BET’s hit dramedy “The Game”, which has the distinction of airing original episodes on three networks, aired its series finale this past Wednesday to record ratings.
According to Variety:
Nielsen estimates that the hour-long finale of the comedy created by Mara Brock Akil averaged a 0.74 rating in adults 18-49 and 1.769 million viewers overall in the 10 o’clock hour — week-to-week gains of 7% in the demo and 23% in total viewers. It was cable’s No. 1 original program for the night in all key female demos and ranked No. 2 (behind MTV’s “Catfish”) among all originals in adults 18-34 (0.68).
The Game got its start in 2006 as spin-off of Brock-Akil’s hit series Girlfriends with Melanie (“The Game”) being advised by her cousin Joan (“Girlfriends”) not to put off medical school in order to follow her boyfriend Derwin as he pursues a pro football career. The show originally aired on UPN, the moved over to the CW before being cancelled in 2009, and resurrected by BET in 2011.
After airing the series in syndication for a number of years, BET took a gamble amid a vigorous campaign by fans of the show for it to return to TV. The gamble paid off for the network when its premiere BET episode set a record for the largest basic cable audience ever for an original comedy on a non-kids network with 7.68 million viewers.
Fans of the series need not worry. With 149 episodes during its run, the series is almost certain to find a syndication home in the near future.
As for series creator Brock-Akil, she and husband Salim Akil recently signed a new deal for their Akil Productions with Warner Bros. TV. When the deal goes into effect next spring, Brock-Akil will step down from her post as show runner of her latest hit creation Being Mary Jane into an executive consultant role as she works on other projects.