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It’s game on at Paramount+.
The ViacomCBS-backed streamer has handed out a 10-episode series order for a revival of the former BET and CW series The Game. Original stars Wendy Raquel Robinson (LaTasha) and Hosea Chanchez (Malik) will reprise their roles, with other legacy cast members also expected to return. (Chanchez and Robinson were the only original series regular cast members to be with the show for its nine-season run.)
Series creator Mara Brock Akil will also return to exec produce the half-hour series alongside showrunner and writer Devon Greggory (American Soul, Underground), Salim Akil and fellow original exec producers Kelsey Grammer and Tom Russo. The series will again be produced by CBS Studios, Akil Productions and Grammnet NH Productions.
“Fifteen years ago I created The Game and am so proud of the success we had, and that I was able to create characters and stories that resonated with so many people,” said Mara Brock Akil, who signed an overall deal with Paramount+ rival Netflix last year. “I couldn’t be happier about leaving my beloved characters like Tasha Mack and Malik Wright in the hands of Devon, Wendy and Hosea, who I know will build off of the rich foundation the show has.”
The Game originally launched on The CW in 2006. The network, a joint venture between ViacomCBS and Warner Bros. TV, canceled the comedy after three seasons and it moved to CBS sibling BET where its 2011 return made it the most-watched sitcom premiere in cable history. The series, which originally starred Tia Mowry-Hardrict, Brittany Daniel, Chanchez, Coby Bell, Pooch Hall, Robinson, Brandy Norwood, Lauren London and Jay Ellis, wrapped in 2015 after nine seasons. The series is currently streaming on Hulu, Amazon and Paramount+, with Netflix also having the first three seasons.
The new take on The Game will relocate the story from San Diego to Sin City and feature new and returning characters as the series offers a modern-day examination of Black culture through the prism of pro football. Paramount+ said in a release Thursday that the team at the center of the revival will “tackle racism, sexism, classism and more as they fight for fame, fortune, respect and love — all while trying to maintain their souls as they each play the game.”
“From the moment it debuted, The Game was a groundbreaking series that used humor, heart and memorable characters to explore real issues involving race, gender and, of course, football,” said Julie McNamara, exec vp and head of programming at Paramount+. “What better time for Devon and the whole team to reunite for a fresh look at a world that has only become more at-the-center of the cultural conversation today.”
The Game revival was among the projects that the former CBS All Access put into its development pipeline last September. The streamer rebranded earlier this year as Paramount+ as it looks to better compete with other streaming rivals while also reflecting all of the major brands within ViacomCBS. The platform has a mix of originals from the media conglomerate’s ecosystem with revivals of Frasier, Criminal Minds, iCarly, a SpongeBob spinoff, and a Yellowstone prequel among its scripted originals. The slate also includes The Good Fight, the recently ordered Kiefer Sutherland espionage drama, Why Women Kill and Grease: Rise of the Pink Ladies, which it picked up after HBO Max passed on it.
“The Game is a show I faithfully watched, with characters I grew to love, and now I have the honor of guiding them into the future,” said Greggory. “I’m simply thrilled to be hand-selected by Mara, Julie and CBS Studios to take over the creative reins of such an iconic and culturally significant series.”
In addition to The Game, Robinson’s credits include The Steve Harvey Show, Descendants, Dear White People and Insecure. Chanchez, meanwhile, counts Seven Deadly Sins, the Akils’ Black Lightning, All American and Major Crimes.
A premiere date has not yet been determined.
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