Last night, some 20 months after it had been cancelled by The CW, The Game returned with a new episode. After the cancellation, fans continued to support the sitcom and watch reruns so BET made a deal to resurrect the series and produce season four. Their gamble seems to have paid off with big ratings for both The Game and Let’s Stay Together, a new comedy.
If these numbers continue, it looks like The Game will be around for a long time to come. Interestingly, if the sitcom had had ratings like these a couple years ago, it never would have been cancelled by The CW. In its third and final season on The CW, it averaged a tiny 0.7 rating in the 18-49 demo and just 1.68 million viewers.
Here’s a press release from BET…
The Cable Debut of THE GAME on BET Ranks as the #1 Ad-Supported Scripted Series Premiere in Cable History
The Season 4 Premiere Telecast of THE GAME Ranks as the #1 Ad-Supported Sitcom Telecast in Cable Ever Viewed by 7.7 Million Viewers
The Series Premiere of LET’S STAY TOGETHER Debuts as the #2 Series In BET History With 4.4 Million Viewers
NEW YORK, Jan. 12, 2011 /PRNewswire/ — BET’s scripted night of programming broke ratings records as millions tuned in on Tuesday, January 11 to watch the hour long cable debut of THE GAME at 10:00 p.m.* and the series premiere of LET’S STAY TOGETHER at 11:00 p.m.* THE GAME was the #1 ad-supported sitcom telecast in cable TV history, garnering 7.7 million total viewers and 4.87 coverage rating according to the Nielsen Company and was the #1 THE GAME telecast on broadcast and cable ever. The premiere also ranks as the #2 telecast in BET history among viewers (behind BET AWARDS ’09).
LET’S STAY TOGETHER, a brand new scripted series on the Network, ranked among the top 5 ad-supported sitcom premieres in cable TV history ever and was the #2 series telecast in BET history behind THE GAME, debuting to 4.4 million viewers among 2.7 million households with a 3.0 coverage rating on Tuesday, January 11 at 11:00 p.m.*
“We are thrilled to see our audience respond so well to THE GAME and LET’S STAY TOGETHER,” said Debra L. Lee, Chairman and CEO of BET Networks. “It is clear these two shows are real game changers for the Network and the proven success of last night tells us that our viewers are not only passionate about the types of programming that we offer, but continue to crave on-air programming that reflects and respects our voices.”
“We’re so proud that our scripted night on television performed so well and it is a testament to the incredible casts, executive producers, directors and writers for both THE GAME and LET’S STAY TOGETHER,” said Loretha Jones, President of Original Programming at BET Networks. “As we look forward to our development pipeline, it’s clear scripted will continue to play an important role in our original programming slate to tell more of our stories that truly resonate with our audience.”
Following BET Networks’ successful syndicate acquisition in February 2009, the BET premiere of THE GAME picked up where things left off at the end of season three with the show’s main cast — Coby Bell, Hosea Chanchez, Brittany Daniel, Pooch Hall, Tia Mowry and Wendy Raquel Robinson.
In addition to its incredible on-air performance, THE GAME had the highest amount of social media buzz of all other prime time television shows, according to Trendrr’s Prime Time Television Activity Chart for Tuesday, January 11. At one point, commenting on THE GAME Facebook page averaged 893 likes per minute, and 750 comments per minute, after the question “What did you think about tonight’s episode?” within the first 28 minutes after the post. THE GAME related topics dominated Twitter with 9 out of the top 10 trending topics 30 minutes into the program.
THE GAME is executive produced by Mara Brock Akil, Salim Akil, and Kenny Smith. Salim Akil is the Director of all episodes.
LET’S STAY TOGETHER, a romantic comedy that takes an unconventional look into the lives of five young, ambitious African Americans, centers on a married couple, an engaged couple and a single sister who all take courageous steps as they navigate life, love and matrimony. The fresh, break-out cast includes Bert Belasco, Joyful Drake, Nadine Ellis, Erica Hubbard and RonReaco Lee.
LET’S STAY TOGETHER was created by Jacque Edmonds Cofer, who is also the show’s Executive Producer along with Dana Owens (Queen Latifah) and Shakim Compere. LET’S STAY TOGETHER is a BET Studios Original Production.
*All times EST. Source: The Nielsen Company. Live + Same Day data.
About BET Networks
BET Networks, a subsidiary of Viacom Inc. (NYSE: VIA, VIA.B), is the nation’s leading provider of quality entertainment, music, news and public affairs television programming for the African-American audience. The primary BET channel reaches more than 90 million households and can be seen in the United States, Canada, the Caribbean, the United Kingdom and sub-Saharan Africa. BET is the dominant African-American consumer brand with a diverse group of business extensions: BET.com, a leading Internet destination for Black entertainment, music, culture, and news; CENTRIC, a 24-hour entertainment network targeting the 25- to 54-year-old African-American audience; BET Digital Networks – BET Gospel and BET Hip Hop, attractive alternatives for cutting-edge entertainment tastes; BET Home Entertainment, a collection of BET-branded offerings for the home environment including DVDs and video-on-demand; BET Event Productions, a full-scale event management and production company with festivals and live events spanning the globe; BET Mobile, which provides ringtones, games and video content for wireless devices; and BET International, which operates BET in the United Kingdom and oversees the extension of BET network programming for global distribution.
What did you think? Was last night’s episode worth the wait? Anything you particularly liked or disliked?
Image courtesy BET.