The Game (U.S. TV series)
|Created by||Mara Brock Akil|
Wendy Raquel Robinson
Tia Mowry Hardrict
|Theme music composer||Kurt Farquhar
James D. Joiner III
|Country of origin||United States|
|No. of seasons||6|
|No. of episodes||108 (List of episodes)|
|Executive producer(s)||Mara Brock Akil
Kenny Smith, Jr.
|Editor(s)||Travis G. Rendich
|Running time||22–24 minutes|
|Production company(s)||CBS Television Studios (2011–present)
CBS Paramount Network Television (CW's run)
Happy Camper Productions (CW's run)
Georgia Entertainment Industries
|Distributor||CBS Television Distribution|
|Original channel||The CW (2006–2009)
|Picture format||480i (SDTV) (2006-2009) 1080i (HDTV) (2011-present)|
|Audio format||Stereo, Dolby Digital 5.1|
|Original airing||October 1, 2006
– May 15, 2009 ;|
January 11, 2011 – present
The Game is an American comedy-drama television series created by Mara Brock Akil and produced by Kelsey Grammer. Premiering on October 1, 2006, the series debuted as the only new comedy series chosen for The CW's primetime schedule. Along with Runaway, it was one of only two series on the new network not to be inherited from either of its predecessor networks, The WB and UPN, during the network's first season. The series is a spinoff of the long-running UPN/CW sitcom, Girlfriends.
After three seasons, the series was canceled by the CW in May 2009. BET struck a deal with The Game's parent company CBS to develop new episodes of the series, relocating taping of the show from Los Angeles to Atlanta, and announcing its renewal at the April 2010 upfronts. The Game returned to the air for a fourth season on January 11, 2011, with a record breaking 7.7 million viewers. The series was recently renewed for a fifth season (to consist of 22 episodes), and premiered on January 10, 2012.
At the 2012 BET Upfront on April 13, 2012, it was revealed that The Game has been renewed for a sixth season. In May of 2012, Tia Mowry-Hardrict announced on her Twitter pages that she will not be returning to the series. In June 2012, it was confirmed that actress Lauren London and actor Jay Ellis had joined the cast as series regulars. It is also reported that Tia Mowry Hardrict may return for a two-part episode in season 6 to wrap up her character.
In May 2013, it was announced that The Game was renewed for a seventh season, set to premiere on July 2 2013
With the growing success of Girlfriends, the series' creator and producers decided to capitalize on their success and create a second series that would serve as a spinoff. On April 17, 2006, an episode called The Game focused on a young woman who decides to put her pending career plans on hold for the rising success of her star athlete boyfriend. The character, Melanie Barnett, was introduced in the episode as the first cousin of Joan Clayton, Girlfriends' principal character.
The episode performed well and gained enough interest for The CW network to pick up the backdoor pilot as a new series for its fall 2006-07 primetime line-up. Originally, actress Renee Bruce was cast for the role of Melanie but was later replaced with Tia Mowry (of CBS Television Studios' own Sister, Sister fame). Before debuting on The CW, more cast changes occurred. Aldis Hodge and Jennifer Baxter, both of whom appeared in the pilot episode, were replaced by Pooch Hall and Brittany Daniel respectively. Coby Bell, Hosea Chanchez and Wendy Raquel Robinson were the remaining cast members.
Backdoor pilot 
|133*||April 17, 2006||The Game||Joan Clayton tries to persuade her cousin, Melanie Barnett, to pursue her career in medical school instead of putting her life on hold for her boyfriend, waiting for his career to kick off. Joan is the primary character of the now-canceled Girlfriends. Joan sometimes comes on the show to make an appearance.|
As the series premieres, Melanie Barnett (Tia Mowry) is a first-year medical school student who has given up an offer of admission to Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in Baltimore to follow her boyfriend Derwin Davis (Pooch Hall), a professional football player, to San Diego, against the advice of her parents. Derwin Davis is a first-year rookie with a fictional team called the "San Diego Sabers". As Melanie settles into her new life, she meets Tasha Mack (Wendy Raquel Robinson), the mother of Sabers' starting quarterback Malik Wright (Hosea Chanchez), and Kelly Pitts (Brittany Daniel), the then wife of Sabers' captain Jason Pitts (Coby Bell). As she learns to balance her new roles as both med student and the partner of a professional football player, Tasha and Kelly immediately warn her to keep a close eye on her boyfriend because of the numerous "gold diggers" who approach the professional football players. Over time the relationships evolves with the players and the significant others, leading to the series to more focus on their relationships and less on the sport.
Main Cast 
- Wendy Raquel Robinson as Latasha "Tasha" Mack - Latasha Mack (generally known as Tasha Mack) is the mother of Malik Wright and begins the series off as his manager. Malik, giving his mother an ultimatum at one point, eventually fires Tasha. It is then that Tasha builds her own management company, Tasha Mack Management. She dissolves the company, however, to join Irv Smiff Management (ISM). In season three, she falls in love with former NBA basketball player Rick Fox, who also works for ISM. Tasha ends up getting fired from ISM, and dumps Rick in the aftermath, assuming that he knew all about Irv Smith's plans to fire her. In the season three finale, Kelly Pitts and Tasha have a falling out when Kelly discovers that Tasha set her then ex-husband, Jason Pitts, with his then new girlfriend, Camille. The altercation soon turns physical, Kelly punching Tasha. Season four started with Tasha as Derwin's agent. She had also begun dating a much younger man named Donté (played by 106 & Park host Terrence J). In Season 5, Tasha decided to be celibate after a brief romance with a male escort (Carl Anthony Payne). She eventually falls for her longtime friend Pookie (Rockmond Dunbar). The Season 5 finale, her ex-boyfriend Rick Fox returns. In Season 6 she appointed her self to sunbeams president due to Jaz arguing with everybody with Tasha and Keira and Chardonnay.
- Hosea Chanchez as Malik Wright - Malik Wright is the San Diego Sabers superstar quarterback and the son of Tasha Mack. Arrogant and cocky, Malik initially begins the series as an immature womanizer. He falls in love with actress Robin Givens and convinces her to marry him as a publicity stunt. In the beginning, he lived with his mom but eventually gets his own place for the purpose of being able to party every night. He also fired his mom in season 2. In the third season, he finally meets his father and his half sister, Pucci, whom he tries to help with her singing career. In season 4, Malik is still a cocky, spoiled playboy who is sleeping with the wife of the Sabers' new owner (guest star Meagan Good). Malik gets incarcerated for assaulting a cop and DUI, and goes to rehab to solve his newfound problems. In rehab, he falls for a troubled supermodel Jenna Rice (Tika Sumpter). Season five, Malik goes toward financial issues and is forced to sell his multi-million dollar mansion and his cars. The Season five finale, Malik ends his relationship with Jenna. He seems to be getting his life together, but have converted back to his old ways.
- Coby Bell as Jason Pitts (starring seasons 1-3,6-present; recurring season 4-5) - Jason Pitts is the San Diego Sabers team captain and superstar wide receiver. He is the ex-husband of Kelly Pitts, whom he divorced in season 3. Jason and Kelly have one child, Brittany Pitts. Jason had a girlfriend briefly in season 3 (guest star Stacey Dash); however, he is single at the beginning of season 4. Jason is officially cut from the Sabers in season 4, and he becomes a correspondent on Benched, a sports news television series hosted by former NBA basketball player Chris Webber. In Season 5, he is a correspondent on his own show, The Pitts Stop and is in a romantic relationship with girlfriend/wife Chardonnay (portrayed by Brandy Norwood).
- Brandy as Chardonnay Pitts (starring season 6-present; recurring season 5) - Chardonnay is a fiesty and sassy bartender. She and Jason met when he came into the bar where she works. Chardonnay refused to serve Jason and Jason ended up telling her boss, who fired her. Feeling bad after he got her fired, Jason takes her out to eat. They wind up in Tijuana. Jason gets drunk and Chardonnay ended up tricking him into marrying her to see if he really loves black women. They returned to San Diego and decide to get their marriage annulled. The Season 5 finale, Chardonnay and Jason decided not to go through with the annulment and stay married. Jason also bought Chardonnay her own day spa.
