Overtime for 'Game'?

Akil looks to keep show alive with genre switch

"The Game" as an hourlong dramedy? With the CW expected to complete its exit from the half-hour comedy genre at season's end, the creator/executive producer of one of the network's two remaining comedies, "The Game," is mulling turning it into an hourlong series. Mara Brock Akil is expected to pitch the idea to the CW brass this week.

A show switching genres is rare. (In 1999, Fox launched the short-lived "Ally," a half-hour version of David E. Kelley's hit hourlong dramedy "Ally McBeal.") However, for "Game," a transformation makes sense creatively: As a multi-/single-camera series with no live audience, "Game" has a single-camera feel and plays like a half-hour dramedy as it mixes comedy and drama more than a traditional sitcom does.

Still, keeping the 3-year-old "Game" for another season is a long shot. Once a promising newcomer airing behind "Girlfriends," the series that spun it off, "Game," as well as the CW's comedy "Everybody Hates Chris," have been relegated to low-rated Friday night, where "Game" has averaged 1.9 million viewers and a 0.8 rating in adults 18-34 this season.

Additionally, an hourlong "Game" wouldn't necessarily mesh well with the CW's other dramas, which skew younger and less urban. A format switch after three seasons also would complicate any syndication run. (partialdiff)