|Being Mary Jane|
|Created by||Mara Brock Akil|
|Country of origin||United States|
|No. of seasons||5|
|No. of episodes||52 (list of episodes)|
|Original release||July 2, 2013 –|
April 23, 2019
Being Mary Jane is an American drama television series created by Mara Brock Akil and starring Gabrielle Union, that debuted January 7, 2014 on BET. The 90-minute-pilot for the series aired on July 2, 2013. The series followed the professional and personal life of successful TV news anchor Mary Jane Paul, who lived in Atlanta, Georgia and New York City. The series officially ended on April 23, 2019.
Being Mary Jane has received positive reviews from critics. The series premiere drew more than 4 million viewers, debuting as BET's highest rated show. On January 6, 2016, the series was renewed for a fourth season, which premiered on January 10, 2017. It was announced on October 11, 2017 that the series would conclude. A two-hour film finale was planned to air in 2018, but never came to fruition. On December 7, 2018, BET announced that the film finale date has been pushed back to air on April 16, 2019. On April 1, 2019, it was announced that the film finale date was pushed back a week later to April 23, 2019.
|First aired||Last aired|
|1||9||July 2, 2013||February 25, 2014|
|2||12||February 3, 2015||April 14, 2015|
|3||10||October 20, 2015||December 15, 2015|
|4||20||10||January 10, 2017||March 21, 2017|
|10||July 18, 2017||September 19, 2017|
|5||1||April 23, 2019|
Cast and characters
- 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
- Stephen Bishop as David Paulk (recurring, season 1; main, seasons 2–3): Mary Jane's playboy love interest.
- 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's daughter
- Ryan Homchick as Lance (seasons 1–3)
- Salli Richardson as Valerie (season 2)
- Gary Dourdan as Sheldon (season 2)
- Kyle Massey as Cameron (season 2)
- Loretta Devine as Cece (season 3)
- Daniella Alonso as Marisol Esparza (season 3)
- Thomas Jones as Brandon (season 3)
- Paul Rolfes as Aaron Felty (seasons 3–4)
- Rita Rucker as Chante (seasons 3–4)
- Michael Ealy as Justin Talbot (season 4)
- Chiké Okonkwo as Lee Truitt (season 4)
- Valarie Pettiford as Ronda Sales (season 4)
- Ashton Holmes as Garrett (season 4)
- Julian Walker as Ty (season 4)
- Cesar Cipriano as Dante (season 4)
- Tian Richards as Jovan (season 4)
- Nicholas Gonzalez as Orlando Lagos (season 4)
- Jasmine Dustin as Ana Hoem (season 1)
- Lesley-Ann Brandt as Tamiko Roberts (season 1)
- Sheila Frazier as Catherine Stafford (season 1)
- Darrin Dewitt Henson (season 1)
- Lorraine Toussaint as Aunt Toni, Paul's younger sister and Mary Jane's aunt (season 1)
- Wayne Brady as Sean Anders (season 1)
- Ludacris as Terrence Mitchell (season 1)
- Dorian Missick as Detective Cedric Rawlins (season 1)
- Frances Burnett as Dana Shultz (season 1)
- Ava DuVernay (season 1)
- India Arie as herself (season 2)
- Christina Vidal as Lilly, the sister of Kara[Note 1] (season 2)
- Nina Parker (season 3, episode 6)
- Jill Scott (season 3, episode 5)
- Kelly Rowland as Robin (season 3, episode 6)
- Tamar Braxton as Herself (season 3, episode 10)
- Tamera Mowry as Herself (season 3, episode 10)
- Loni Love as Herself (season 3, episode 10)
- Jeannie Mai as Herself (season 3, episode 10)
- Adrienne Bailon as Herself (season 3, episode 10)
- Cardi B (season 4)
- Loren "Lo London" Jordan (season 4)
- Dave East (season 4)
- Morris Chestnut as Beau (season 4)
- Christina Vidal plays the sister of Kara, played by her real-life sister Lisa Vidal.
The show was originally to be called Single Black Female. 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.
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.
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”.
In 2016, Gabrielle Union sued BET for allegedly depriving her of agreed upon compensation.
Broadcast and release
The series is broadcast by Netflix in the United States.
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. 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".
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- Aaron Couch, Arlene Washington (22 February 2014). "NAACP Image Awards: The Winners". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 5 January 2016.
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- NAACP (9 January 2020). "NOMINEES ANNOUNCED FOR 51ST NAACP IMAGE AWARDS". NAACP. Retrieved 9 January 2020.