- Lauren London as Keira Whitaker (season 6-present) - a former child star who starred in a fictional 'Cosby'-esque sitcom called Stuck Together. She is struggling to make the transition from child star to adult. Keira is one of the new characters that was introduced in Season 6. Her character replaces Melanie as a main character.
- Jay Ellis as Bryce "Blueprint" Westbrook (season 6-present) - a wide receiver and the first overall draft pick from Stanford who is highly educated and often the smartest person in the room. But even though he is bright, he is still a young man who has a lot to learn about life, love and himself. Blue is one of the new characters that was introduced in season 6. His character replaces Derwin Davis as a main character. Blue was traded from Baltimore to San Diego in exchange for Derwin. Although this would allow Derwin to be closer to his wife in Baltimore, the trade was not his choice.
Former Main Cast 
- Tia Mowry Hardrict (season 1−5)  as Dr. Melanie Barnett-Davis, M.D. - Melanie Barnett-Davis is the show's main protagonist. In season one, Melanie is a medical student who gave up the chance to attend Johns Hopkins School of Medicine to move to San Diego with her boyfriend Derwin Davis. Melanie is the cousin of Los Angeles attorney-turned-restaurateur Joan Clayton. In season 1, Melanie and Derwin break up due to Derwin's infidelity, which starts a series of ups-and-downs between the two. In the season three finale, Melanie finally marries Derwin during a private ceremony. In season 5, she decides to pursue her medical career and go back to medical school. Derwin was against it at first but eventually came around. In May 2012 Mowry announced via her Twitter account that she would not be returning to The Game in season 6.
- Pooch Hall as Derwin Davis (starring seasons 1-5; guest appearance in season 6)  - Derwin Davis is a wide receiver for the San Diego Sabers and husband of Melanie Barnett. In the season one finale, Derwin has an affair with Drew Sidora, and Melanie breaks off the relationship. In the season two finale, he finds out his ex-girlfriend Janay is pregnant with his baby. In the season three finale, Derwin's son is born and he finally marries Melanie in a private ceremony. In the fourth season premiere, there are some questions regarding the true paternity of Derwin's son. Derwin also emerges as a superstar player in season 4, getting numerous endorsement deals, including Nike, and becoming the new face of the Sabers organization. In May 2012, it was announced that Hall would not return to The Game for the 6th season; however in August 2012 it was announced that he would be returning, but Hall would only appear in one episode. In Season 6, Derwin was traded to Baltimore in exchange for Blue, who was chosen by Baltimore as the Number 1 Draft Pick. This allowed Derwin to be with Melanie, who is in Baltimore doing her Residency. The trade, however, was not planned by Derwin, but executed by the team owner because Derwin was responsible for the injury of former teammate and quarterback Kwan Kirkland.
- Brittany Daniel as Kelly Pitts (starring season 1-3; recurring season 4), - Kelly Pitts is the ex-wife of Jason Pitts, mother of Brittany Pitts, and former President of the Sunbeams. Kelly and Jason divorced at the end of season three. At the start of season 4, it is revealed that Kelly is now a reality TV star, with her own show centered around the ex-wives of professional athletes. Her character was bumped down to recurring in season 4, and her character was effectively written out of the show in season 4 after she stated to Jason that she needed to head back to home to her parents to find herself again. Daniel has since made no further appearances in the series.
Recurring Cast 
- Barry Floyd as Terrence "Tee-Tee" Carter - Malik's childhood friend, former assistant, and owner of Tee Tee's Cluck Truck. (Season 1 - present)
- Jigga as Bibs - Malik's bodyguard. (Seasons 4-present)
- Rick Fox as himself - former NBA basketball player; Tasha's co-worker and eventual love interest. (Seasons 2-3, 5-present)
- Rockmond Dunbar as Pookie - Ex-con; Tasha's old friend and eventual love interest. (Seasons 3-present)
- Michael Beach as Roger Keith - Owner of San Diego Sabers. (Seasons 4-present)
- Ciara as Herself - singer; friend of Keira. (Season 6)
- Erica Gluck (Seasons 1-3) / Katlynn Simone Smith (Seasons 4,6) as Brittany Pitts - daughter of Jason and Kelly Pitts.
