Plus, watch an exclusive sneak peek from the premiere

By Nina Terrero
September 01, 2015 at 02:58 PM EDT
Guy D’Alema/BET

Missing Mary Jane? It’s time to start the official countdown to season three, which EW can announce will premiere on Tuesday, Oct. 20 in its new time slot at 9 p.m. ET on BET.

The new time slot isn’t the new thing about the Gabrielle Union-starrer about a cable news anchor juggling career, family and romance. Loretta Devine (Grey’s Anatomy) and singer-actress Jill Scott (The No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency) will join the hard-hitting series as guest stars this season, EW has learned exclusively. 

Devine — who earned an Emmy for Outstanding Guest Actress for her work as Adele Webber on Grey’s — will play Cecilia, a bookstore owner whose car was hit by Mary Jane’s vehicle in the OMG-what-just-happened car accident that occurred in the last moments of the season 2 finale. It seems as theirs isn’t an accident that results in MJ simply handing over her insurance info, since Cecilia will extort her for a whopping $25,000. And that won’t be the end of their relationship, as later in the 10-episode series, the two characters will unexpectedly grow close when Cecilia “offers MJ unwanted, but invaluable, pieces of advice and wisdom,” says BET.

Guy D’Alema/BET

Scott, who has appeared on both the small screen and film with features like 2014’s Get On Up, will make her debut on Being Mary Jane as Jackie, Niecy’s (Raven Goodwin) mom. According to BET, Scott’s character is “back in town just long enough to show her [daughter] some tough love and Patrick some much needed sexual attention.” 

Season 3 will pick up immediately after last season’s finale saw a newly promoted MJ discover the truth about Lisa (Latarsha Rose) and her ex David (Stephen Bishop)’s relationship just moments after she broke up with Sheldon (Gary Dourdan). The upcoming season will find an injured Mary Jane “sidelined at work when a beautiful young Latina anchor, Marisol, shines as her replacement, while she is out on medical leave,” says BET. Though Mary Jane manages to save her job (whew!), she later embarks on a “life cleanse” that makes her rethink her career path and personal life. And there’s plenty of drama in store for the show’s titular character, teases BET, as a “tragedy in the family will throw her world into chaos once more.”

Guy D’Alema/BET

“Season 3 is about new beginnings, putting lessons learned to the test, and of course healing,” creator and showrunner Mara Brock Akil tells EW. “After receiving that phone call from David and getting into a car accident, Mary Jane has no other options but to work on her recovery from the accident, from toxic relationships, and from her self-destructive ways. It’s a season that will remind fans why they fell in love with Mary Jane to begin with. She’s flawed and somewhat broken, but watching her piece her life together is beautiful.”

Excited for what’s ahead for the feistiest news personality on primetime? Here’s an exclusive sneak peek at a scene from the upcoming season premiere, where MJ’s mom Helen (Margaret Avery) shares some choice words with Lisa after learning the truth about her relationship with David.

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