BET's "Being Mary Jane" Full Cast Revealed (Margaret Avery, Robbine Lee, Richard Brooks, Aaron Spears + Others)

Television
by Vanessa Martinez
April 24, 2012 8:00 PM
10 Comments
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Margaret Avery

We last announced Latarsha RoseLisa Vidal, Aaron D. Spears and Richard Roundtree, along with Omari Hardwick, as Gabrielle Union's love interest for the upcoming Mara Brock Akil/Salim Akil's BET pilot series Being Mary Jane.

Joining the ensemble cast now are  Margaret Avery, Richard Brooks, Stephen Bishop, Raven Goodwin, Robinne Lee and Aaron Spears. Quite an impressive cast there! By the way, casting for Being Mary Jane is being handled by casting director Twinkie Byrd (SparkleWoman Thou Art Loosed: On The 7th Day, others), who Tambay interviewed about a month ago. You can read that interview HERE.

See the full press release below: 

NEW YORK, NY – April 24, 2012- Being Mary Jane, the highly anticipated hour long BET pilot, from Mara Brock Akil and Salim Akil of Akil Productions, the husband-and-wife duo behind the cable network’s hit comedy series The Game, has completed the final cast.  The show stars actress Gabrielle Union (Bring It OnDaddy’s Little Girl), Omari Hardwick(For Colored Girls,The A-Team), Tika Sumpter(Gossip Girl, One Life To Live, The Game), BJ Britt (Vampire Diaries), Lisa Vidal (Star Trek) and Richard Roundtree (Shaft, The Mentalist)amongst others. With production starting April 23rd, Being Mary Jane is the first program under the mega production pact Akil Productions signed with BET in May 2011.

A show unlike any other drama on television, Being Mary Jane is an opportunity to explore the life of a statistic often reported but never explored. Written by The Game creator Mara Brock Akil, Being Mary Jane chronicles the work, social and family life of a successful African American career woman who has achieved a decorated career as the host of a fast paced 24-hour national cable news network.  As Mary Jane juggles her life, her work and her commitment to family, viewers follow how far she’s willing to go to find those puzzle pieces that she, and society, insist are missing from her life as a single black female. Rounding out the afore mentioned all-star cast will be Margaret Avery, Richard Brooks, Stephen Bishop, Raven Goodwin, Latarsha Rose, Robinne Lee and Aaron Spears.

“I am elated to bring this project to life.  As so many powerful, smart and educated black women continue to do amazing things in the world, the complex balance of success, family, love, and companionship, is something all of us can relate to,” comments creator Mara Brock Akil.

In addition to producing alongside his wife, Salim Akil (The GameJumping The Broom), will direct Being Mary Jane.

Represented by Andrea Nelson Meigs of ICM and attorney Stephen Barnes, the Akils are the team behind the highly anticipated Sony movie, Sparkle, which is set to debut this August.

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10 Comments

  • james evans from the cabrini-green projects | April 25, 2012 11:34 PMReply

    Bottome line: Akils make money, actors get a little heat. One year from now they all wonder why they're not more popular (outside of BET). Fast answer: check writing and direction. Refer to entire cast of "Girlfirends" for frame of reference. Meantime, true congrats to BMJ cast on working gig. Tough biz.

  • Cherish | April 25, 2012 9:40 AMReply

    My stomach churns when I hear "successful, educate black women who's single." I can predict that the following topics will be covered in the first 4 episodes of this show: issues re black men chasing white/non-black women, a white (or latino) guy shows interests then discussions on black women interracial dating, educated brothas vs. blue collar brothas, and black women and their "bad attitudes." Throw a quick discussion on natural vs. relaxer hair/weaves for good measure. I wish I could say I'm very insightful but this has been the MO on shows re single black females for almost a decade now.

  • CareyCarey | April 25, 2012 11:38 PM

    Yeah Cherish, they were action flicks, but I believe the overall message speaks to a "formula" that must be present when black characters are on the screen, regardless of the genre. And, I am suggesting that if the formula does not adhere to "industry standard" rules... well... if your black, step back. Anyway, I still don't know why those white guys were in this movie? Maybe the director can tell us the thoughts behind that move? Hey, I just finished watching Pariah. If you've seen it, what's your thought? I know I am switching gears but it's sort of related to this discussion. Many say it's a great film, so why will it not see hugh numbers?

  • Cherish | April 25, 2012 10:52 PM

    Carey, I saw TLAM and was disappointed with the white guy cast opposite Gabby Union as well. Why can't we sistas get a fine white guy? LOL. And the other dude, it was interesting that his character as well, not to give too much away. Along with the awkward casting of the White guys, the black/white jokes weren't too cute as well. But re black/white combinations, the ones you cited were action movies, most of them. I think it depends on the genre, maybe studios and White audiences are comfortable with the Black guy being the Alpha action guy, so they rather see him "tempered" with a White guy.

  • CareyCarey | April 25, 2012 1:25 PM

    Yep Cherish... you've found a formula that seems to be the "right" formula. But there's one director who never played that card, Spike Lee. Well, yesterday I watched 3 movies, two of which were Mo Better Blues and Salon. In Salon, one of the storylines was exactly what you're talking about. But as I was watching Denzel's romance scenes in "Mo Better" (Cynda Williams & Joie Lee), I thought to myself "yeah, Spike is the man and there's no one even close". But damnit, on a similar note, I was reading an article that spoke of the need for white people to ahh... well... read this-->"Apparently, the neural network ran the numbers on movies that paired black and white leads —"Lethal Weapon," "The Crying Game" "Independence Day," "Men in Black," "Die Another Day," "The Pelican Brief"—and found that the black-white combination could increase box-office revenue". So Cherish, maybe the basic formula says we need white people - huh? That reminds me, what was the purpose of the two white dudes in TLaM??? They were the worst actors and why or why was the short one cast as Gabrielle Union's love interest?

  • Melly | April 25, 2012 12:41 PM

    LOL!! I watch AA shows here in Africa and you are spot on. Black women with huge booties and weave who supposedly cant find a man, muscular black men with goatees who ain't giving them the time of day, one white girl as a foil, gay white guy hairdresser and eventually... the one dimensional white knight from Australia(who lasts for 3 eppies before the cycle is repeated).

  • Ray | April 25, 2012 2:12 AMReply

    I can't like, I AM happy for the Akils, and will be tuning in, BUT I just can't stomach the name of this show. It just gives a bad first impression w/out seeing it in my opinion. "Mary Jane" is just a dumb name to go with a show like this. Also, I wish BET would give more black creatives a chance to create. And that's no shade towards the Akils, I'm just saying, it would be nice to see another quality show come from other creators out there, to create a new dynamic.

  • Ray | April 25, 2012 2:13 AM

    I mean to start that off by saying "I can't lie" as opposed to "I can't like".... my bad

  • the black police | April 24, 2012 9:06 PMReply

    I'm excited to see something new BUT come one wasnt Girlfriends about the same thing? Even The Game. I'm curious to see how this will be different!

    In any case, great cast.

  • woh | April 24, 2012 8:28 PMReply

    Excited.

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