Being Mary Jane

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Being Mary Jane
Being Mary Jane logo.png
Genre Drama
Created by Mara Brock Akil
Starring
Composer(s) Kurt Farquhar
Country of origin United States
Original language(s) English
No. of seasons 4
No. of episodes 41
Production
Executive producer(s) Mara Brock Akil
Salim Akil
Gabrielle Union
Location(s) Georgia
Running time 61 mins (pilot only)
Approx. 42 mins
Production company(s) Akil Productions
Breakdown Productions
Schoolcraft Productions (season 4-present)
Will Packer Productions (season 4-present)
Release
Original network BET
Picture format 480i (SDTV)
1080i (HDTV)
Original release July 2, 2013 (2013-07-02) – present (present)
External links
Website www.bet.com/shows/being-mary-jane.html

Being Mary Jane is an American drama television series created by Mara Brock Akil and starring Gabrielle Union,[1] that debuted January 7, 2014, on BET.[2] The 90 minute pilot for the series aired on July 2, 2013.[3] The series follows professional and personal life of successful TV news anchor Mary Jane Paul, who lives in Atlanta, Georgia.

Being Mary Jane has received positive reviews from critics,[4][5] and the series premiere on BET had more than 4 million viewers.[6][7][8] On September 12, 2013, BET renewed Being Mary Jane for a second season, before the first season premiered.[6] The second season premiered on February 3, 2015, and on February 5 the series was renewed for a third season,[9] which premiered October 20, 2015. The second and third seasons received critical acclaim, specifically praising Gabrielle Union's leading performance, Mara Brock Akil's writing, and directing work by Regina King.[10][11][12][13] On January 6, 2016, the series was renewed for a fourth season, which premiered on January 10, 2017.[14]

At the 45th NAACP Image Awards, the pilot movie won award for Outstanding Television Movie, Mini-Series or Dramatic Special, and Union for Outstanding Actress in a Television Movie, Mini-Series or Dramatic Special.[15] The series later received another nine NAACP Image Awards nominations, include two for Outstanding Drama Series.

Production[edit]

The show was originally to be called Single Black Female.[16] The series centers on successful broadcast journalist Mary Jane Paul (played by Gabrielle Union) and her professional and private family life while searching for "Mr. Right":

Mary Jane Paul has it all: she's a successful TV news anchor, entirely self-sufficient – an all-around powerhouse who remains devoted to a family that doesn’t share her motivation. As Mary Jane juggles her life, her work and her commitment to her family, we find out how far she's willing to go to find the puzzle pieces that she, and society, insist are missing from her life as a single Black female.[17]

Omari Hardwick plays a potential Mr. Right. Other cast members include Latarsha Rose, Lisa Vidal, Aaron D. Spears, Richard Roundtree, Margaret Avery, Richard Brooks, Tika Sumpter, Raven Goodwin, B. J. Britt, and Robinne Lee.[17]

The series is produced by Mara Brock Akil, who produced BET's most successful series ever, The Game, and the romantic comedy film Jumping the Broom. The pilot episode was filmed in April 2012 at 780 N. Highland Ave. in the Virginia Highland neighborhood of Atlanta.[18][19][20]

Cast and characters[edit]

Regular cast[edit]

  • Gabrielle Union as Pauletta ("Mary Jane Paul") Patterson: a successful TV news anchor for Satellite News Channel (SNC) who remains devoted to a family that doesn't share her motivation as she juggles her life, her relationships, her work, and commitments.
  • Lisa Vidal as Kara Lynch: the executive producer of the Talkback (Mary Jane's show) at SNC and Mary Jane's best friend.
  • Margaret Avery as Helen Patterson: Mary Jane's overprotective mother, who is battling lupus.
  • Latarsha Rose as Dr. Lisa Hudson: Mary Jane's best friend since elementary school, an OB/GYN. (Seasons 1-3)
  • Aaron D. Spears as Mark Bradley: a co-anchor at the newsroom and the closeted gay friend of Mary Jane
  • Richard Brooks as Patrick Patterson: Mary Jane's older, less-motivated brother.
  • B.J. Britt as Paul Patterson, Jr.: Mary Jane's responsible younger brother.
  • Raven Goodwin as Niecy Patterson: Mary Jane's niece; Patrick Patterson's daughter, who is also a mother.
  • Richard Roundtree as Paul Patterson, Sr.: Mary Jane's compassionate father.
  • Stephen Bishop as David Paulk - Mary Jane's playboy love interest. (Seasons 2-3; recurring Season 1)
  • Omari Hardwick as Andre Daniels: Mary Jane's married love interest. (Season 1)[21]

