BET Playing A Different Game

When BET announced their plans to order original episodes of the failed CW sitcom The Game in April 2010, no one was particularly shocked. BET’s interest had been widely documented by media outlets, and syndicated reruns of the series had performed strongly for the network. More surprising was BET’s ability to retain the entire cast of the series and the services of its showrunner, given the nearly year long gap between The CW’s initial decision to cancel the show and their own renewal announcement.

On Tuesday night, The Game made its triumphant return, breaking several records in the process. Not only did The Game’s ratings improve, they more than quadrupled from the show’s 3rd season average. 7.7 million tuned in for the show’s basic cable debut, enough to make it the #1 Ad-Supported Sitcom Telecast in basic cable history. Moreover, the show ranked #2 overall for the 10pm hour, behind only CBS’ The Good Wife. This unprecedented turn events left many industry pundits,  myself included, scratching their heads. What does the success of The Game mean for television as a whole? Read more of this post