BET nears deal to resurrect 'The Game'

Creator's husband expected to take over as showrunner

BET is inching closer to finalizing the deals for a new "Game."

The cable network is expected to announce at its upfront presentation this month that it is resurrecting the CW sitcom with original episodes.

The majority of the cast of "The Game," created by Mara Brock Akil, are expected to return.

Because the options on the actors had expired following the show's cancellation in May, BET had to negotiate new deals with them.

The network is expected to take lead in the production of the new episodes, with CBS Studios, which was behind "Game" when it was on CW, licensing the show to BET.

Also, "Game" is expected to have a new showrunner, Salim Akil, who will take over for his wife, Brock Akil.

Brock Akil will be an executive producer on the series. She serves as a consulting producer on ABC's freshman comedy "Cougar Town."

Salim Akil, who also will be an executive producer on "Game," was the main director on the show while it was on CW, helming 45 episodes, and co-wrote an episode with his wife. He previously did a stint as exec producer showrunner on Showtime's "Soul Food."

"Game," a spinoff from the long-running "Girlfriends," which the ICM-repped Brock Akil also created, was canceled in May after three seasons and after Brock Akil pitched the network an hourlong version of the show.

Following the cancellation, BET began preliminary talks with CBS Studios about possibly taking in the series with new originals. The cable net already runs repeats of "Game" and "Girlfriends."

BET's only previous stab at launching an original scripted series was the 2008 comedy "Somebodies," which ran for one season.