BET has set a new producing team on its popular drama series Being Mary Jane starring Gabrielle Union. Will Packer has come on board as executive producer, while The Good Wife co-executive producer Erica Shelton Kodish has been tapped as executive producer/showrunner for the upcoming fourth season.
Being Mary Jane was created and executive produced by The Game creator Mara Brock Akil and executive produced and directed by Salim Akil. The two last August signed an overall deal with Warner Bros TV, which starts this month. The two are retaining their executive producer credit on the BET series but will be focusing on their new duties at WBTV. Will Packer Productions will partner with BET and Akil Productions to produce the fourth season of Being Mary Jane, which was ordered in January. Korin D. Huggins, Head of Television for Will Packer Productions, will oversee for the company. Production on the new season is set to begin in Atlanta later this year.
Packer and Shelton Kodish join Union, Mara Brock Akil and Salim Akil as executive producers and co-executive producer Jeff Morrone.
Being Mary Jane follows the sometimes disastrous personal and professional life of news anchor Mary Jane Paul (Union). Richard Roundtree, Margaret Avery, Richard Brooks, Lisa Vidal, B.J. Britt, Aaron Spears, Latarsha Rose and Stephen Bishop co-star.
“Being Mary Jane is full of characters and stories about which BET viewers are passionate. We knew it would take special talent to further this very important mission and we’re lucky to have found them in this dynamic duo,” said Stephen Hill, President of Programming, BET Networks. “Will’s a master producer and storyteller and Erica is a dynamic writer whose experience in developing complex, multi-dimensional women makes her the ideal scribe to continue Mary Jane’s journey.”
Packer, who executive produces the upcoming A+E Roots miniseries and ABC comedy series Uncle Buck, has produced eight No. 1 films – Ride Along 2, No Good Deed, Ride Along, Think Like A Man Too, Think Like A Man, Takers, Obsessed and Stomp The Yard. “It’s an amazing time to be involved in producing great television and this is the rare opportunity to work with Gab, who I think is one of the best actresses doing it today, whom I also consider family,” Packer said. “BET is a tremendous partner and Erica has the perfect skill set to handle a show of this magnitude.”
Shelton Kodish recently wrapped the final season of The Good Wife as co-executive producer. Her previous producing credits include Covert Affairs, Hawthorne and Cold Case. “I’m honored to have an opportunity to partner with Will Packer, Gabrielle Union, and BET to create stories for Being Mary Jane,” said Shelton Kodish. “Mara Brock Akil has created a show that has a unique ability to address issues relevant to black women and I’m thrilled to be in a position to tell those stories.”
Packer is repped by CAA and Ziffren Brittenham. Shelton Kodish is repped by CAA, Helena Heyman at Industry Entertainment, and attorney Bruce Gellman.
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