News

TBS to 'Meet' New Tyler Perry Series in January

8/29/2008 8:00 PM Eastern

Filmmaker Tyler Perry already has one hit sitcom on TBS, and he's looking to bring a second one to the “Very Funny” network.

Last week TBS said it had ordered 10 episodes of the new comedy from Perry based on characters from his play and hit movie, Meet the Browns. The spinoff show, from Debmar-Mercury, is slated to debut in January.

TBS already has a monster hit in Perry's Tyler Perry's House of Payne, which is ad-supported cable's No. 1 original sitcom of all time, and is also produced by Debmar-Mercury. Perry will serve as executive producer and director for the new sitcom Meet the Browns, as he does for House of Payne.

Depending how the first installments of Meet the Browns perform, TBS is prepared to make “a significant order” for additional episodes, a network spokeswoman said.

“I am so excited to continue my relationship with TBS,” Perry said in a prepared statement. “It has been so fulfilling artistically, I feel as if I've been adopted into another family. An artist such as myself cannot imagine being in a partnership with any other network.”

Meet the Browns will star David Mann as Leroy Brown, a character who earlier this year was featured in Perry's film of the same name. He has also appeared in several episodes of House of Payne. Perry's new series begins after Brown inherits a dilapidated house from his deceased father.

Debmar-Mercury is owned by Lionsgate, whose CEO, Jon Feltheimer, said in August that Perry had a new TV project coming.

“Tyler Perry is an extraordinary talent who has turned House of Payne into a record-breaking hit,” Steve Koonin, president of Turner Entertainment Networks, said in a prepared statement. “We're thrilled at having the chance to repeat that success with Leroy Brown, a character already proven to be a big hit with audiences.”

Perry's association with TBS began in 2006, when Debmar-Mercury devised an unusual distribution strategy for House of Payne. It tested 10 episodes of the show in select markets, where it produced strong ratings, leading TBS to order a full-fledged series with an unprecedented 100 episodes.

“The 10-episode preview experiment worked so well in whetting the appetite of viewers for House of Payne, which is about to start its second season on TBS with all new episodes,” Mort Marcus, co-president of Debmar-Mercury, said in a prepared statement. “We knew the same distribution model was the perfect way to go to expand the huge Meet The Browns brand to television.”

September