“The Game” fans voiced their opinions on May 13 after an announcement that the hit series would be returning with some of its original cast members, including Wendy Raquel Robinson, who played Tasha Mack, and Hosea Chanchez as Malik Wright.
According to Deadline, Paramount+ has given “The Game” a ten-episode series order, which will include new cast members as well as special appearances from undisclosed members from the original cast. The show will also relocate from San Diego, California, to Las Vegas, Nevada. The new series premise will focus on racism, sexism, classism, and more as they tackle the ins and outs of the football world.
Following the announcement, both Raquel Robinson and Chanchez took to their respective Instagram accounts to thank the fans. Raquel Robinson said,”Ok pinch me! It’s Fa’Real y’all! Pretty freaking amazing to see the awesomeness of God! 3 different networks 3 reincarnations, 3 re-imaginings of our ‘Little Engine That Could’🌹 I’m so thank-full for this journey that began almost 18 years ago!” As Chanchez wrote, “This has been a secret for a while, but now the cats OFFICIALLY out the bag! Fans, friends and supporters we owe this to YOU!”
“The Game,” a “Girlfriends” spinoff, was a show about a group of women who have relationships with professional football players. It premiered in 2006 on The CW with cast members Tia Mowry (Melanie “Med School” Barnett), Pooch Hall (Derwin “Ding-Dong” Davis), Coby Bell (Jason Pitts), Brittany Daniels (Kelly Pitts) alongside Robinson, and Chanchez. The series lasted for three seasons on that network until The CW canceled it in 2009. Two years following its cancellation, BET network picked up the show for a fourth season, where it aired until its ninth and final season in 2015. “The Game” renewal brought back the original cast and added new members along the way, including Brandy (Chardonnay Pitts), Lauren London (Keira Whitaker), and Jay Ellis (Bryce ‘Blue’ Westbrook).
Mowry and Hall left the series in 2012 after season 5. Following this week’s announcement many people said if it didn’t include the original cast members like Mowry and Hall they do not want it.
“Where tf Med School and Ding Dong at🤨.”
“If the WHOLE ORIGINAL CAST aint coming back … they can keep this‼️”
“If Ding Dong and Med school not coming back I don’t want it.. Also we need Jason Pitts.”
“Bring it back from season 3 if ain’t that we don’t want cause that other stuff was terrible 😭.”
“They need all the original cast for this to work… it went left when it went to BET. Pay them all what they worth and bring back good television.”
Mowry announced that she was leaving “The Game” in May 2012. The actress shared the news on her Twitter page, claiming her departure stemmed from other “upcoming projects” that she was working on at the time, including her reality show with sister Tamera Mowry, and the release of her book “Oh, Baby!”
Days later, Mowry reiterated the same statement that she and the network came to a “mutual decision” of her departure as she appeared on “Sway in the Morning,” denying any allegations she’d been fired from the show. She said, “Right now, I can tell you it was a mutual decision, and I have so many other things going on right now. I have ‘Tia and Tamera,’ which is a hit on Style [Network]. I have a book, ‘Oh Baby!’ coming out, which is doing very well. I have a movie I just finished with Tori Spelling on ABC Family. Things are going well, and I am happy where I am right now.”
Hall, who also left “The Game” in 2012, claimed in 2017 during an interview with Rolling Out that his part in Showtime’s “Ray Donovan” caused tension with BET. The actor accepted the role of Daryll Donovan the same year he exited the show.
Hall said that although he tried negotiating with BET executives to keep both jobs, they refused to strike a deal with him. “So when we were in negotiating, I kind of was like, ‘Uh-oh,’ because I knew how BET got down and I knew how the producers got down. It’s almost like you have this opportunity that we gave you, we want you to be loyal. It wasn’t like fly, eagle, fly.”
He added as soon as Showtime announced that he was cast, all communication between him and BET “ceased.” “When that s—t hit Deadline, the emails, and phone calls just ceased. It was like crickets. Then my lawyer called and asked has anyone from BET or Business Affairs called you? I was just like, ‘We might as well focus on Showtime because I know what that means.’”
Since then, “The Game” has been airing on streaming platforms such as Netflix — which only has seasons 1-3 — and Hulu. After the series hit Netflix’s Top Ten chart weeks after its premiere last August, Mowry celebrated the success by thanking her fans as she shared a throwback photo of herself and Hall.
The mother of two wrote, “#fbf Thank you so much for the love that I’ve been receiving about #thegame on @netflix! You’ve put this show in the top #10! That’s insane after all these years! Melanie Barnett has been one of my favorite characters to play and I’m forever grateful to have been on such a great show! #melaniebarnett.”