African Americans for their low-brow appeal. She had this to say: "One thing I absolutely love is that I’ve been able to play smart, independent, fun, loving, real down-to-Earth characters and I feel that I am blessed to be able to do that and that’s one of the main reasons why people love Mara [Brock Akil, the show's creator] and her writing," and "We ['The Game'] get half of 'House of Payne'’s ratings, so if they’re putting out numbers, then that’s what networks are gonna love and continue to put out there."

Like us, Tia sees a future for her "The Game" character Melanie. She admitted to BET that "I told Mara that I’m not ready for Melanie to be over...People love these characters, but not only do fans, so do the actors. I feel like Melanie has been my dream role because she’s a real person."

But, while she's hopeful that another network will pick up the show and give her more work, she's also not holding her breath for that to happen. She revealed that she's back to work with her sister, Tamara Mowry, on a production company. "We’re like, shoot if Tyler Perry can do it, we can do it." Their first project is a Lifetime movie that is "almost greenlit" and should begin production in late 2009 or early 2010.

Tia's also worked it out for Pleasure P in a video (we wonder what kind of clip that will be?!) and shot a commercial for a cosmetics line called Sheer Cover.

We're so happy to see that she's moving on and getting work, but we're still holding out hope that we'll see her and the rest of the cast back together again!

An Article from The New York Times

‘Game’ on: More Real Than Reality TV

Published: January 7, 2011

DURING its first three seasons “The Game,” the dramedy about professional football players and the women who barely tolerate them, overflowed with cameos by black celebrities. There were singers like Musiq, rappers like Soulja Boy, athletes like Chad Ochocinco and more. Robin Givens and Rick Fox played themselves in recurring roles. These appearances added verisimilitude to a series already steeped in it. Few shows on television were as specific to their moment as “The Game.”

In the Season 4 premiere, Tuesday on BET, the surrounding culture has changed a bit. Near the end of the episode Tasha Mack (Wendy Raquel Robinson), gets a shock when meeting one of her boyfriend’s exes: Sheree Whitfield of “The Real Housewives of Atlanta,” playing herself.

It’s timely casting, and also a bit of a wink. “The Game,” which had its premiere in 2006 — before the “Housewives” explosion, before every other football player and 1990s R&B star had dating shows — was, until its cancellation by the CW network in 2009, an inadvertent precursor to the boom in reality television about the semi-famous. Its demi-monde was the behind-the-scenes universe of modern celebrities, and its best material about the embarrassments that lay therein, giving the show a ripped-from-the-headlines quality. Now, 20 months after its Season 3 finale was broadcast on CW, “The Game” is returning to a world that, in a sense, it set the stage for.

“One of our bigger competitors is reality TV,” said Mara Brock Akil, the show’s creator and an executive producer along with her husband, Salim, who added that the show was mindful of the changing times: “The digital age, YouTube, reality TV — everything is now, in the moment, in the second.”

But no matter how au courant the show was, it was never a ratings success on CW, with an audience hovering in the range of two million. Rumors of cancellation plagued its third season, leading to a viral campaign to save it, featuring all of the show’s main actors, and to Ms. Akil’s attempt to reconceive it from a hald-hour to an hourlong drama more in keeping with the direction the network was moving in.

“I’ve never been in an experience where everybody wanted so bad for it to work,” said Hosea Chanchez, who plays the manchild lothario quarterback Malik Wright. “We were more than colleagues, we were literally a family trying to imprint its fingerprint in society and show the world that we’re here.”

None of it worked, though, and “The Game” was left in limbo. Ms. Akil became a consulting producer on “Cougar Town,” and Mr. Akil directed his first feature film, “Jumping the Broom,” scheduled for release in the spring. Coby Bell, who plays the spendthrift wide receiver Jason Pitts, became a regular on “Burn Notice,” and Pooch Hall, who plays the rising star Derwin Davis, took a role on “Accidentally on Purpose.” Tia Mowry, who plays Derwin’s wife, Melanie, worked on a TV movie and reality series with her twin sister, Tamera, with whom she starred in the 1990s sitcom “Sister, Sister.”

Though Mr. Chanchez filmed roles in three movies, he said: “I felt like I had a death in the family, to be honest with you. For me, it was more of a deep depression I sunk into.”

A few weeks after the cancellation was official, the Akils were approached by BET, looking to expand its original programming.

“I thought, ‘Duh, we can do something about this,’ ” said Loretha Jones, BET’s president for original programming. BET was already showing reruns of “The Game,” with great success. “We had bigger numbers for our runs of the shows than the CW ever got,” Ms. Jones said.

A deal was not quick in the making though. BET had no significant track record in original programming, and the show’s owner, CBS Paramount Network Television, was skeptical. “They did not know us to be a producer of original series at the level they produced the show,” Ms. Jones said. Nevertheless BET was able to secure the license, giving “The Game” a second chance.

The cast was reunited, but some sacrifices had to be made. “We are doing scripted at a price point that is better than other networks do reality,” Ms. Jones said. For the Akils that meant changes. They now shoot out of sequence, for efficiency; have a slimmer writing staff, drawn from the original team; and have moved production to Atlanta from Los Angeles to take advantage of tax breaks. (Atlanta is also a hub for black celebrity life. Being there, Mr. Akil said, allowed the cast “to experience their celebrity in full bloom.”)

But these adjustments were small compared to the ones the Akils had envisioned when trying to reimagine the show as an hourlong drama. No amount of tweaking could have turned the show’s cast members into moody, misbehaving teenagers or moody, misbehaving vampires.

