Being Mary Jane is an American drama television series created by Mara Brock Akil and starring Gabrielle Union.[1] It debuted January 7, 2014 on BET.[2] The 90-minute-pilot for the series aired on July 2, 2013.[3] The series follows the professional and personal life of successful TV news anchor Mary Jane Paul, who lives in Atlanta and New York City. The series concluded on April 23, 2019.

Being Mary Jane
Created byMara Brock Akil
ComposerKurt Farquhar
Country of originUnited States
Original languageEnglish
No. of seasons5
No. of episodes52 (list of episodes)
Executive producers
Production locationGeorgia
Running time
  • 61 minutes (pilot only)
  • 42 minutes
  • 120 minutes (finale)
Production companies
  • Akil Productions
  • Breakdown Productions
  • Schoolcraft Productions (seasons 4–5)
  • Will Packer Productions (seasons 4–5)
Original release
ReleaseJuly 2, 2013 (2013-07-02) –
April 23, 2019 (2019-04-23)

Being Mary Jane received positive reviews from critics.[4][5] The series premiere drew more than four million viewers, debuting as BET's highest-rated show.[6][7][8] On January 6, 2016, the series was renewed for a fourth season, which premiered on January 10, 2017.[9] It was announced on October 11, 2017, that the series would end. A two-hour film finale was planned to air in 2018, but never came to fruition.[10] On December 7, 2018, BET announced that the film finale date had been pushed back to air on April 16, 2019.[11] On April 1, 2019, it was announced that the film finale date was pushed back a week later to April 23, 2019.[12]

Series overview edit

SeasonEpisodesOriginally aired
First airedLast aired
19July 2, 2013 (2013-07-02)February 25, 2014 (2014-02-25)
212February 3, 2015 (2015-02-03)April 14, 2015 (2015-04-14)
310October 20, 2015 (2015-10-20)December 15, 2015 (2015-12-15)
42010January 10, 2017 (2017-01-10)March 21, 2017 (2017-03-21)
10July 18, 2017 (2017-07-18)September 19, 2017 (2017-09-19)
51April 23, 2019 (2019-04-23)

Cast and characters edit

Main edit

  • Gabrielle Union as Pauletta ("Mary Jane Paul") Patterson: a successful TV news anchor for Satellite News Channel (SNC) who remains devoted to a family that does not share her motivation as she juggles her life, her relationships, her work, and commitments. In season four, Mary Jane leaves Atlanta after getting fired from SNC and moves to New York City to work at Great Day USA as a national news correspondent. She eventually works her way up to get back on the anchor chair.
  • Lisa Vidal as Kara Lynch: the executive producer of Talk Back (Mary Jane's show) at SNC and Mary Jane's best friend.
  • Margaret Avery as Helen Patterson: Mary Jane's overprotective mother, who is battling lupus.
  • Latarsha Rose as Dr. Lisa Hudson (seasons 1–3): Mary Jane's best friend since elementary school, an OB/GYN.
  • Aaron D. Spears as Mark Bradley (seasons 1–3): a co-anchor at the newsroom and the closeted gay friend of Mary Jane.
  • Richard Brooks as Patrick Patterson: Mary Jane's older, less-motivated brother.
  • B. J. Britt as Paul Patterson, Jr.: Mary Jane's responsible younger brother.
  • Raven Goodwin as Niecy Patterson: Mary Jane's niece; Patrick Patterson's daughter, who is also a mother.
  • Richard Roundtree as Paul Patterson, Sr.: Mary Jane's compassionate father.
  • Omari Hardwick as Andre Daniels (season 1): Mary Jane's married love interest[13]
  • Stephen Bishop as David Paulk (recurring, season 1; main, seasons 2–3): Mary Jane's playboy love interest.

Recurring edit

  • Robinne Lee as Avery Daniels (season 1): Andre's wife, who learns of her husband's affair with Mary Jane.
  • Tatom Pender as Tracy: Patrick's girlfriend and mother of their child.
  • Brely Evans as Nichelle: Mary Jane's friend and publicist to the stars.
  • Kelly Rutherford as Cynthia Phillips (seasons 1–2)
  • Navia Robinson (seasons 1–2) and Madison Alsobrook (season 4) as D'Asia: Patrick and Tracy's daughter
  • Ryan Homchick as Lance (seasons 1–3)
  • Salli Richardson as Valerie (season 2) one of Mary Jane's friends who is a doctor.
  • Gary Dourdan as Sheldon (season 2)
  • Kyle Massey as Cameron (season 2) Niecy's ex and the father of their son Treyvion.
  • Loretta Devine as Cece (season 3)
  • Daniella Alonso as Marisol Esparza (season 3)
  • Thomas Jones as Brandon (season 3) one of Mary Jane's lovers
  • Paul Rolfes as Aaron Felty (seasons 3–4) one of the lead co-hosts on Good Day USA
  • Rita Rucker as Chante (seasons 3–4)
  • Michael Ealy as Justin Talbot (season 4) Mary Jane's colleague at Good Day USA and boyfriend and later husband
  • Chiké Okonkwo as Lee Truitt (season 4) Mary Jane's ex-boyfriend
  • Valarie Pettiford as Ronda Sales (season 4) one of the lead co-hosts on Good Day USA
  • Ashton Holmes as Garrett (season 4) the executive producer of Good Day USA
  • Julian Walker as Ty (season 4) Mary Jane's stylist
  • Cesar Cipriano as Dante (season 4) Niecy's ex and father to their daughter Isbell
  • Tian Richards as Jovan (season 4) a mentee to Patrick
  • Nicholas Gonzalez as Orlando Lagos (season 4) Kara's fiancé

Guest stars edit

  1. ^ Christina Vidal plays the sister of Kara, played by her real-life sister Lisa Vidal.

Production edit

The show was originally to be called Single Black Female.[14] The series centers on successful broadcast journalist Mary Jane Paul (played by Gabrielle Union) and her professional and private family life while searching for "Mr. Right":

Mary Jane Paul has it all: she's a successful TV news anchor, entirely self-sufficient – an all-around powerhouse who remains devoted to a family that doesn’t share her motivation. As Mary Jane juggles her life, her work and her commitment to her family, we find out how far she's willing to go to find the puzzle pieces that she, and society, insist are missing from her life as a single Black female.[15]

The series was created and produced by Mara Brock Akil, who also created and produced the hit sitcoms Girlfriends and The Game. The pilot episode was filmed in April 2012 at 780 N. Highland Ave. in the Virginia Highland neighborhood of Atlanta.[16][17][18]

After the third season, creator Mara Brock Akil left the series and Erica Shelton Kodish was hired as the show's new showrunner for the fourth season. Kodish had previously worked as a writer and producer on shows like CSI: NY, Cold Case and The Good Wife. Speaking about her approach to taking over the show to Buzzfeed, Kodish stated that she wasn't afraid to shake things up. “I was anxious about how viewers were going to react to change in general — any kind of change. But I felt like it really had to happen”.[19]

Controversy edit

In 2016, Gabrielle Union sued BET over compensation.[20]

Streaming edit

The complete series is available to stream on Hulu, Paramount+, and BET+ in the United States.

Reception edit

Critical response edit

The second and third seasons received positive reviews, specifically praising Gabrielle Union's leading performance, Mara Brock Akil's writing, and directing work by Regina King.[21][22][23][24]

On the review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes, the first season earned an approval rating of 80% based on 10 reviews, with an average rating of 7.1/10.[25] Metacritic, which uses a weighted average, assigned the pilot a score of 78 out of 100 based on 4 critics reviews, indicating "generally favorable reviews".[26]

Accolades edit

Year Award Category Nominee(s) Result
2014 45th NAACP Image Awards[27] Outstanding Television Movie, Mini-Series, or Dramatic Special Being Mary Jane Won
Outstanding Actor in a Television Movie, Mini-Series, or Dramatic Special Omari Hardwick Nominated
Outstanding Actress in a Television Movie, Mini-Series, or Dramatic Special Gabrielle Union Won
2015 46th NAACP Image Awards[28]
Outstanding Drama Series Being Mary Jane Nominated
Outstanding Actress in a Drama Series Gabrielle Union Nominated
Outstanding Actor in a Drama Series Omari Hardwick Nominated
Outstanding Writing in a Dramatic Series Mara Brock Akil (for "Uber Love") Nominated
2016 47th NAACP Image Awards[29]
Outstanding Drama Series Being Mary Jane Nominated
Outstanding Actress in a Drama Series Gabrielle Union Nominated
Outstanding Writing in a Dramatic Series Mara Brock Akil, Keli Goff, and Jameal Turner (for "Sparrow") Won
Outstanding Directing in a Drama Series Salim Akil (for "Sparrow") Nominated
2020 51st NAACP Image Awards[30]
Outstanding Television Movie, Mini-Series, or Dramatic Special Being Mary Jane Nominated
Outstanding Actress in a Television Movie, Mini-Series, or Dramatic Special Gabrielle Union Nominated
Outstanding Writing in a Motion Picture (Television) Patrik-Ian Polk Nominated

