UDPDATE: BET has responded to the breach of contract lawsuit with the following statement:
“While we hold Gabrielle Union in the highest esteem, we feel strongly that we are contractually well within our rights and are committed to reaching a swift and positive resolution in this matter.
Original story below…
Being Mary Jane‘s previously-announced Season 4 renewal was actually for Season 4 and 5, it has been revealed.
However, lead Gabrielle Union is suing the network over breach of contract, placing the future of the series in doubt.
Filed today in Los Angeles Superior Court, the 17-page suit (read it here) claims that although Union’s contract calls for no more than 13 episodes a season, BET ordered 10-episode fourth and fifth seasons of the series to be shot back-to-back. Union says she and the network agreed to those terms, as long as she got a break in filming.
Being Mary Jane has seen a series of negotiations between star and network since the show launched in 2013. Union and BET made a deal for maximum 13-episode seasons so the actress could continue to pursue movie roles.
The suit claims BET now want to film and market the fourth and fifth seasons as one 20-episode fourth season, in what it cites as a contractual loophole:
“Although BET represented and assured Ms. Union before she agreed to perform in Being Mary Jane that it would never produce more than thirteen (13) episodes per season of the series. BET now wants to shoot twenty (20) episodes of the series back-to-back and cram all of the episodes into a single season in order to fraudulently extend the term of Ms. Union’s contract.
It remains to be seen whether the Season 4 and 5 renewal will stand as two separate seasons or converge into one as planned, though it doesn’t bode well for the future of the show.
Stay tuned as we continue to monitor the status of Being Mary Jane…