THE GAME SHOW INFO AND ACTOR BIOS
July 17, 2006
Sundays (8:30-9:00 p.m. ET) on The CW
Being the wife or girlfriend of a pro-football player might sound like a glamorous and stress-free existence, but Melanie Barnett (Tia Mowry �Sister, Sister�) is about to discover the truth. When her boyfriend Derwin Davis (Pooch Hall, �Miracle's Boys�) is chosen as the new third-string wide receiver for the San Diego Sabers, she decides to forgo Johns Hopkins Medical School to attend a local college so she can be with him. While Derwin worries about the plays on the field, Melanie learns how to deal with egos, groupies and image consultants.
Melanie quickly bonds with Tasha Mack (Wendy Raquel Robinson, �The Steve Harvey Show�), a single mother who is the manager of her son, quarterback Malik Wright (Hosea Chanchez, �For Your Love�). Taking control of his career to make sure he is getting the best deals and not getting the wrong women, Tasha is adamant that they will never be in the poor house again. Although Malik is a player on and off the field, he loves and respects him mom and encourages her to get back into the dating scene (as long as it is not someone he works with) to find happiness for herself after looking after him for all these years.
Welcoming Melanie and Derwin to the San Diego Sabers family is interracial couple Kelly (Brittany Daniel, �White Chicks�) and Jason Pitts (Coby Bell, �Third Watch�). Kelly, who always receives flack about marring her African-American husband, is the typical supportive NFL trophy wife, but as a result of meeting Melanie and Tasha, she is empowered to explore the other aspects of her life. Although her husband is a star player, he is also a notorious cheapskate and demands that the family be extremely frugal.
As Melanie adjusts to her new lifestyle, she gets a play-by-play account of the lives and relationships among NFL wives, girlfriends and mom/managers who use their best �game� help their men stay on the field and on their arm.
�The Game� is from Happy Camper Productions and Grammnet Productions in association with CBS Paramount Network Television with executive producers Kelsey Grammer (�Frasier�), Mara Brock Akil (�Girlfriends�) and Steve Stark.
CREDITS FOR �THE GAME� ON THE CW
Day and time: Sundays, 8:30-9:00 p.m. ET
Network debut: Sunday, October 1, 2006
Format: Being the wife or girlfriend of a pro-football player might sound like a glamorous and stress-free existence, but Melanie Barnett (Tia Mowry) is about to discover the truth. Melanie's boyfriend Derwin (Pooch Hall) is the new third-string wide receiver for the San Diego Sabers. As she deals with egos, groupies and image consultants, Melanie is finding out how the game is played among the women behind the athletes on �The Game.�
Cast: Tia Mowry as Melanie Barnett
Coby Bell as Jason Pitts
Pooch Hall as Derwin Davis
Hosea Chanchez as Malik Wright
Brittany Daniel as Kelly Pitts
And Wendy Raquel Robinson as Tasha Mack
Created by: Mara Brock Akil
Executive Producers: Kelsey Grammer, Mara Brock Akil and Steve Stark
Origination: Studio City, California
Produced by: Happy Camper Productions and Grammnet Productions in association with CBS Paramount Network Television
Melanie Barnett in �The Game�
Tia Mowry portrays Melanie Barnett, an intelligent young medical student, who is also the girlfriend of a new NFL third-string receiver, on The CW's new comedy �The Game.�
Mowry was born in Gelhausin, Germany, to retired military parents, giving her the infamous label military brat. It wasn't until she turned 14 that she decided to take on the entertainment world.�
In 1993, when she and her family took the big leap and moved to California, Mowry along with her twin sister, Tamera Mowry, landed the series �Sister, Sister.� The show aired for six seasons and went on to win two NAACP Image Awards and four Nickelodeon Kids Choice Awards.�
� Recently, Mowry worked with her sister Tamera again in a Disney Channel original movie, �Twitches,� which brought in 21 million viewers, making it the third highest-rated original movie for the network. Currently, she has just finished production on the movie �American Standards,� opposite James Brolin, and she is also the voice of Sasha on the animated series �Bratz,� following the adventures of the fashion dolls.
Mowry has been involved in many charities such as the Make-A-Wish Foundation, the Elizabeth Glazer Pediatric Aids Foundation and charities focusing on research for children fighting cancers.