Recurring cast[edit]

  • Robinne Lee as Avery Daniels - Andre's wife, who learns of her husband's affair with Mary Jane. (Season 1)
  • Tatom Pender as Tracy - Patrick's girlfriend and mother of their child.
  • Michael Ealy as Justin Talbot (Season 4)
  • Madison Alsobrook as D'Asia - Patrick's daughter (Season 4). Formerly Navia Robinson (Seasons 1-3)
  • Brély Evans as Nichelle - Mary Jane's friend and publicist to the stars.
  • Kelly Rutherford as Cynthia Phillips (Seasons 1-2)
  • Salli Richardson as Valerie (Season 2)
  • Gary Dourdan as Sheldon (Season 2)
  • Loretta Devine as Cece (Season 3)
  • Daniella Alonso as Marisol Esparza (Season 3)
  • Thomas Jones as Brandon (Season 3)
  • Ryan Homchick as Lance (Season 1-3)
  • Paul Rolfes as Aaron Felty (Seasons 3-4)
  • Chiké Okonkwo as Lee Truitt (Season 4)
  • Valarie Pettiford as Ronda Sales (Season 4)
  • Ashton Holmes as Garrett (Season 4)
  • Julian Walker as Ty (Season 4)
  • Cesar Cipriano as Dante (Season 4)

Guest stars[edit]

Series overview[edit]

Season Episodes Originally aired
First aired Last aired
1 9 July 2, 2013 (2013-07-02) February 25, 2014 (2014-02-25)
2 12 February 3, 2015 (2015-02-03) April 14, 2015 (2015-04-14)
3 10 October 20, 2015 (2015-10-20) December 15, 2015 (2015-12-15)
4 10 January 10, 2017 (2017-01-10) March 21, 2017 (2017-03-21)

Episodes[edit]

Season 1 (2014)[edit]

No. in
series
No. in
season
Title Directed by Written by Original air date U.S. viewers
(million)
1 0 "Pilot" Salim Akil Mara Brock Akil July 2, 2013 (2013-07-02) 4.01[22]
The story and life of a black woman, her work, and her family as well as her popular talk show, which she hosts.
2 1 "Storm Advisory" Salim Akil Jessica Mecklenburg January 7, 2014 (2014-01-07) 3.32[23]

While spending time with David, Andre surprises Mary Jane at her home. Meanwhile, an anchor at the station is fired, placing the careers of Mary Jane, Kara, and Mark in jeopardy.

Absent: Richard Brooks, Raven Goodwin, B.J. Britt, Richard Roundtree
3 2 "Girls Night In" Salim Akil Mara Brock Akil January 14, 2014 (2014-01-14) 2.77[24]

The affair between Mary Jane and Andre develops a strain on his marriage. Mary Jane ponders about her future—and if it should include Andre. Meanwhile, Kara, and Mary Jane are faced with creative differences when Kara decides to revamp Mark's show. A woman from Paul Sr.'s past makes an attempt to move in on him after learning about Helen's health condition.

Guest stars: Lesley-Ann Brandt, Sheila Frazier, Brely Evans

Absent: B.J. Britt
4 3 "The Huxtables Have Fallen" Salim Akil Devon Greggory January 21, 2014 (2014-01-21) 2.58[25]

Patrick learns of Mary Jane's affair with Andre. To help her sort through her dilemma, Patrick takes her to visit their voice-of-reason Aunt Toni. She is once again conflicted about her feelings for Andre and decides to once and for all give him an answer in regard to his marriage proposal. Meanwhile, a former business partner declines further partnership with Patrick, resulting in damaging effects to Patrick's sobriety.

Guest stars: Kelly Rutherford, Lorraine Toussaint, Darrin Dewitt Henson

Absent: Latarsha Rose
5 4 "Mixed Messages" Salim Akil Erica L. Anderson February 4, 2014 (2014-02-04) 2.69[26]

Andre slips up and reveals that he is still being intimate with his wife, Avery. To even the score, Mary Jane decides to go out on a date with a man she met online. Kara's changes at SNC prove to be over the top for Mark. Meanwhile, Helen misplaces her diamond bracelet in an effort to get Patrick's girlfriend out of the house.

