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‘The Game’ Airs Its 100th Episode Minus Tia Mowry-Hardrict

BET's The GameWhen a primary character leaves a TV show, the question always comes: Will fans stick around?

BET’s “The Game,” shot in Atlanta at EUE Screen Gems, is facing that question as season No. 6 began Tuesday night with the airing of its 100th episode.

Tia Mowry-Hardrict chose to depart last year so they wrote her character, Melanie, off the show by indicating she decided to resume her work at Johns Hopkins so she could become a full-fledged doctor. Her pro wide receiver husband Derwin, played by Pooch Hall, was against her decision at first, but then came around.

Conveniently, he is traded to the team in Baltimore, which is where Johns Hopkins is located. It’s unclear if Mowry-Hardrict will pop up at all this season.

“Tia is like my little sister,” said Wendy Raquel Robinson, who plays sassy manager Tasha Mack. She and several of the other actors met me at the Buckhead Mandarin Oriental, where they were shooting the 100th episode last fall. “I kind of look at it as a parallel to sports. We’re trading her out for a new draft pick. Hopefully, this will enable to us re-energize the show. I’m excited to see [the exiting actors] do greater things. We’re that little engine that could. We keep going and going.”

She isn’t perturbed that ratings have slipped a bit since it arrived on BET two years ago. “I’ve never been a ratings girl,” she said. “I don’t pay attention to that.”

The show has brought in Lauren London and Jay Ellis as two new characters to effectively replace Hall and Mowry-Hardrict. Lauren plays a former child star trying to revive her career. Ellis plays a cocky new wide receiver who graduated from Stanford.

Coby Bell, who plays team captain Jason Pitts, said the changes “will take some getting used to. We’re going to miss them a lot but we’re looking foward to Lauren and Jay. We have their backs. Our jobs right now is to make them feel comfortable.”

Read more: Rodney Ho, AJC/AccessAtlanta

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