Mowry is a graduate of Pepperdine University. She also studied humanities and Italian in Europe for several months.
She now lives in Los Angeles with her teacup Chihuahua, Chico.
Jason Pitts in �The Game�
Coby Bell portrays Jason Pitts, a frugal, African-American NFL player who is married to a Caucasian woman, on The CW's new comedy �The Game.�
Bell was born and raised in Orange County, California, and grew up in a family of entertainers. His father, Broadway music veteran Michael Bell, introduced him to the world of acting at the age of 3.
Bell starred in hit television series �Third Watch� for six years. He also appeared in �LA Doctors.� Bell's other television credits include guest roles on �ER,� �Half & Half,� �Buffy the Vampire Slayer,� �The Parent 'Hood� and �Smart Guy.�
Bell is actively involved in Big Brothers of America, where he mentors underprivileged youth. In addition, Bell is a natural sports enthusiast and excels at surfing, basketball and tennis. He is also an accomplished musician and songwriter with his reggae band.
Bell lives in Long Beach with his wife and 3-year-old twin daughters.
Derwin Davis in �The Game�
Pooch Hall portrays Derwin Davis, a new and eager third-string wide receiver for the San Diego Sabers, on The CW's new comedy �The Game.�
Hall was born and raised in Massachusetts. He began his acting career in New York with a small role in the feature film �Lift.�
Hall's television credits include the miniseries �Miracle's Boys,� produced and directed by Spike Lee, and the television movie �Christmas At Waters Edge.�
He has been featured in the films �Blind Guy,� with Jane Seymour and Steve Tobolowsky, and �Urban Sprawl,� with Snoop Dogg and Jason Alexander.
Currently residing in Los Angeles, Hall's hobbies include basketball and boxing. He won the Southern New England Golden Gloves in 1994.
Malik Wright in �The Game�
Hosea Chanchez portrays Malik Wright, a star NFL quarterback who is a player on and off the field, on The CW's new comedy �The Game.�
Chanchez is no stranger to television. He has guest starred in �Everwood,� �Close to Home,� �Jack & Bobby� and �Where Were You?� In addition, he has co-starred in television shows, including �N.C.I.S.,� �Over There,� �The Guardian,� �Robbery Homicide Division,� �The Outhouse� and �For Your Love.�
His film credits include a lead role in �Rich Quick� and supporting roles in �The Outsider� and �My Brother.�
Chanchez also has a theater background with roles in �Shop Life,� �The Wiz,� �The Long Walk Home,� �Royal Oats� and �Glory.�
Chanchez currently resides in Los Angeles.
Kelly Pitts in �The Game�
Brittany Daniel portrays Kelly Pitts, a NFL wife who is extremely involved in the association's activities even as she searches for own identity, in The CW's new comedy �The Game.�
Daniel is a native of Gainesville, Florida, and began her career starring opposite her twin sister, Cynthia, in the television series �Sweet Valley High.��
Her television credits include guest starring roles on �Dawson's Creek� and �That `70s Show,� as well as a series regular role on �That `80s Show.��
Daniel made her feature film debut in �The Basketball Diaries.� Her other feature film credits include �White Chicks,� �Joe Dirt� and �Club Dread.� She will next be seen on the big screen starring in the Keenan Ivory Wayans' feature film �Little Man,� starring opposite Kerry Washington, Marlon Wayans and Shawn Wayans.
Daniel currently resides in Los Angeles.
WENDY RAQUEL ROBINSON
Tasha Mack in �The Game�
Wendy Raquel Robinson portrays Tasha Mack, a single mother who manages the career of her star NFL quarterback son, on The CW's new comedy �The Game.�
Whether she is acting, dancing, directing, writing, producing or choreographing, Wendy Raquel Robinson tenaciously strives for excellence in her career as an artist. Throughout her professional career, she has found success in the television, film and theater.