Or make them white. Scripted shows with predominantly black casts are virtually nonexistent on contemporary network TV. Apart from the slate of TBS comedies under Tyler Perry’s umbrella, they’re hard to find on cable too. “Are we that insignificant and don’t matter, and it’s O.K. that we’re disappearing from the screens?” Ms. Robinson asked.

Mr. Chanchez, who recalled watching diverse black characters on network shows while growing up, said: “I’m saddened for the generation of young black men that come behind me. TV exposes you to a world outside your own. I knew about complex relationships because of ‘Martin.’ I learned there were black doctors because of ‘The Cosby Show.’ ”

For now, then, there’s “The Game,” a happily heretical and saucy show that has always joyfully poked at racial orthodoxies, giving Jason Pitts a white wife, Kelly (Brittany Daniel), and once importing Prof. Michael Eric Dyson to dress down Malik for his oafish behavior. Mr. Akil likens the show’s frisky treatment of race to the tone of “All in the Family”: “The reason people like it is they hear some of this stuff in the privacy of their homes.”

It’s bold, especially for BET, which is better known as a home for music videos and, lately, hand-me-down reality show concepts. “We want to shine for BET,” Ms Akil said. “They’ve gotten a lot of criticism over the years.”

For BET taking on “The Game” is a significant financial outlay, and also a leap of faith that the show can keep the trust of an already loyal audience. “If we mess that up,” Ms. Jones said, “it will be hard to convince them to stay with us for future shows.” (The return of “The Game” coincides with the debut of the original BET sitcom “Let’s Stay Together.”) BET hasn’t formally committed to a second season, but, Ms. Jones said, “I’ve informally let them know that we’re interested in more scripts.”

Ms. Jones said she hoped original programming would “live in tandem” with BET’s reality offerings. Or maybe “The Game” can cover both. This season’s masterstroke may be the inclusion of a reality show within the show. Jason’s ex-wife Kelly, living fat off her divorce settlement, is trailed by cameras throughout the premiere episode — another sharp reminder of who got there first, and that fiction is the lie that tells the truth.

An Article from The LA Times

BET hits the big time with 'The Game'

The football-themed comedy premieres to high ratings on BET and signals a turning point for the cable network.

January 25, 2011|By Greg Braxton, Los Angeles Times

"The Game" used to be a loser.

In its three seasons on the CW, the comedy about women involved with players of a fictional San Diego pro football team had a devoted but small following. When producers offered to revamp the series to make it more compatible with the CW's long-form, youth-oriented direction, executives declined, eventually canceling "The Game" in 2009.

Less than two years later, "The Game" has turned into a winner with a fresh start on Black Entertainment Television, scoring record ratings in its debut that outdistanced the heavily promoted January premieres of several series, including FX's "Lights Out" and ABC's "Off the Map."

But more significantly, "The Game," which airs Tuesdays and features the original cast, including Tia Mowry Hardrict and Wendy Raquel Robinson, has been a game-changer for Black Entertainment Television. Since its launch in 1980, the urban-oriented network has been constantly shadowed by charges from critics of perpetuating negative images and falling short of the hopes that it would become an all-inclusive bellwether of contemporary African American culture.

BET executives now maintain that the success of "The Game" and its companion romantic comedy "Let's Stay Together" has ushered in a new era for the network, which used to rely primarily on music videos, reality shows and award ceremonies. The network plans to move more aggressively into developing scripted shows, launching at least two more series by the end of the year. More than eight series are in development.

"It's proved what we've been saying for years — that if we have the resources to produce quality programming, the audience will show up," said BET Networks Chairman and Chief Executive Debra L. Lee, who took control of BET in 2005 after succeeding founder Robert L. Johnson. "What we've done says so much to the industry and to our audience."

Lee was also pleased that the network had developed an efficient business model for the new shows, producing them in-house at BET's Atlanta studios and promoting them heavily to BET viewers through social media rather than buying billboards and ads in mainstream media.

Among the projects already planned for this year is a family comedy, "Reed Between the Lines," starring Tracee Ellis Ross ("Girlfriends") and Malcolm Jamal-Warner ("The Cosby Show), and a drama produced by Reggie Rock Bythewood ("New York Undercover").

Cable TV analyst Simon Applebaum said, "This truly signals that BET is now a player in scripted TV, and gives them the incentive to do more. And they accomplished this all without major advertisers. That's astonishing."

Ratings for the season premiere of "The Game" topped 7.7 million total viewers, making it the top-rated ad-supported sitcom broadcast in cable history. "Let's Stay Together," a romantic comedy developed by Queen Latifah's production company, scored 4.4 million viewers.

Loretha Jones, BET's president of Entertainment, said, "Not in our wildest dreams could we have expected this. But Debra had a vision that scripted shows was what our viewers wanted, and I knew from a strategic point of view that we needed to go in that direction."

Longtime observers of the network are impressed. Mark Anthony Neal, a professor of black popular culture at Duke University, said: "What BET has done is recognize explicitly who their audience is, which is 14-to-25-year-old urban youths. In terms of management decisions, they've made some great decisions over the last several years."

Some of the highest praise has come from the executive who canceled "The Game" on the CW.

"We were so happy for them," said Dawn Ostroff, president of entertainment for the CW, when asked about the show's resurgence. "The cast deserves it … and Debra Lee."

To watch some clips from The Game go to

For the Official Site of Tia Mowry go to

For a Website dedicated to Brittany Daniel go to

For a Website dedicated to Brittany Daniel go to

For a Website dedicated to Hosea Chanchez go to

For a Review of The Game go to

To watch the Opening Credits of The Game go to
� Date: Fri April 20, 2007 � Filesize: 26.6kb � Dimensions: 337 x 450 �
Keywords: Game: Pooch Hall Tia Mohry


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