References edit

  1. ^ "BET Networks Announces New Programming at Annual Upfront Presentation". The Futon Critic. April 2, 2013. Retrieved April 20, 2013.
  2. ^ "BET Networks' First Original Scripted Series "Being Mary Jane" Starring Gabrielle Union Premieres on Tuesday, January 7, 2014 at 10 P.M. ET/PT" (Press release). The Futon Critic. October 24, 2013. Retrieved April 2, 2015.
  3. ^ Braxton, Greg (May 24, 2013). "Pilot for BET's 'Being Mary Jane' gets late start time on July 2". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved April 2, 2015.
  4. ^ "Being Mary Jane – Season 1 Reviews". Metacritic. July 9, 2013. Retrieved September 15, 2013.
  5. ^ "Being Mary Jane: Season 1". Rotten Tomatoes. 7 January 2014. Retrieved 5 January 2016.
  6. ^ Andreeva, Nellie (September 11, 2013). "BET Preps Second Season Of 'Being Mary Jane', Cancels 'Reed Between The Lines'". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved September 15, 2013.
  7. ^ O'Connell, Michael (3 July 2013). "TV Ratings: BET's 'Being Mary Jane' Scores Huge Premiere". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved September 15, 2013.
  8. ^ "Solid Ratings Debut For BET's 'Being Mary Jane' – 4 Millions Viewers, Highest-Rating On Cable | Shadow and Act". Archived from the original on September 21, 2013. Retrieved September 15, 2013.
  9. ^ "'Being Mary Jane' Renewed for Season 4 by BET – TCA". 6 January 2016.
  10. ^ "'Being Mary Jane' To End In 2018 With 2-Hour Series Finale Movie On BET". Deadline Hollywood. 11 October 2017. Retrieved 23 November 2017.
  11. ^ Darrisaw, Michelle (February 6, 2019). "6 Questions We Have After Watching the Being Mary Jane Movie Teaser". O, The Oprah Magazine. Retrieved March 19, 2019.
  12. ^ "As One Saga Ends, Another Begins During a Monumental Tuesday Night on BET". The Futon Critic. April 1, 2019.
  13. ^ "Being Mary Jane | BET US". BET.
  14. ^ Andreeva, Nellie (February 13, 2012). "BET Greenlights 'Single Black Female' Pilot From Mara Brock Akil And Salim Akil". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved April 20, 2013.
  15. ^ "BET unveils new programming at Upfront". Radio & Television Business Report. April 18, 2012. Retrieved July 6, 2013.
  16. ^ Hirsch, Jaclyn (April 23, 2012). "Photos: TV Pilot Filming in Virginia-Highland – 'Being Mary Jane' filming all day Monday on N. Highland Avenue". Virginia Highland-Druid Hills Patch. Retrieved July 6, 2013.
  17. ^ ""Being Mary Jane" TV Pilot filming 4/23 & 4/24". Virginia-Highland Civic Association. April 19, 2012. Retrieved July 6, 2013.
  18. ^ "Being Mary Jane Production Department letter to residents" (PDF). Virginia-Highland Civic Association. April 17, 2012. Retrieved July 6, 2013.
  19. ^ "Inside The New Chapter Of "Being Mary Jane"". BuzzFeed News. Retrieved 2019-12-01.
  20. ^ Counthios; Stone, Auriel; Natalie (2016-10-12). "Gabrielle Union Sues BET Over Being Mary Jane For Allegedly Depriving Her of 'Agreed-Upon Compensation'". Retrieved 2017-04-15.{{cite news}}: CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)
  21. ^ "Regina King talks directing 'Being Mary Jane' and 'Scandal'". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved 5 January 2016.
  22. ^ "'Being Mary Jane' season 2 premiere review". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved 5 January 2016.
  23. ^ "Being Mary Jane finale postmortem: Mara Brock Akil addresses policy brutality story line". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved 5 January 2016.
  24. ^ "Being Mary Jane premiere postmortem: Gabrielle Union on Mary Jane's car crash, beauty standards, more". Entertainment Weekly's Retrieved 5 January 2016.
  25. ^ "Being Mary Jane: Season 1". Rotten Tomatoes. 7 January 2014. Retrieved January 4, 2019.
  26. ^ "Being Mary Jane – Season 1 Reviews". Metacritic. Retrieved January 4, 2019.
  27. ^ Aaron Couch, Arlene Washington (22 February 2014). "NAACP Image Awards: The Winners". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 5 January 2016.
  28. ^ Arlene Washington (6 February 2015). "NAACP Image Awards: The Winners". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 4 January 2019.
  29. ^ Variety Staff (5 February 2016). "'Straight Outta Compton,' 'Empire,' Michael B Jordan Top NAACP Image Awards". Variety. Retrieved 4 January 2019.
  30. ^ NAACP (9 January 2020). "NOMINEES ANNOUNCED FOR 51ST NAACP IMAGE AWARDS". NAACP. Retrieved 17 July 2021.

External links edit