The event started with a delicious brunch at the SLS Hotel in Beverly Hills on May 27, followed by a screening of the drama-packed first two episodes of season 9.
After the screening, stars Coby Bell, Wendy Raquel Robinson, Hosea Chanchez, Brittany Daniel, Lauren London and Jay Ellis joined us for mimosas and conversation.
I had the opportunity to speak with some of the cast members and ask their feelings about the end of the series.
Beautiful actress Lauren London said, “This is our business, our business is about coming in, having relationships, building relations and then culminating…ending it. That’s what life is. I kind of just accept it and I’m grateful for the experience.”
London has a five-year old son with rapper Lil Wayne, and I asked her how difficult it is balancing motherhood and her acting career, she said, “I am very blessed to have family that help me with my baby, so he’s not with a stranger or someone he doesn’t know. I have aunts. I have my mom and my best friend that travels with me. I am surrounded by women and men that I’ve grown up with that completely support me and my baby so he’s always around someone that loves him. I don’t go longer than a week without seeing him, when I’m working. It’s something I have to do. I want him to see a woman that’s strong and working, and it is a juggling act but I look at so many women that have done it before me. My momma had three jobs and me, if they can do it, I can do it too.”
Brittany Daniel said the following about the series end , “I have such mixed feelings about it. Some days I feel sad to think that I’m not going to see some of my best friends everyday because, honestly, I’ve never worked with such an amazing group of people, and some of these people have become some of my closest friends…. And then other days I feel super grateful that we had 10 years together and over 100 episodes that we can show our kids forever. “
“I can’t be really sad,” Coby Bell said. “I’m grateful, I mean, you can’t really complain about a show running for nine years, there’s really zero to complain about. I’m just happy that I was lucky enough to be on that show, and to touch (all the lives) of the people that watch it because, ya know, it’s in their house, it’s a part of their life, it makes them laugh, and that’s a cool thing”
When I asked Jay Ellis what fans can expect this season, he replied, “For all these characters you see a tremendous amount of growth in ten episodes. You see these seven people be the person you always wanted them to be.”
The delightful Wendy Raquel Robinson said fans are “going to see a lot of twists and turns but they all come together. I’m not going to say it ends up in a wonderful bow and its wrapped up and here’s your present, but you’re going to see a lot of full-circleness and conclusions.”
I asked Wendy how her sassy character Tasha is similar to her real life persona: “(Tasha) speaks all of the thoughts that I have but I’ll send it in an email, or a nice little text message. She’s a straight shooter, and I love it. I think we need more Tasha’s in the world and then there’d be less blurred lines,” she said.
“The Game” was created by Mara Brock Akil and premiered on The CW October 1, 2006. After three seasons, the series was canceled by the network in 2009. BET struck a deal with parent company CBS to develop new episodes, relocating taping of the show from Los Angeles to Atlanta, and announcing its renewal in April 2010.
I asked Coby about his initial reaction to the show’s renewal and he said, “I was really happy because I remember feeling like I wasn’t done being that guy and telling these stories.” He went on to say, “I always felt there was more of a cult following than The CW was giving us credit for having. Then once BET got a hold of it, just the reruns, and started doing the marathons, and then I start getting recognized more and more on the street and you’re like “whoa-whoa, something’s happening,” and it was all because of the way BET did it. What they did was genius. They saw it for what it was, marathoned-after-marathoned it, and by the time it was time to make new episodes everyone was so hyped about it. I didn’t think it was going to do that big in numbers.”
“The Game” returned for a fourth season on January 11, 2011, with a record-breaking 7.7 million viewers.
On October 6, 2014, BET announced the show’s ninth, and final, season.
Season 9 continues to explore the world of the San Diego Sabers through the eyes of its beloved characters, while bringing back some fan favorites to stir up the drama.
The final season kicks off Wednesday, June 3, at 10pm ET/PT; the 90-minute Series finale airs July 29 at 9 P.M. ET/PT on BET.
Visit BET.com for more info.