BET Taps Will Packer, Erica Shelton Kodish to Take Over 'Being Mary Jane'

The pair take over the network's flagship drama from departing Mara Brock Akil and Salim Akil.
Courtesy of Guy D'Alema

BET has set a new leadership team for Being Mary Jane. The cable network's flagship drama, thrown a bit of a curveball by creators and executive producers Mara Brock Akil and Salim Akil leaving for a production deal at Warner Bros. TV, welcomes Will Packer and Erica Shelton Kodish for the upcoming fourth season.

The Akils' departure was one reason why the network waited a little longer than normal to confirm the fourth season, said BET Networks president of programming Stephen Hill: “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. Will’s a master producer and storyteller, and Erica is a dynamic writer whose experience in developing complex, multidimensional women makes her the ideal scribe to continue Mary Jane’s journey. We look forward to sharing this next chapter of the series with our audience.”

Per the setup, Packer will now serve as executive producer. His deep roster at the moment also includes A&E's anticipated Roots reboot, the Ride Along and Think Like a Man films, and upcoming ABC comedy Uncle Buck. Erica Shelton Kodish, fresh off of the final season of The Good Wife, joins as showrunner and executive producer. Being Mary Jane still counts star Gabrielle Union and the Akils as executive producers as well.

“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," said Packer. "BET is a tremendous partner, and Erica has the perfect skill set to handle a show of this magnitude."

“I’m honored to have an opportunity to partner with Will Packer, Gabrielle Union, and BET to create stories for Being Mary Jane,” added by Erica 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 at CAA, with Helena Heyman at Industry Entertainment, and attorney Bruce Gellman.

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