EXCLUSIVE: Thirteen years after it helped launch the CW, The Game is eying a return to the broadcast network. The CW is developing a one-hour followup series to the 2006 half-hour comedy from the original series’ creator Mara Brock Akil and American Soul co-creator Devon Greggory.
Written by Akil and Greggory, the new incarnation of The Game will have a new East Coast setting. The Idea is for some of the original cast members to come back for what would be The Game‘s second revival. Here are details about the sequel’s premise:
The Game family was coasting to retirement but they heard the call of the fans to make a comeback… and like the record-breaking winners they are, they decided to pick up and move from a half-hour sitcom in San Diego to a one-hour dramedy in Baltimore. This time, our out-of-touch old-timers are determined to help a bunch of knuckle-head new-schoolers navigate the ruthless game of football on and off the field. They will clash through the pitfalls of fame, fortune and love. Some will win, others will lose, but that’s what happens when you play The Game.
Greggory, who will serve as showrunner, executive produces with original The Game executive producers Mara Brock Akil, Salim Akil and Kelsey Grammer as well as Tom Russo of Grammnet NH Productions. Grammer’s Grammnet and CBS TV Studios, which were behind the original series, are producing the offshoot.
The Game, a spinoff from Akil’s long-running UPN/the CW comedy series Girlfriends, ran on the CW for three seasons before being canceled when the network got out of the half-hour comedy business. The show was later resurrected by BET where it aired for six more seasons.
The hourlong new incarnation is the latest step in the evolution of The Game, which started as a multi-camera sitcom on the CW and became a single-camera half-hour comedy with drama elements on BET.
Akil spoke about the changes at the time of The Game‘s ending.
“I’m really proud of the look of our show, that we took a multi-cam budget and turned it into a single camera show. Its look, its tone, its approach, the characters’ development — that, yes, we were a half-hour comedy but we used our moments to deepen the characters. We also offered drama in a half-hour space. And that was my own personal desire, but it was also reflective of what the audience has been wanting, which is more well-rounded, deeper, richer, layered characters, and they got that in The Game.”
The Game, a pioneer in harnessing the power of social media to energize TV fans, made cable history with the record-breaking audience of 7.7 million who tuned in to the Season 4 premiere that marked The Game’s debut on BET in January 2011.
The CW has been focused on finding female-focused hourlong comedies following the end of Jane the Virgin and Crazy Ex Girlfriend
The network has several reboots on the air, Roswell, New Mexico; Charmed and Dynasty. The CW has been developing a L.A. Complex reboot from the original’s creator Martin Gero and is developing a Walter, Texas Ranger and Kung Fu reboots for next season.
Mara Brock Akil is coming off an overall deal at Warner Bros. TV, which yielded two series, Black Lightning on the CW and Love Is_ on OWN. She is currently exploring her options and fielding interest for a new overall pact.
Greggory previously worked as a writer on Akil’s successful BET drama series Being Mary Jane, which starred Gabrielle Union.