Guest stars: Wayne Brady
6 5 "Exposed" Salim AKil Erika Graham February 11, 2014 (2014-02-11) 2.47[27]

Mary Jane and Andre have decided to settle in together at her home in domestic bliss. Meanwhile, Helen is disappointed with Paul Sr. for not receiving a platinum table at an exclusive gala, so he finds an unlikely source in hopes of obtaining one. While Andre declines his invitation to accompany Mary Jane at the gala, she unexpectedly runs into her ex, David. Also, Mary Jane is faced with a challenging decision at SNC involving a fellow journalist.

Guest star: Chris "Ludacris" Bridges
7 6 "Hindsight is 20/40" Salim Akil Erica L. Anderson February 18, 2014 (2014-02-18) 2.92[28]

Mary Jane and Andre argue over whether Mary Jane is still involved with David or not, once Andre reveals a picture of the two together. Meanwhile, Paul Sr. gives Patrick an ultimatum as his son decides that he will be moving out soon. Kara is faced with a custody issue involving her sons. Also, P.J. lands himself in trouble once again, and Niecy announces her plans following her delivery.

Guest star: Dorian Missick

Absent: Aaron D. Spears
8 7 "Blindsided" Salim Akil Jessica Mecklenburg and Erika Graham February 25, 2014 (2014-02-25) 2.58[29]

Unsettling news of a fellow journalist's suicide unnerves Mary Jane, who lands in the middle of a scandal. Meanwhile, Niecy grows concerned that the father of her unborn child will not be present for the birth of their baby. Patrick is worried about Helen's well-being now that he has moved out of the house.

Guest stars: Ava DuVernay, Keith Boykin

Absent: Omari Hardwick
9 8 "Uber Love" Salim Akil Mara Brock Akil February 25, 2014 (2014-02-25) 3.23[29]

Mary Jane decides to right all the wrongs of the people she has hurt. Meanwhile, Lisa and Mary Jane's friendship is put to the test.

Absent: Aaron D. Spears, B. J. Britt, Richard Brooks, Margaret Avery, Raven Goodwin, Richard Roundtree

Season 2 (2015)[edit]

No. in
series
No. in
season
Title Directed by Written by Original air date U.S. viewers
(million)
10 1 "People In Glass Houses Shouldn't Throw Fish" Salim Akil Mara Brock Akil February 3, 2015 (2015-02-03) 2.37[30]

With Andre and David no longer an active part in her life, Mary Jane recommits herself to work, family and friends; David's new girlfriend is pregnant.

Guest Starring: Salli Richardson

Absent: Richard Roundtree
11 2 "Freedom" Salim Akil Laurence Andries February 10, 2015 (2015-02-10) 2.07[31]

Mary Jane vows to carve out an anxiety-free weekend, but plans go awry when Mark calls asking her to be his "beard" during the unexpected arrival of his parents. Revelations during their visit force Mark to make a change.

Guest Starring: Greg Alan Williams, S. Epatha Merkerson

Absent: Richard Roundtree, Margaret Avert, Latarsha Rose, B. J. Britt
12 3 "Mary Jane Knows Best" Regina King Story by : Mara Brock Akil and Erica L. Anderson
Teleplay by : Erica L. Anderson
February 17, 2015 (2015-02-17) 2.46[32]
Mary Jane undergoes a "free" fertility treatment for her modern-day motherhood series on TalkBack; Niecy becomes Mary Jane's new pet project; David realizes he wants to have a future with Mary Jane.
13 4 "Sleepless In Atlanta" Regina King Erika Graham February 24, 2015 (2015-02-24) 2.41[33]

Kara protects Mary Jane; Niecy shields her and Treyvion from his father; Patrick struggles to find balance; Mary Jane and Niecy have a falling out.

Guest starring: Kyle Massey
14 5 "No Eggspectations" Salim Akil Njeri Brown and Melora Rivera March 3, 2015 (2015-03-03) 2.09[34]

During a live installment of Talk Back, Mary Jane is not prepared for Dr. Marrs' news; Cameron and Niecy try to come to an agreement now that he has stepped back into her life; and PJ is offered a business opportunity.

Guest starring: Gayle King, Kyle Massey
15 6 "Pulling The Trigger" Salim Akil Adam Giaudrone March 10, 2015 (2015-03-10) 1.72[35]

Mary Jane desires to become pregnant; Mary Jane's friendship with Lisa is strained.

Guest starring: Salli Richardson, Gary Dourdan
16 7 "Let's Go Crazy" Regina King Mara Brock Akil March 17, 2015 (2015-03-17) 1.43[36]
Mary Jane decides to move forward with her life; Kara must make a decision to stay partners with Mary Jane.
17 8 "One Is The Loneliest Number" Regina King Laurence Andries March 24, 2015 (2015-03-24) 1.23[37]
A fatal Atlanta school shooting; Mary Jane and Sheldon's courtship advances; Mark is depressed over a breakup.
18 9 "Line In The Sand" Rob Hardy Erika Graham March 31, 2015 (2015-03-31) 1.59[38]

Mary Jane gets nominated for an Emmy; Patrick discovers what happened to Tracy.

Guest starring: Gary Dourdan, Salli Richardson-Whitfield, Mark Anthony Neal, India Arie, Bevy Smith, Michaela Angela Davis
19 10 "Primetime" Rob Hardy Story by : Erika Graham and Craig Quinn
Teleplay by : Erika Graham
April 7, 2015 (2015-04-07)[39] 1.36[40]
Mary Jane does some shop therapy; Paul Jr. decides about a job.
20 11 "Reading The Signs" Salim Akil Adam Giaudrone April 14, 2015 (2015-04-14)[39] 1.30[41]

Mary Jane's rant goes viral; Sheldon struggles; Mark's perspective on dating.

Guest starring: Gary Dourdan, Kelly Rutherford, Christina Vidal, Don Lemon
21 12 "Signing Off" Salim Akil Mara Brock Akil April 14, 2015 (2015-04-14)[39] 1.46[41]
Mary Jane moves into her primetime position at SNC; the relationship between Lisa and David is revealed and Mary Jane overhears leading her to get into a huge car accident.

Season 3 (2015)[edit]

No. in
series
No. in
season
Title Directed by Written by Original air date U.S. viewers
(million)
22 1 "Facing Fears" Salim Akil Mara Brock Akil October 20, 2015 (2015-10-20) 2.23[42]
Season 3 picks up with Mary Jane being rushed to hospital following her accident and her family rallies against David and Lisa; while sidelined, Kara fights for her future at SNC.
23 2 "Louie Louie" Mario Van Peebles Devon Shepard October 20, 2015 (2015-10-20) 2.24[42]
Cece, the other woman involved in the accident, exploits both SNC and Mary Jane to profit from it; SNC hires a hot young Latina replacement anchor called Marisol Esparza.
24 3 "Sparrow" Salim Akil Story by : Mara Brock Akil
Teleplay by : Keli Goff & Jameal Turner
October 27, 2015 (2015-10-27) 1.79[43]
Mary Jane's friend Lisa commits suicide and Mary Jane deals with Lisa's family when they make a surprise visit.
25 4 "Being Kara" Mario Van Peebles Adam Giaudrone November 3, 2015 (2015-11-03) 1.45[44]
Kara's life begin to spiral out of control; as Mary Jane struggles to get back to work, she helps Niecy land her first job.
26 5 "Hot Seat" Neema Barnette Erika Graham November 10, 2015 (2015-11-10) 1.78[45]
Mary Jane resorts to unconventional methods when SNC decides to keep Marisol in the Primetime seat. Elsewhere, Neicy's neverending rift with Patrick continues, so she calls her mother Jill Scott.
27 6 "Don't Call It A Comeback" Neema Barnette Melora Rivera November 17, 2015 (2015-11-17) 1.38[46]
Mark contemplates his future at SNC; things between Mary Jane and Brandon take a surprising turn when she learns about his health issues.
28 7 "If the Shoe Fits…" Regina King Devon Shepard November 24, 2015 (2015-11-24) 1.38[47]
Mary Jane's birthday is forgotten by her parents, but they deal with family drama.
29 8 "Wake Up Call" Regina King Erika Graham December 1, 2015 (2015-12-01) 1.39[48]
Harsh opinions are circled about Mary Jane's show while sitting in on a journalism lecture. Meanwhile, Patrick seems to get his life in order until things take a surprising turn with a family intervention.
30 9 "Purging and Cleansing" Oz Scott Adam Giaudrone December 8, 2015 (2015-12-08) 1.08[49]
Mary Jane prepares to return to her "TalkBack" series and begins a life-cleanse in hopes to revive her finances and her journalism voice reclaim.
31 10 "Some Things Are Black and White" Oz Scott Mara Brock Akil December 15, 2015 (2015-12-15) 1.66[50]
In the Season 3 finale, Mary Jane goes out with GG. and finds herself on a topic on "The Real" about interracial dating; David's mom has a talk with Mary Jane; Kara has trouble at work; and Niecy has a run-in with the police which takes a turn for the worst.

