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Mara Brock Akil‘s Being Mary Jane wrapped another winning season for BET on Tuesday night. The drama still ranks as the network’s top-rated show in its extended sophomore run, and its dominance in the cable arena puts it ahead of such neighboring Tuesday dramas as OWN’s The Haves and the Have Nots and FX’s outgoing Justified.
The latest live-plus-7 returns for BET’s Gabrielle Union starrer have it averaging 2.6 million weekly viewers, 1.7 million of them adults 18-49. Where Being Mary Jane holds a particular advantage is among black women 18-49. Of the 1.7 million adults in the age group, 1.1 million of them are black women — making it the No. 1 scripted series on all of cable with its core audience.
BET quickly ordered a third season of Being Mary Jane, from Akil and fellow EP/husband Salim Akil, back in February. To say that the rest of the television community has come around to black-fronted scripted programming and black audiences in the time since would be an understatement. The runaway success of Fox’s Empire brought broadcast ratings records and a scramble to make next years’ new series more diverse.
But for BET, this is nothing new. Being Mary Jane set network records when it debuted in 2013 as a TV movie. The 90-minute opener averaged a then-unprecedented 2.0 rating with adults 18-49 and 4 million viewers — and that was before any time-shifting.
Being Mary Jane returns in 2016.
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