'The Game' will score its last play on BET in July

BET's 'The Game' will end its nine-season run on July 29

The clock on "The Game" is winding down.

BET's series about the players on a fictional San Diego football team and the women involved with them will close its nine-season run on July 29. The season will launch June 3.

Since its 2011 launch on BET after being canceled by the CW, "The Game" has survived key cast departures and major reboots to become one of BET's most formidable series, scoring top ratings and helping the network, which had relied on music videos and reality series, gain a foothold in scripted programming.

"It was important to us that we give 'The Game' a proper send-off," creator and Executive Producer Mara Brock Akil said in a statement. "It's had such a historic run, with two different networks, nine seasons and 147 episodes. We're so grateful for our brilliant cast, talented crew and loyal fans who allowed us to take these characters on such a fun journey."

Akil, who also created BET's drama "Being Mary Jane," gave special thanks to BET Networks "for rescuing these characters and providing a supportive home to complete their stories."

With its predominantly African American cast, "The Game" first premiered in 2006 on the CW and starred Tia Mowry-Hardrict as Melanie Barnett, an aspiring doctor who put her plans for medical school on hold to support her boyfriend, Derwin Davis (Pooch Hall), a star receiver for the fictional San Diego Sabers. The couple, who later married, were the central focus of the ensemble cast.

After being canceled, BET revived the show in 2011 with the original cast. But in 2013, "The Game" hit a huge hurdle when Mowry-Hardrict and Hall left the show.

Akil revamped the series, adding two new cast members -- Jay Ellis, who plays Bryce "The Blueprint" Westbrook, a cocky No. 1 draft pick, and Lauren London, who plays Keira Whitaker, a former child star trying to revive her acting career. 

Remaining with the series were Wendy Raquel Robinson, Hosea Chanchez, Coby Bell and Brittany Daniel.

Said Akil: "The finale is reflective of our entire run -- one last roller-coaster ride. We're excited for people to see it!"

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