Season 4 (2017)[edit]

No. in
series
No. in
season
Title Directed by Written by Original air date U.S. viewers
(million)
32 1 "Getting Nekkid" Mario Van Peebles Erica Kodish Shelton January 10, 2017 (2017-01-10) 1.19[51]

On the Season 4 premiere, beginning a year after the Season 3 finale, Mary Jane prepares to tackle the mean streets of NYC as she seeks to make major changes in her personal life and career. Meanwhile, she has an interesting encounter with a new man that quickly get the wheels spinning in her head.

Special Appearances: U.S. Senator Cory Booker, Dave East (credited as Dave Brewster)
33 2 "Getting Naked" Mario Van Peebles Rebecca Boss & Chris Masi January 17, 2017 (2017-01-17) 0.89[52]
Mary Jane goes up against her idol, Ronda; Niecy tries to balance her life.
34 3 "Getting Real" Kat Candler Story by : Josef Sawyer
Teleplay by : Rebecca Boss & Chris Masi
January 31, 2017 (2017-01-31) 1.24[53]
An interview with a fiery reality star makes Mary Jane a social media sensation; things rapidly heat up with Lee.
35 4 "Getting Schooled" Kat Candler Angel Dean Lopez February 7, 2017 (2017-02-07) 0.90[54]
Mary Jane's new position as web correspondent fuels her rivalry with Justin as she pursues the story of a teen boy beaten for wearing a skirt.
36 5 "Getting Served" Rashaad Ernesto Green Debra J. Fisher and Patrik-Ian Polk February 14, 2017 (2017-02-14) 0.96[55]
While Mary Jane and PJ are homesick, Niecy has a fight at a nightclub with serious repercussions.
37 6 "Getting Home" Rashaad Ernesto Green Debra J. Fisher and Patrik-Ian Polk February 21, 2017 (2017-02-21) 1.01[56]
Mary Jane and Kara return to Atlanta for pleasure and business. Lee also visits Atlanta and bond with Mary Jane's family.
38 7 "Getting Judged" Neema Barnette Rebecca Boss & Chris Masi February 28, 2017 (2017-02-28) 0.92[57]
Mary Jane's interview with Judge McAlister for Good Day USA doesn't go as anyone planned. Lee's kids come for a visit.
39 8 "Getting Risky" Neema Barnette Angel Dean Lopez March 7, 2017 (2017-03-07) 0.84[58]
Mary Jane and Justin put aside their differences and team up catch a good story. Meanwhile, Mary Jane agonizes about meeting Lee's baby mama.
40 9 "Getting Serious" Adam Shankman Patrik-Ian Polk and Debra J. Fisher March 14, 2017 (2017-03-14) 0.90[59]
Justin ravels up a plan for Mary Jane to get a spot in the anchor chair. Also, she wants to figure out her future with Lee to decide on whether they should have a baby together. Meanwhile, Kara's relationship with Orlando becomes public knowledge.
41 10 "Getting It" Adam Shankman Erica Kodish Shelton March 21, 2017 (2017-03-21) 0.89[60]
Mary Jane and Lee make risky decisions that could affect their relationship. Meanwhile, she agrees to join forces with Justin, so they devise a plan to oust Rhonda out of the anchor chair but Kara gets caught in the crossfire.

Season 5 (2017)[edit]

Controversy[edit]

In 2016, Gabrielle Union sued BET for allegedly depriving her of agreed upon compensation.[61]

References[edit]

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  3. ^ Braxton, Greg (May 24, 2013). "Pilot for BET's 'Being Mary Jane' gets late start time on July 2". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved April 2, 2015. 
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