*Coby Bell was nestled deep into the explosive world of USA Network’s “Burn Notice” in Miami when he got the call that his cancelled CW series, “The Game,” had not only been revived by BET for a new 2011 season, but was moving its set from Los Angeles to the ATL.
“I lucked out this season. ‘Burn Notice’ ended like a week and a half before ‘The Game’ had started. So I went straight from blowing people up in Miami to hopefully making people laugh in Atlanta,” he told us during a cast interview. “So it worked out perfectly this time.”
“Burn Notice,” which begins its 5th season tonight at 9, features Bell as Jesse Porter, a counterintelligence expert who was inadvertently “burned” by main character Michael Westen (Jeffrey Donovan), a spy who was himself burned, and has assembled a team to help him track down the person who gave the order.
Getting a burn notice from an intelligence agency means you were so reckless during a failed mission that they must now erase all evidence of your existence – bank accounts, work history, whole identity – for the sake of national security.
Last season, Jesse ended up joining Michael’s team, hoping to find and kill the ones responsible for burning him – not knowing it was his own team leader. When he did find out, Jesse briefly considered killing Michael – but the pair worked out their differences and Jesse remains with the team.
In tonight’s season premiere, Michael is now working alongside his old agency to bring down the people who burned him – and the trail leads them to the heart of Venezuela. [Scroll down to watch the promo.]
Bell, meanwhile, appears to have his employment situation set for at least one more season on both shows. In April 2010, “Burn Notice” was renewed for two seasons through 2012, while BET’s original programming president Loretha Jones announced this past April that “The Game” will be back for season 5.
And to think, the 36-year-old from California’s O.C. was actually concerned that returning to “The Game” after a near two-year hiatus would be a challenge.
“I was worried about it the first day of work. Was I going to be able to jump right back into Jason,” he said of his character, retired pro football player Jason Pitts. “But it was like some old comfy shoes, man. It was like PJs.”
In the bonus audio below, cast members Wendy Raquel Robinson, Tia Mowry and executive producer Mara Brock Akil all chime in on the ease of coming back for season 4.