Robinson is known to audiences for her role as Regina Grier in The WB's longest-running comedy, �The Steve Harvey Show.� Her other television credits include a recurring role on �All Of Us,� as well as a series regular on the variety sketch show �Cedric the Entertainer Presents!� and �Minor Adjustments.� In addition, Robinson has held recurring roles on �NYPD Blue,� �Yes, Dear,� �Getting Personal,� �The Parkers,� �One on One� and the hit animated show �The Proud Family.�
Last spring, Robinson co-starred opposite Sanaa Lathan in �Something New.� Robinson's other film credits include �Rebound,� opposite Martin Lawrence, �Two Can Play That Game,� opposite Morris Chestnut, Vivica A. Fox, Monique and Anthony Anderson, �Miss Congeniality,� starring Sandra Bullock and Michael Caine, �With Or Without You,� opposite Cynda Williams and Guy Torry, �Ringmaster,� �A Thin Line Between Love and Hate� and �The Walking Dead.�
In addition, Robinson has a lengthy theater career including �Cheaters,� which was transformed into a stage play, received rave reviews and sold out to audiences across the country. Her other theatre credits include �The Vagina Monologues,� �Black Woman's Blues,� �Agnes of God,� �A Midsummer's Night Dream,� �The Colored Museum and Vanities,� for which she received an NAACP Theatre Award for Best Choreographer and a Best Actress Nomination.
In 1995, Robinson responded to her inner voice to help teens reach their goals in the arts. She is the co-founder of Amazing Grace Conservatory (AGC), a theatrical training institute in South Central Los Angeles. In addition to her work in the community, Robinson also serves as the Celebrity Spokesperson for the Los Angeles Black Business Expo & Trade Show. She is the recipient of various honors, including the Howard University Distinguished Alumni Award, Disneyland & KJLH Proven Achiever Award, including a Woman of Courage Honoree.
Robinson has received three NAACP Image Award nominations for Best Actress in a Comedy for her work on �The Steve Harvey Show.� A cum laude graduate of Howard University, Robinson received her bachelor of fine arts in drama. She currently resides in Los Angeles with her husband and two dogs.
Executive Producer of �The Game� and �Girlfriends�
Emmy Award-winner Kelsey Grammer is best known to television audiences for his portrayal of Dr. Frasier Crane, the highbrow, Ivy League-educated psychiatrist in the critically acclaimed Paramount comedy series, �Frasier,� which ran for 11 years.
Grammer has played Dr. Frasier Crane on three different television series (�Cheers,� �Frasier� and �Wings�) over a span of 20 years, tying James Arness of �Gunsmoke� for the record of longest-running primetime television character. Over the course of those performances, Grammer's portrayal earned the actor international recognition and numerous awards. He received four Emmy Awards, two Golden Globe Awards and a SAG Award for his performance as Frasier. He also received a People's Choice Award, an American Comedy Award and a Viewers for Quality Television Award.
Grammer was born on St. Thomas in the U.S. Virgin Islands, and was raised by his mother and grandfather, first in New Jersey, then in Florida. After the death of his grandfather, the 12-year-old Grammer turned for comfort to the works of William Shakespeare, which fostered his love of the English language. His first acting performance was in a high school production of �The Little Foxes.� With the encouragement of his English and drama teachers, he decided to pursue acting as a career. After two years at the Juilliard School, he was accepted by the Old Globe Theater in San Diego, where he spent three years performing in classic works by Shakespeare and George Bernard Shaw.
He later performed in regional theaters across the United States � including the Guthrie in Minneapolis � before appearing in the off-Broadway productions of "Plenty," �Sunday in the Park with George,� �A Month in the Country� and the Obie Award-winning �Quartermaine's Terms.� His Broadway credits include �Macbeth� and �Othello,� and he performed the title role of �Richard II� at the Mark Taper Forum in Los Angeles.
Grammer can currently be seen as Dr. Hank McCoy/Beast in the 20th Century Fox film �X-Men: The Last Stand.� His other credits include the television movies �A Christmas Carol� for NBC, �Benedict Arnold� for A&E, the Hallmark Hall of Fame's �Mr. St. Nick,� the Showtime telefilm �The Sports Pages,� a recurring voice-over role of Sideshow Bob on �The Simpsons� and the features �Fifteen Minutes,� for New Line Cinema, �Down Periscope� for 20th Century Fox and the soon-to-be-released �Even Money,� a film directed by Mark Rydell. He has also lent his voice to the animated films �Toy Story 2,� �Teacher's Pet� and �Anastasia.�
In addition to �The Game,� Grammer's Paramount-based production company also produces �Medium� for NBC and �Girlfriends� for The CW.
Grammer lives in the Los Angeles area with his wife, Camille, and their two children, Mason and Jude.