- Tae Heckard as Jasmine "Jazz" - the former Sunbeams President and Wife of San Diego Sabers' Running Back Juvon (Seasons 2-Present)
- Bumper Robinson as Juvon- San Diego Sabers' Running Back and husband of Jazz. (Seasons 1-Present)
- Candice Patton as Tori - Malik's personal assistant. (Season 6)
Former Recurring Cast 
- Shanti Lowry as Dionne Marie Taylor - Derwin's publicist and Melanie's eventual roommate. (Seasons 1-3)
- P.J. Byrne as Irv Smiff - Owner of Irv Smiff Management (ISM). (Seasons 1-3, 5)
- Brandon Richardson as Bryant Donald - the San Diego Saber's injury running back, (Season 1-2)
- Robin Givens as herself - actress; Malik's ex-wife. (Seasons 2-3)
- Drew Sidora as herself - singer; Derwin's brief love interest. (Seasons 1-2)
- Gabrielle Dennis as Janay Brice - Derwin's ex-girlfriend and mother of his son. In season 5, it was revealed that she is engaged to a man named Noah and decided to take her son DJ and move to New York with her fiance. (Seasons 2-5)
- Gregory Alan Williams as Dr. James Barnett - Melanie's father. (Seasons 1, 3-4)
- Claudette Roche as Grace Barnett - Melanie's mother. (Seasons 1, 3-4)
- Tahj Mowry as Cameron Barnett - Melanie's brother. (Season 1, 3)
- Lee Majors as Coach Ross - coach of the San Diego Sabers. (Seasons 2-3)
- Rocky Carroll as Kenny "Coach T" Taylor - offensive coordinator of the San Diego Sabers; Tasha's brief love interest. (Seasons 1-2)
- Mehcad Brooks as Jerome - Melanie's ex-boyfriend. (Seasons 2-3)
- Kendra C. Johnson as Renee Royce - TV personality and one of Malik's love interests. (Seasons 1-2)
- Chaz Lamar Shepherd as Trey Wiggs - Melanie's college friend and father of Melanie's aborted baby. (Seasons 1-2, 5)
- Jason Olive as McHottie - Melanie's love interest in medical school. (Season 3,5)
- Caryn Ward as Erica Harrison (Seasons 1-4)
- Michael Boatman as Lawrence Chauncey Wright - Malik's father. (Season 3)
- Lisa Tucker as Pucci Wright - Malik's half-sister. (Season 3)
- Stacey Dash as Camille Rose - Jason's ex-girlfriend. (Seasons 3-4)
- Terrence Jenkins as Donté - the younger ex-boyfriend of Tasha. (Season 4)
- Chris Webber as himself - former NBA basketball player; Jason's co-host on the sports news television series Benched. (Season 4)
- Tika Sumpter as Jenna Rice - Super Model; Malik met Jenna in Rehab; later Malik's love interest. (Seasons 4-5)
- Meagan Good as Parker Keith - The wife of Roger Keith; had an affair with Malik. (Season 4)
- Isley Anderson as D.J. - Derwin and Janay's son (Seasons 4-5)
- Janet Varney as Summer Grayson - co-host of The Pitts Stop. (Season 5)
- Charles Michael Davis as Kwan Kirkland - the San Diego Saber's new quarterback. (Seasons 4-5)
Special guest appearances 
- Jared Allen
- Nnamdi Asomugha
- Rob Base
- Chico Benymon
- Tisha Campbell-Martin
- Loretta Devine
- Dustin Diamond
- Selita Ebanks
- Raymond Edwards, Jr.
- David Eigenberg
- Melyssa Ford
- Vivica A. Fox
- Kevin Frazier
- Tomiko Fraser
- Rudy Gay
- Irma P. Hall
- Cory Hardrict
- Napoleon Harris
- Hill Harper
- Jamie Hector
- Jim Hill
- Daymond John
- Magic Johnson
- Shawn Johnson
- Mike Jones
- Lil' Kim
- NeNe Leakes
- Lisa Leslie
- Leslie Jordan
- Tiffany Haddish
- Eva Marcille
- Shawn Marion
- Duane Martin
- Willie McGinest
- Lonette McKee
- Daryl Mitchell
- Kel Mitchell
- Tahj Mowry
- Penny Marshall
- Elimu Nelson
- Chad Ochocinco
- Carl Anthony Payne II
- Eyal Podell
- Shaun Phillips
- Jerry Rice
- Charles Robinson
- Jalen Rose
- Soulja Boy
- Ephraim Salaam
- Drew Sidora
- John Singleton
- Kenny Smith
- Tasha Smith
- Keith Sweat
- Nick Swisher
- Too Short
- Mario Van Peebles
- Chris Webber
- Serena Williams
- Stevie Williams
- Kellen Winslow II
- Jaleel White
- Shereé Whitfield
- William Allen Young
U.S. ratings 
Seasonal ratings based on average total viewers per episode of The Game on The CW and BET:
|Season||Network||Timeslot (ET)||Season Premiere||Season Finale||TV Season||Rank||Viewers
|1||CW||Sunday 8:30 P.M. (2006)
Monday 9:30 P.M. (2006–2007)
|October 1, 2006||May 14, 2007||2006–2007||#141||2.33|
|2||Monday 9:30 P.M. (2007–2008)
Sunday 9:00 P.M. (2008)
|October 1, 2007||May 18, 2008||2007–2008||#196||2.35|
|3||Friday 8:30 P.M. (2008–2009)||October 3, 2008||May 15, 2009||2008–2009||#174||1.75|
|4||BET||Tuesday 10:00 P.M. (2011)||January 11, 2011||March 29, 2011||2011||N/A||4.53|
|5||Tuesday 10:00 P.M. (2012)||January 10, 2012||June 5, 2012||2012||N/A||2.69|
|6||Tuesday 10:00 P.M. (2013)||March 26, 2013||2013||N/A||TBA|
|7||Tuesday 10:00 P.M. (2014)||2014||2014||2014||N/A||TBA|
When the show transferred from The CW to BET it scored a record breaking rating of 7.7 million viewers in its 4th season premiere making it the #1 Ad-Supported Sitcom Telecast In Television Cable History Ever and as of currently the highest rated ad-supported sitcom in Television Cable History.
In September 2006, writer Staci Robinson filed a $40 million lawsuit against the CW, CBS, Warner Brothers, and Grammnet Productions for copyright infringement. Robinson claimed that she applied for a job as writer's assistant in 2001 with series creator and executive producer, Mara Brock Akil, and then subsequently, sent her novel, Interceptions, to Akil. "Interceptions" is a novel about a woman that decides to put her professional goal of becoming a lawyer on hold to follow her boyfriend as he pursue a career as a professional football player. After receiving the novel, Robinson was interviewed for the job but later declined the position. Robinson alleged that Akil and a CW screenwriter stole the idea from her novel to create the series. The suit was settled out of court under a non-disclosure agreement in September 2007.
Cancellation and revival 
As The CW moved to make its schedule free of half-hour comedies, series creator Mara Brock Akil attempted to convince the network to air the series as an hour-long, single-camera series like the other shows on CW. The principal cast on the show launched a big viral campaign called "Change the Game Campaign" on YouTube, asking all fans to sign the CW message board. Despite the campaign and crashing the message board servers twice, on May 20, 2009, Entertainment Weekly announced that the series was officially cancelled, due to budget cut issues.
On April 4, 2010, The Hollywood Reporter reported that BET, which airs the series in syndication, was close to finalizing a deal to produce new episodes of the series. BET announced the deal during its upfronts in April 2010. Series creator and executive producer Mara Brock Akil is expected to return, along with all of the principal cast members. New episodes began airing on BET on January 11, 2011. The premiere drew 7.7 million viewers, making it the biggest ad-supported sitcom telecast in the history of cable. Stacey Mattocks is credited with creating the Facebook fan page for The Game. Upon finding her, BET hired Stacey to run the fan page which at last count was 5.4 million fans.
Hosea Chanchez officially announced at the 2011 BET Awards that the show will begin its fifth season in 2012.
Syndicated reruns of The Game began airing on BET on February 16, 2009.
Awards and nominations 
|2007||NAACP Image Awards||Nominated||Outstanding Writing in a Comedy Series||Kenny Smith, Jr. (For "The Trey Wiggs Episode")|
|2008||Outstanding Writing in a Comedy Series||Sara V. Finney (For "The Big Chill" episode)|
|Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series||Wendy Raquel Robinson|
|Outstanding Actress in a Comedy Series||Tia Mowry|
|2009||Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series||Wendy Raquel Robinson|
|Outstanding Comedy Series||
|Outstanding Actress in a Comedy Series||Tia Mowry|
|Won||Outstanding Writing in a Comedy Series||Erica Montolfo (For episode "White Coats and White Lies")|
|2009||NAMIC Vision Awards||Nominated||Comedy||
|2007||Teen Choice Awards||Nominated||Choice TV Actress: Comedy||Tia Mowry|
DVD releases 
- Season Releases
|Set details||Special features|
|United States (Region 1)|
|September 1, 2009|
Seasons 2, 3, 4, and 5 are also available in the United States and Canada.
- Murray, Jawn. "The Game Sitcom's Return On BET". aolblackvoices.com. Retrieved 2009-03-15.
- Murray, Jawn (October 6, 2010). "BET puts sitcom back in 'The Game'". variety.com. Retrieved 2010-10-10.
- "'The Game': Season Four Starts on BET in January 2011 at 10 pm est". tvseriesfinale.com. October 12, 2010.
- Caramanica, Jon (2011-01-07). "'Game' on: More Real Than Reality TV". New York Times. Retrieved 2011-01-11.
- Gelman, Vlada. "It's Official: Game Over For Tia Mowry, Pooch Hall". TV Line. Retrieved 2012-06-10.
- "Hollywood Reporter: 2006-07 primetime wrap". Hollywood Reporter. May 25, 2007.[dead link]
- "Season Program Rankings from 09/18/06 Through 06/03/07". ABC Medianet. Retrieved February 23, 2013.
- "Season Program Rankings from 09/24/07 through 05/25/08". ABC Medianet. May 28, 2008. Retrieved 2009-07-03.
- "Season Program Rankings from 09/22/08 through 05/17/09". ABC Medianet. May 19, 2009. Retrieved 2009-07-03.
- "tvbythenumbers.zap2it.com". January 12, 2011.
- "Amazon.com: Interceptions (9781583851494): Staci Robinson: Books". amazon.com. Retrieved February 23, 2013.
- Klein, Gary (2007-09-02). "Tam High grad, TV networks settle suit". marinij.com. Retrieved 2008-10-04.
- Nellie, Andreeva (2009-08-23). "BET may get into 'The Game'". hollywoodreporter.com. Retrieved 2009-09-10.[dead link]
- Change "The Game" Campaign YouTube.com
- Ausiello, Michael. "Fall TV cheat sheet: What's in? What's out?". ausiellofiles.ew.com. Retrieved 2009-08-01.
- Andreeva, Nellie (2010-04-04). "BET nears deal to resurrect 'The Game'". hollywoodreporter.com. Retrieved 2010-04-05.[dead link]
- Pope, Karla (2010-06-18). "Tia Mowry Talks Double Nuptials". parade.com. Retrieved 2010-06-20.
- Seidman, Robert (January 12, 2011). "Cable Debut of 'The Game' Ranks as #1 Ad-Supported Scripted Series Premiere in Cable History". TV by the Numbers. Retrieved February 23, 2013.
- Stelter, Brian "‘The Game’ Is a Winner, Helped by BET Loyalists", The New York Times, 1/16/1,
- Szalai, Georg "How 'The Game' Quadrupled Its Audience With Move to BET", The Hollywood Reporter, 1/17/11
- Guthrie, Marisa & Vargas, Jose Antonio "Twitter: The Reason Behind BET's Surprise Success for 'The Game'", The Hollywood Reporter, 1/25/11
- The Game - Press Release Gives The Game Plan for The 1st Season on DVD
- The Game at the Internet Movie Database
- The Game at TV.com
- The Game at epguides.com
- The Game at Yahoo! TV