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Being Mary Jane wrapped its third season on BET on Tuesday — and it continues to be a ratings force to be reckoned with at the cable network.
Prior to the finale, Being Mary Jane was averaging 2.54 million viewers for the channel in live-plus-three day stats, a lift of 55 percent. Its 18-49 score has also been disproportionately strong. With north of 1.3 million viewers in the key demo, it has had Top 5 status on cable behind such juggernauts as The Walking Dead and American Horror Story: Hotel — and beaten buzzy shows such as Fargo.
For its entire three-season run, Being Mary Jane has also ranked as the No. 1 scripted cable series among black viewers in the 18-49 window. But the Gabrielle Union starrer, recently nominated for four NAACP Image Awards, has yet to be renewed for a fourth season.
It might seem curious when you consider the show’s previous renewals all came early, but the period since the launch of Being Mary Jane has seen creator and showrunner Mara Brock Akil’s profile skyrocket. Alongside husband (and frequent Being Mary Jane director) Salim Akil, the duo recently inked an overall deal with Warner Bros. Television — effectively ending their tenure at BET once the move is official in May. If Being Mary Jane goes on, a new showrunner will have to be found, with Mara Brock Akil shifting into an executive consultant role.
At present, Being Mary Jane and Real Husbands of Hollywood are the lone scripted players on the network — the latter created by and starring comedy heavyweight Kevin Hart. But BET is making more moves in the space while maintaining its fondness for reality. Next year will see the launch of Brandy vehicle Zoë Ever After, a multi-camera sitcom that marks the cabler’s biggest swing in the scripted space since Being Mary Jane and Real Husbands came on the scene in 2013.
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