April 18, 2011 12:00pm PT by Lacey Rose
BET Renews 'The Game,' 'Let’s Stay Together'
Much like sister-network MTV, BET will continue its focus on scripted series.
The network is set to announce at Wednesday’s upfront presentation in New York that it has renewed its ratings juggernaut The Game for a fifth season. The news comes as little surprise after the series’ 13-episode run lifted the net to record heights, luring 7.7 million to its season premiere. Through viewership tapered off, the shows, which was rescued by BET after the CW cancelled it in 2009, garnered a still impressive 4.4 million for its finale.
Elsewhere on the BET schedule, the net has also picked up a second season of its comedy Let’s Stay Together. Though it failed to garner Game numbers, the Queen Latifah-produced series averaged nearly 3 million viewers over the course of the season.
Joining the pairing is Reed Between the Lines, which has been picked up to series. The comedy stars Tracee Ellis Ross (Girlfriends) as a woman who is juggling being a mom, wife and successful psychiatrist. Kellie Griffin (House of Payne) is attached to write.
Thus far this year, the 31-year-old network, which was acquired by Viacom in 2000, has averaged a 0.4 rating among the advertiser-beloved 18 to 49 demo, up from a 0.3 rating half a decade earlier. Come fall, it will have competition from Bounce TV, a recently announced African American broadcast effort from Martin Luther King III and former Atlanta Mayor Andrew Young designed to attract the otherwise underserved audience.