MARA BROCK AKIL
Creator/Executive Producer of �The Game� and �Girlfriends�
Mara Brock Akil began her writing career on the critically acclaimed �South Central.� She later moved on to writing for UPN's groundbreaking series �Moesha,� where she earned her producer's stripes after four seasons. She received the 1999 SHINE (Sexual Health in Entertainment) Award presented by the Media Project for her �Moesha� episode �Birth Control.�
Akil later served as supervising producer on the comedy series �The Jamie Foxx Show.� For the 2000-01 television season, she created her first comedy, �Girlfriends,� which is now going into its seventh season.
�Girlfriends� was presented with a 2001 SHINE Award for the episode �The Burning Vagina Monologues.� �Girlfriends� was also honored with 2002, 2003 and 2004 NAACP Image Awards nominations for Outstanding Comedy Series. In 2004, the show was honored with a Prism Award for the �Blood Is Thicker Than Liquor� episode, which dealt with alcoholism. Recently, VIBE listed Akil on its �Top 100 Hottest People List,� Honey magazine named her as one of the �Top 25 Hottest Women in Urban Entertainment,� and Essence magazine featured her as one of the �Outstanding Women under 40.�
This spring, the Black Filmmakers Hall of Fame honored the cast and crew of �Girlfriends� for their outstanding performance and production and for their positive influence and portrayal of African-Americans in film, television and video.
Akil draws inspiration for �Girlfriends� storylines from her own group of good friends, including Felicia D. Henderson (creator of the television series �Soul Food�) and Gina Prince-Bythewood (writer-director of �Love & Basketball�).
Akil is a native of Los Angeles, but was raised primarily in Kansas City. She is a graduate of Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois, where she earned a bachelor's degree in journalism.
Akil is a member of Delta Sigma Theta sorority and recently became a board member of Center Theatre Group (the Mark Taper Forum, Ahmanson Theatre and Kirk Douglas Theatre). She also enjoys mentoring young people, especially aspiring writers.
Akil lives in Los Angeles with her husband, executive producer-director Salim Akil (the television series �Soul Food�), and their son Yasin.
Executive Producer of �The Game�
Steve Stark is currently the President of Kelsey Grammer's Grammnet Productions, where he serves as executive producer of �The Game.� In addition to overseeing development, Stark serves as executive producer on Grammnet's hit drama �Medium.�
Before joining Grammnet, Stark was Executive Vice President of Development for Columbia Tristar Television, where he oversaw the development of drama, comedy and alternative programming for the studio's Network TV division. During that time, Stark's team launched the series �Hack� and �Everwood,� among others. Before coming to Columbia Tristar, Stark was a nine-year Paramount veteran, last serving as Senior Vice President of Current Programs for the Network Television Division. At Paramount, Steve oversaw the production of over 1,300 episodes of the division's series, including �Frasier,� �J.A.G.,� �Becker,� �Nash Bridges,� �Girlfriends,� �Star Trek: Voyager,� �Soul Food,� �Wings,� �Brooklyn Bridge,� �The Untouchables� and �Cheers,� among many others.
Prior to Paramount, Stark was a writer/producer at Universal Television, last serving as Vice President of Creative Affairs for Al Burton Productions. In addition to those duties, Steve served as a production consultant on the syndicated comedy �Charles In Charge� and as a writer & co-producer for two seasons on an updated version of the venerable �Lassie� franchise. During his tenure at Universal, Steve began an early writing career by selling an hour pilot script to CBS, a two-hour made-for-television movie script to the USA Network and produced a comedy/reality pilot he co-created for NBC.
After completing college, Stark was invited to join producer Bob Banner in Los Angeles to help develop a new talent series similar to the student television project he had conceived and produced while a senior at Northwestern. Within four months of their collaboration with syndication mogul Al Masini, the pilot episode of the original �Star Search� was completed. During the next four years as Casting Supervisor, Stark scouted and screened over 30,000 performers in more than 30 cities from New York to Los Angeles. In that time, Stark helped launch some notable careers of over 300 comics, singers, actors and bands.
Stark is a graduate of Northwestern University and holds a bachelor of arts. in Film and Television. Stark is the recipient of the Entertainment Industries Council Special Commendation, The Genesis Award and is an Imagen Award nominee. He is also a member of the Writers Guild of America, the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences, the Screen Actors Guild and the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists.