UPDATE: BET has released a statement following today’s settlement. “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 cabler said.
Gabrielle Union isn’t done being Mary Jane.
The actress and BET have reached a settlement in Union’s multimillion-dollar breach of contract lawsuit against the network. In October, Union and her lawyers claimed the cabler and Being Mary Jane‘s producers had reneged on an agreement to have a substantial break between the show’s fourth and fifth seasons. According to Union’s lawyers, BET and the producers ignored the deal to allow for production to run back-to-back, thereby cutting costs. Union said she and BET previously agreed to 13-episode maximum seasons to accommodate for her movie career.
Series producer Breakdown Productions was also a defendant in the lawsuit. In October, the network promised it was “committed to reaching a swift and positive resolution” with Union.
In her filing, Union sought at least $3 million in general damages and a declaration that BET could not order more than 13 episodes for any season of Being Mary Jane. In a statement Tuesday, BET told Deadline it was “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 Jan. 10, 2017.” The terms of Union’s settlement are unknown.
E! News has reached out to Union’s reps for comment.
Being Mary Jane‘s season-four renewal was announced in January as part of the Television Critics Association’s winter press tour. The pick-up news came as a bit of a surprise, considering that its creator and showrunner, Mara Brock Akil, exited as part of an overall deal she and her husband had signed with Warner Bros. in 2015. But the drama has been a strong performer for BET since it debuted as an original TV movie in 2013. In fact, every season of Being Mary Jane has ranked as the No. 1 scripted cable series among black viewers in the 18-49 demographic.
(Originally published Dec 27, 2016 at 9:45 a.m. PST)
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