At the end of December 2016, BET Networks announced that it had reached an agreement with Gabrielle Union following the actress’ “breach of contract” lawsuit that sought $3 million in damages from the black television network: “BET Networks is pleased to announce that they have reached an amicable agreement with Gabrielle Union and look forward to sharing the new season of ‘Being Mary Jane’ with its loyal fans beginning January 10, 2017,” the statement from the network read; although specifics weren’t shared. But it allowed fans to expect with certainty that the show will go on without any hindrances.
As I previously suggested, the program is one of BET’s few original scripted drama series, and one that’s been a big success for them, with a loyal fan base; so it’s certainly in the best interest of all parties to ensure that it isn’t interrupted.
The new season’s cast additions include Michael Ealy, Valarie Pettiford, Ashton Holmes and Chiké Okonkwo.
At the end of the series’ last season, creator and showrunner Mara Brock Akil (and director Salim Akil) left the network and set up shop at Warner Bros. TV studios, where they currently have a deal, with 2 potential series in development. They were replaced by Will Packer (to executive produce), and “The Good Wife” co-executive producer Erica Shelton Kodish (to serve as showrunner and executive produce as well) for the series’ upcoming 4th season.
We have an official synopsis for the new season which also includes bits and pieces of information on what roles some of the new cast will play: In season four, when Kara (Lisa Vidal) helps her land a gig as correspondent on “Great Day USA,” a national morning news show in New York City, Mary Jane Paul makes the move to achieve her lifetime career goal of becoming a national lead anchor. At “Great Day,” Mary Jane meets her idol, veteran lead anchor Ronda Sales (Valarie Pettiford), and realizes that working closely with your heroes isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. Things are further complicated when her old nemesis, Justin Talbot (Michael Ealy), appears as a new producer. Along with the new job and city, Mary Jane resolves to start fresh in every way possible, including her love life. She quickly falls for Lee Truitt (Chiké Okonkwo), a successful stand-up comedian from the UK who tests Mary Jane’s preconceived notions about what (or who) she needs in her life. Back in Atlanta, the Patterson’s deal with the fallout from Niecy’s (Raven Goodwin) run-in with the police. With Mary Jane in New York, they grow closer as they realize their new roles within the family and do what they can to step up to the plate for one another.
Episodes this seasons are written by Erica Shelton-Kodish, Rebecca Boss, Chris Masi, Josef Sawyer, Angel Dean Lopez; Direction by Mario Van Peebles and Kat Candler.
A January 10 9/8C return date has been set.
BET premiered a clip from the upcoming first episode of season 4 titled “Getting Nekkid,” in which Mary Jane (Union) embarks on her new position as the anchor of Great Day USA while also having an interesting encounter with a mystery man. That mystery man is played by Chiké Okonkwo, and their initial meeting is at the center of the clip which is embedded below: