gabrielle-union*Gabrielle Union may have lost out to Kerry Washington for the chance to play “Scandal’s” Olivia Pope, but the recently engaged actress has found a character just as engaging via her new show “Being Mary Jane.”

The hour-long series, BET’s first drama, centers on Mary Jane Paul (Union), a CNN-type anchor who juggles professional and family issues while searching for Mr. Right. Since the network attracted more than six million people when it aired a 90-minute film version of “Being Mary Jane” in July, anticipation for the show has built to a healthy frenzy.

Despite the positive reaction, BET opted to build hype for the show by waiting six months to air the show’s debut. For Union, Mary Jane was just what the doctor order in terms of finding a role that she could truly sink her teeth into.

“I read this script and thought, ‘I can be good at this, this is in my wheelhouse.’ “The role challenged me in a way that I was ready for,” the entertainer told AccessAtlanta.com as she revealed that Mary Jane’s professional personal was modeled after former CNN anchor Soledad O’Brien. “She’s the barometer for black female journalists with integrity and compassion that are well respected.”

Although Mary Jane seems to have it all, Union is quick to point out that her character is no saint as she works at a channel that is “”fifth out of five news networks struggling for ratings.” That results in Mary Jane being dogmatic and sanctimonious at work while displaying anger and resentment towards the family members she helps support. All this, in addition to a history of making poor choices when it comes to men.

As fans gear up for the return of “Being Mary Jane, Union acknowledging the love given to show as well as the hard work that allowed everyone involved to enjoy the accolades.

“It goes into our source of pride,” the actor. “We weren’t surprised. We were prepared. We knew we did good work. But the series makes the pilot look bad. It’s so good! If you love the pilot, you’ll gag for the series.”

“Being Mary Jane” will premiere tonight at 10pm E/P (and every  Tuesday) on BET. For more details regarding the show,  click on the video below: