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BET renews 'The Game', announces first miniseries and 3 new shows

BET presented its upcoming lineup at the network’s annual upfront presentation on Thursday, confirming an eighth season of its hit comedy The Game and announcing its first miniseries, The Book of Negroes, as well as the pickup of three new series.

Based on the Commonwealth Prize-winning novel by Lawrence Hill, The Book of Negroes is a six-part historical drama starring Cuba Gooding Jr., Louis Gossett Jr., and Aunjanue Ellis. It tells the story of Aminata Diallo, who was abducted from West Africa and sold into slavery in South Carolina at the age of 11. The miniseries follows Aminata through her emancipation in England. READ FULL STORY

'The Game' season finale scoop: Rick Fox returns to stir up trouble with Tasha? -- EXCLUSIVE VIDEO

After being absent from The Game for a spell, Rick Fox is headed back into the mix on the BET comedy’s fifth-season finale, which will air June 5 at 10 p.m. And don’t expect the former professional basketball star — who plays a fictionalized version of himself on the show — to just come and go quietly: Fox’s presence will likely stir up trouble for his old flame Tasha (Wendy Raquel Robinson), who’s enjoying what seems to be a healthy relationship with her childhood best friend Pookie (Rockmond Dunbar).

EW has an exclusive look at Rick’s reappearance on the series — the video clip is below — and enjoyed a quick chat with Robinson, who sheds light on what his return means for Tasha.

READ FULL STORY

'The Game': BET announces premiere date for season 5

The new year is bringing new episodes of BET’s hit The Game: The network just announced, via Twitter, that the series starring Tia Mowry Hardrict as the wife of a football star will premiere its fifth season on Jan. 10 at 10 p.m.

The Game spent three seasons on youth-skewing broadcast network The CW before being cancelled and then picked up by cable network BET, which caters to a more urban and black audience. After averaging just 1.8 million viewers in its last season on The CW, The Game flourished on BET, drawing 7.7 million viewers to its fourth season premiere last January before dipping to a still-extremely-strong 4.4 million viewers for its March season finale.

Back in January, star Hardrict told EW about how great the transition from The CW to BET was, claiming the cast was “always extremely stressed” at the broadcast network, while she found herself “at peace” on BET.

Tanner on Twitter: @EWTanStransky

Read more:
‘The Game’ season premiere on BET draws 7.7 million viewers
‘The Game’ finale draws 4.4 million viewers
‘The Game’ star Tia Mowry Hardrict: Cast was ‘always extremely stressed’ at The CW, now she’s ‘at peace’

'Big Bang Theory,' 'Glee,' 'Bones,' 'House': Find out what's next in the Spoiler Room

Spoiler-Room-11311Image Credit: Richard Cartwright/CBS; Ray Mickshaw/Fox; Adam TayEditor’s note: This week’s Spoiler Room is rated PG-13 for references to male reproductive organs and discussions about Neal Caffrey’s upcoming philandering on White Collar. You’ve been warned — and likely enticed to continue reading because your filthy mind sustains itself on risque scoop. (One of us! One of us!)

For the PG set, we also have Bones scoop straight from executive producer Stephen Nathan, a relationship-related Glee tease, much more.

Send all scoop requests and complaints about decency standards to spoilerroom@ew.com or Tweet them to me at @EWSandraG.

‘THE BIG BANG THEORY”S BIG ROAD TRIP
The first thing to escape Mayim Bialik’s mouth when asked about The Big Bang Theory’s upcoming Jan. 20 episode, “The Love Car Displacement,” is a soft giggle. READ FULL STORY

'The Game' star Tia Mowry Hardrict: Cast was 'always extremely stressed' at The CW, now she's 'at peace'

TheGame-MelanieImage Credit: BETThe tumultuous road that has led to a seemingly sunny future for BET’s saved-from-the-grave sitcom, The Game, has been full of lessons for star and former Sister, Sister actress Tia Mowry Hardrict. The biggest of all? The overwhelming value of a second chance in Hollywood.

“Blessed,” Mowry said when describing her feelings about coming back for a 13-episode season almost two years after being canceled by the CW — something the actress said she could see coming.

“Production costs were getting cut. We weren’t getting any advertisement, no media attention. I had prepared myself,” she said of the weeks leading up to the show’s axing in 2009. “We never felt like we were in the can. We were always extremely stressed. We felt like we could never be extremely creative. We never felt like the network got us.”  READ FULL STORY

'The Game' season premiere on BET draws 7.7 million viewers

The-GameImage Credit: BETPrepare to pick your jaws up off the floor! BET’s revival of former CW series The Game premiered to a whopping 7.7 million viewers last night. That’s right, 7.7 million viewers — a figure that is sure to be making other cable and network execs salivate right now. The number is stunning because when the sitcom — which is produced by Kelsey Grammer and stars Tia Mowry Hardrict (right) as the wife of a football star — last aired on The CW during the 2008-09 season, it only mustered a measly 1.8 million viewers, which ultimately led to the show’s cancellation by the fledgling network. (Its Friday night time slot didn’t help either.) BET’s new comedy Let’s Stay Together saw its series debut last night, right after The Game, and drew a very healthy 4.4 million viewers. The lesson of these successes? A little promotion can go a long way, especially when your network isn’t cluttered with tons of other originals.

More ratings news:
TBS: We’ll air ‘Conan’ forever at these ratings (but O’Brien says he has other plans)
‘No Ordinary Family’ and ‘V’ take big hits: ‘NCIS’ franchise enjoys another great night
BCS National Championship most-watched cable program ever

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