On Monday, October 6, BET announced (see network statement below) that Mara Brock Akil’s The Game would be coming to an end after the conclusion of seasons eight and nine, which are being taped now to air in early 2015. BET.com spoke with Brock Akil shortly after the announcement to get her exclusive insights on the shows incredible run.
All good things must come to an end and after celebrating four successful seasons of THE GAME on BET, the Network has announced production is underway on the show’s final two seasons. In January 2011 the cult following of The Game proved that the show was a fan favorite with 7.7 million viewers for its premiere debut on BET. With seasons eight and nine, we’re excited to end on a high note by giving Sabers fans a chance to bid farewell to their favorite players on and off the field.
What made you decide that seasons eight and nine would be the last for The Game?
Shows do end; that is a part the business. 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.
Looking back, is there any storyline that you would have changed?
No, I don't live in that place. I don't regret anything that we've done.
What is the legacy that you hope The Game will leave behind to its audience?
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 in The Game.
I believe The Game and the richness of the characters, including building off of Girlfriends back when, has contributed to the conversation of where we are today in media, both in television and film as it relates to what we demand and what we want from characters that look like us, and stories that look like us.
I'm very proud that, if you can trace back from the writing and the acting and the direction and the production design — we elevated that. I hope that would be a great legacy to leave behind. And that basically good storytelling can live.
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.
What's your favorite moment from the past four seasons?
One of my favorite moments is when we all came back on that stage together. When we premiered, all the actors and actresses were together. We sat in this audience, I think we were at the DGA theater. It was packed with a lot of our peers and our colleagues in the business. Here it was, The Game on BET, and we're going to premiere the first episode of season four.
And to celebrate with our cast and to celebrate that moment together, that victory, we knew we were back. I'll never forget that moment. It took a lot to get there. It took a lot to resurrect the show that was off for almost two years. And to know that we won and that we were better than when the show went off.
I also remember our last episode at the CW. It was an hour finale of Melanie and Derwin getting married and all of the possibilities. I remember thinking, "Wow, we got to do this amazing finale with all of these locations, with all of these production values, with all these great storylines, with all this drama and comedy, and we ended that reign with a bang." And we came into BET with a bigger bang and audience. I won't ever forget it.
(Photo: Bryan Bedder/BET/Getty Images for BET)