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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 }

Barb Delaney March 25, 2011 at 10:07 am

THIS IS THE BEST TV SERIES I’VE EVER SEEN!!!!! JUST HAPPENED UPON IT CHANNEL SURFING IN 2010. I’VE TOLD A FEW PEOPLE ABOUT IT AND THEY DIDN’T KNOW ABOUT IT EITHER. PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE SOMEBODY SAVE IT FROM BEING CANCELLED.

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Jessica February 9, 2011 at 11:10 pm

The game is one of my favorite t.v shows. I think its so real , I can watch jus that show all day……

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Stacey January 12, 2011 at 10:08 am

Finally they’re bringing The Game back…it’s about time they put a BLACK show on tv!!!

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ANN WILSOM September 20, 2010 at 5:52 am

THIS SHOW IS GREAT – MANY PEOPLE DON’T EVEN KNOW ABOUT THIS SHOW – I HAVE INTRODUCED MY FRIENDS TO THE GAME AND THEY LOVE IT…IT NEEDS TO GET NOTICED!

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Ashanti Pittman September 8, 2010 at 11:22 am

Please don’t cancelled the show. I really hope that bet pick it up. Ready 4 the fourth season

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toya August 20, 2010 at 4:09 pm

Hurry up wit the show…I was pissed when I heard it was canceled…bet ur awsome its about time y’all got a good show…..

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Samiya Hale July 24, 2010 at 6:48 am

Why is this show being cut in the first place this show is the BOMB! and if CBSdoesnt start showing it again then big loss of money on them!

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Samiya Hale July 24, 2010 at 6:45 am

Error:sentence six cut out
sorry comp. is messed up.

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Samiya Hale July 24, 2010 at 6:41 am

I hope they really don’t cancel this show. I mean I love this show cancel this show. I mean I love this show, it’s the bestdrama show I’ve ever seen and millions,no billions of people also love it and would really want the show to keep going. If you can’t make a cost-cut to afford this show, thenCUT another show. The reason why people have stopped watching it is because thers no season four yet and we dont wanna keep waiting for it. This show is dont wanna keep waiting for it. This show is better than half the shows on CBS and if they can’t afford then HELL with them.

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Chiquita June 19, 2010 at 3:56 pm

Truth be told the game lost their ratings after they move the show to Friday nights.

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Deletha Hall June 13, 2010 at 10:57 pm

i love thisd show so much me and my girls get together and watch it all the time re-runs and all we love it and we hope and pray that BET brings it back to us!!!!!!

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YG June 3, 2010 at 9:46 am

DAMN THEY SHOULD MAKE SEASON 4 INTO A MOVIE THAT WOULD BE AWESOME

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charlene s May 24, 2010 at 7:12 pm

I loved the sitcom THE GAME from day one. Its a very intense and down to earth show. I would watch the game everyday if it comes on.

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darnesia May 16, 2010 at 9:14 am

THE GAME IS A NICE WHOLESOME SITCOM. I REALLY ENJOY THE REALITY OF THE SHOW AND HOW IT SHOWS THAT ALL PEOPLE CAN HAVE MONEY AND ENJOY LIFE… THANK YOU FOR SHOWING THAT

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Jenn May 13, 2010 at 12:12 pm

I love the game from when it first started I still watch all the re-runs I have it dvr to my tv. Derwin is super hot & I love everyone the entire cast please please dont cancel this show.
PS
I cant live without this show lol but seriously i love it

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