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The Game: Will the CW Sitcom Survive or Be Cancelled?

The GameWhile it’s looking less and less likely that the CW will renew The Game sitcom for a fourth year, series creator Mara Brock Akil is apparently interesting in changing the show in order to score a renewal. Is it a winning strategy?

The Game is a spin-off of the Girlfriends, the once successful sitcom that ended abruptly last season. Premiering in 2006, The Game revolves around Melanie Barnett (Tia Mowry), a first year medical student who gives up her school plans to follow her professional football playing boyfriend Derwin Davis (Pooch Hall). Others in the cast include Brittany Daniel, Coby Bell, Hosea Chanchez and Wendy Raquel Robinson.

In its first season, The Game averaged 2.3 million viewers each week. For season two, the ratings dropped to 2.07 million and a .96 rating in the 18-49 demographic. This season, CW execs have stranded the series in a little-watched Friday night timeslot. It’s fallen to an average of 1.68 million viewers and a tiny 0.7 rating in the demo.

Along with fellow sitcom Everybody Hates Chris, The Game hasn’t exactly been a ratings powerhouse. It looks very likely that Chris will be cancelled in May but will have 88 episodes, enough for a syndication run that’s scheduled to start on Nick at Nite this Fall. In contrast, The Game will only have 64 episodes.

A renewal for The Game would create a programming conundrum for the CW. With no other half-hour programs in development, they’d have an orphan half-hour in their timeslot to fill.

Would you watch The Game if it moved to BET?

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The Hollywood Reporter says that one possible solution would be to turn The Game into an hour-long dramedy. The change wouldn’t be a big stretch since the sitcom doesn’t use a studio audience and already mixes comedy with drama. Akil is expected to pitch the idea to the network sometime this week.

The plan is considered a longshot at best considering The Game’s weak ratings and the fact that it doesn’t mesh well with the network’s upcoming slate of dramas. Switching time formats could also cause a problem in syndication, unless each of the hour episodes could be cut into two 30 minute installments.

If the CW network ultimately passes on renewing The Game, the show could still continue. In February, the BET cable channel signed a syndication deal to air the first three seasons. At the time, Barbara Zaneri, BET’s Executive VP of Acquisitions, told Variety, “This [show] is something I went after the minute I got to BET. Not only does it have really fresh African-American stars, but it has a great lineup of guest stars. People like Robin Givens and Vivica Fox — these are people who are regularly on our network.”

It’s been reported (and Mowry recently confirmed) that BET execs have discussed with CBS the possibility of funding a fourth year. The deal would likely entail some cost-cutting to make the deal affordable for the cable channel but it’s in CBS’ best interests to make it work.

Will the show get some “extra innings” or is The Game over? We’ll likely have to wait until May 21st to find out for sure.

 

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{ 680 comments… read them below or add one }

Tamika March 22, 2010 at 2:01 pm

The game is coming back BET has picked up the show it supposed to start getting the charaters back for contracts

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TChapman March 21, 2010 at 9:19 pm

Please don’t cancel the game everyone I know watches it and is awaiting the next season. Lets get it popping.

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Shambrica March 21, 2010 at 1:21 pm

I lov the show the game. Put it back on the air so we can find out what happen after melaine and derwin got married and the baby was born. Please don’t cancel the show !!!!!

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Janell White March 20, 2010 at 1:03 pm

I luv the game!!!!!! plz put it back on air!!! u cnt jus leave us hangin after melanie nd derwin got married!!! come on now!!! if somebody dnt put it back on air bet iz gonna have bull shit shows on there!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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elycia March 13, 2010 at 4:57 pm

I am from Trinidad and I absolutely love the game. I can’t believe they would want to cancel a show that is so close to reality. I love it!

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melody March 7, 2010 at 11:20 pm

bet com new the glir ferind the game ontv

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diamond lover March 5, 2010 at 12:04 am

please keep the game on it is my favorite show like really at least give it one more go and let it be a hour long i will watch it for shaw

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maria March 3, 2010 at 2:28 pm

omg..dis is my numba 1 show..im tellin u im da numba 1 fam…i cud watch dis show 24/7….it makes me laugh…makes me cry…makes me think…im tellin u ….need more of the game sometyms i cud b lyk yall

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sexylove February 28, 2010 at 4:51 pm

I love this tv show the game is a really good show. I love me some drama and all of the cast members are better than fantastic.Bring back the show!Bring back the show!

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TARA February 25, 2010 at 2:01 pm

I love The Game. It was the first show I’ve watched and felt like I could totally relate in so many ways. I’m hoping and praying that they bring The Game back. My whole family loved this show. PLEASE!!!!!

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Stan Da Man February 19, 2010 at 7:04 pm

I can only agree with what NIKKI has stated. I don’t even watch TV that much, yet I have been totally into the Game. Thats the only thing on the television that gets my attention. “ONLY”!! And I’m no teenie bopper at 58 years old. This show is simply good. I cannot get enough. I was totally unaware of the original seasons. I’ve only caught on with the reruns on BET. But WOW! What a show. Luv’s me some Tosha Mac and Kelly Pitts. This series must continue. Please. Get these people back and continue the series.Only now at my age have I learned what soap opera viewers have been going through all my life. BRING THE GAME BACK. “Tosha gon git her gun, We Scared,We scared”. Simply hilarious and serious show. How do you do it that good?

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Chris Brihm February 15, 2010 at 10:38 pm

THE GAME TV SHOW IS ALL TIME MY FAVORITE I WOULD SIT ON MY COUCH ALL DAY AND WOULD NOT MOVE UNTIL IT GOES OFF…. BUT I THINK THIS TV SHOW SHOULD KEEP MAKING EPISODES BECAUSE THERE ARE MILLIONS OF PEOPLE THAT LOVE IT AND THIS SHOULD GOES ON WITH THE PROGAM I SAY DON’T CANCELLED THE SHOW KEEP EM COMING

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oklahoma February 15, 2010 at 9:16 pm

its just plain wrong to cancel the game…it was getting to good. i was really mad when my friends told me that the game was getting cancelled. even though i only see the reruns now its still very entertaining . a lot of people watch it and more probbaly will. the game was the only t.v. show worth watching….BRING THE GAME BACK.

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Mrs.Brown February 15, 2010 at 6:31 pm

The game was a show that really made u laugh, cry, shake ur head and just think about life. I really hope that the BET network picks the show up for some new seasons. I love the show, the actors/actresses make my day. Bring back THE GAME!!!!

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NIKKI February 15, 2010 at 2:33 pm

1ST I WOULD LIKE TO SAY, I’VE BEEN WATCHING THE GAME SINCE IDK WHEN.
THAT WAS ABOUT THE ONLY SHOW I COULD REALLY SIT AN WATCH WITHOUT MOVING, THOUGHT IF I’D LEAVE OUT FOR A SEC I WOULD MISS SOMETHING. 2ND NOW THAT THE GAME HAS BEEN CANCELED ITS NOT REALLY NO SHOWS ON T.V THAT CAN HAVE MY FULL ATTENTION…..I LOVE THE GAME…LOVE ALL THE CHARACTERS EVERY1 OF THEM…

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