EXCLUSIVE: BET’s signature drama series, Being Mary Jane, starring Gabrielle Union, is coming to an end. The network has ordered a two-hour movie, which will serve as a series finale. It will air in 2018.
A series finale movie makes for a full circle, giving Being Mary Jane fitting bookends. The series started with a highly-rated TV movie, which drew 4 million viewers for its July 2013 premiere, jump-starting the series, which premiered the following January
The decision to go with a movie in lieu of a fifth-season pickup comes three weeks after Being Mary Jane‘s Season 4 finale aired on Sept. 19. Union, who stars as successful TV news anchor Mary Jane Paul, is set to return for the finale. It is unclear yet who else from the cast will be back, with the movie’s producing team also TBD. For the first three seasons, Being Mary Jane was run by creator Mara Brock Akil who, along with her husband/fellow Being Mary Jane executive producer Salim Akil, left last year for an overall deal at Warner Bros. TV. (They remained as exec producers.) Erica Shelton Kodish, who served as showrunner on the supersized, 20-episode Season 4, which she executive produced alongside fellow new addition Will Packer, recently departed for an overall deal at CBS TV Studios.
“Being Mary Jane has been a landmark series not only for BET, but for African American women around the world who saw themselves in Mary Jane, her family, friends and coworkers. From the captivating storytelling, to the richly complex characters, to the powerful issues tackled on the series, we remain immensely proud,” said Connie Orlando, EVP and Head of Programming, BET Networks. “We are grateful to the cast and creators of Being Mary Jane, who have worked tirelessly to bring this world to vivid life over the past 4 seasons. We also thank the many loyal viewers whose hearts and minds were captured every week, and kept Mary Jane trending worldwide. We look forward to closing out Mary Jane’s journey with a series finale that is sure to blow fans away!”
Season 4 of Being Mary Jane was executive produced by Packer and Shelton Kodish who joined Union, Mara Brock Akil and Salim Akil as executive producers, with Jeff Morrone co-executive producing for BET, Will Packer Productions and Akil Productions. Korin D. Huggins, Head of Television for Will Packer Prods., oversaw for the company.
While it’s pretty rare because it is an expensive proposition, a few series have gotten a series finale movie to wrap up their storylines. The list includes Hello Ladies on HBO, CSI on CBS and Sense8 on Netflix.
The end of Being Mary Jane leaves BET’s drama The Quad, which is coming back. There has been no renewal decision yet on fellow freshmen Tales and Rebel. BET’s scripted series portfolio recently got a boost with two high-profile transfers from VH1, The Breaks and Hit the Floor. On the comedy side, new BET series The Comedy Get Down premieres tonight.