In this era of peak TV, there are too many shows to count, so any series that successfully makes it through four seasons should wear that honor proudly. The Gabrielle Union-starring drama Being Mary Jane, which wrapped Season 4 last month, has now been cancelled by BET instead of earning a Season 5 renewal. But it's not necessarily all bad news for fans, as the cable channel's execs have decided to let the series come to a planned conclusion via a TV movie set to air in 2018.
Many of the details behind Being Mary Jane's TV movie are still under wraps, but it's known that Gabrielle Union will definitely be back to reprise her beast-mode role of TV news anchor Mary Jane Paul. (Would this conclusion-centered project even exist without her?) That said, it's still up in the air which fellow castmates will return for the big finale, and it's not even clear who will be around on the producer side of things. Not to mention zero details existing at this point concerning the storyline itself.
While it's not entirely clear yet why BET is choosing to go with a TV movie over a full final season, it might have something to do with the changes that went on behind the scenes going into and coming out of Season 4. After Season 3, creator Mara Brock Akil stepped down as showrunner and, along with her husband/co-executive producer Salim Akil, entered into an overall deal with Warner Bros., for whom they're putting together The CW's super-drama Black Lightning; both remained on in an executive producer capacity. The replacement showrunner for the extended Season 4 run, Erica Shelton Kodish, left the show not long ago to enter her own overall deal, with this one happening at CBS. So perhaps all involved thought it best to close the story out without needing to find another ship captain to carry on an entire season.
Here's what BET Networks Head of Programming and Executive Vice President Connie Orlando said about it, according to Deadline.
We are grateful to the cast and creators of Being Mary Jane, who have worked tirelessly to bring this world to vivid life over the past 4 seasons. We also thank the many loyal viewers whose hearts and minds were captured every week, and kept Mary Jane trending worldwide. We look forward to closing out Mary Jane's journey with a series finale that is sure to blow fans away!
Though a TV movie close-out is a rarer option for most shows, with networks generally choosing to order shortened final seasons or nothing at all, it happens more often on cable channels than broadcast networks. Plus, it makes total sense for Being Mary Jane, which actually began life on BET as a TV movie. And a heavily watched one, too, with its 2013 debut raking in viewers ahead of its midseason debut in early 2014. But while the early seasons achieved impressive numbers, those stats dipped dramatically for the 20-episode Season 4, which rarely topped one million viewers per episode.
Being Mary Jane is already getting fans hyped about the finale movie, too. Check out this post that went up after the announcement was made.
While this cancellation is certainly a bummer for fans, maybe we can get a 10 Things I Hate About You update once Gabrielle Union has some more free time on her schedule. Until then, though, check out everything that'll be hitting your TVs prior to Being Mary Jane's TV movie by using our fall premiere schedule.