After bringing his unique style to TBS with the enormously popular sitcom Tyler Perry's HOUSE OF PAYNE, Tyler Perry is preparing to add to his successful track record with a spin-off based on characters of his popular play and hit movie, MEET THE BROWNS. TBS has ordered 10 episodes of the new sitcom, which comes to the network from Debmar-Mercury and is slated to premiere in January 2009. As he does for HOUSE OF PAYNE, Perry is once again serving as executive producer and director, as well as occasionally writing for the series.
MEET THE BROWNS stars David Mann as Leroy Brown, a character who earlier this year was featured in Perry's hit film of the same name. He has also appeared in several episodes of HOUSE OF PAYNE on TBS. Perry's new series begins after Brown inherits a dilapidated house from his deceased father.
"Tyler Perry is an extraordinary talent who has turned HOUSE OF PAYNE into a record-breaking hit," said Steve Koonin, president of Turner Entertainment Networks. "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 a groundbreaking distribution strategy for HOUSE OF PAYNE. It offered a 10-episode experiment in select markets that 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," said Mort Marcus, co-president of Debmar-Mercury. "We knew the same distribution model was the perfect way to go to expand the huge MEET THE BROWNS brand to television."
Ira Bernstein, co-president of Debmar-Mercury, said, "We have considered TBS to be an enthusiastic partner in this novel venture from the beginning, so it is very rewarding for us to be able to build on the franchise created by Tyler. He continues to amaze us with his uncanny ability to produce one hit after another."
"I am so excited to continue my relationship with TBS," said Perry. "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."
Perry began his career as a playwright with I Know I've Been Changed in 1992. Six years and many failed productions later, the play finally became a success after what was to have been its final performance ever. Perry's nine produced plays to date have grossed tens of millions of dollars and set box office records in major venues across the country, including the Kodak Theatre in Los Angeles and the Beacon Theater in New York.
Since making his film debut in 2005 with Lionsgate's Diary of a Mad Black Woman, Tyler Perry has become a multimedia phenomenon. Four of his five films have debuted at #1 at the North American box office, and the films' combined theatrical gross is nearly a quarter of a billion dollars. The combined net sales of his 12 DVDs total more than 25 million units.
Perry's first book, Don't Make a Black Woman Take Off Her Earrings: Madea's Uninhibited Commentaries on Life and Love, debuted at #1 on The New York Times hardcover nonfiction bestseller list the week of April 30, 2006, and was named both Book of the Year and Humor Book of the Year at the October 2006 Quill Book Awards.
This fall, Perry will release his sixth film, The Family That Preys, co-starring Alfre Woodard and Kathy Bates. He will also unveil Tyler Perry Studios, a 200,000-square-foot studio created from a former Delta Air Lines facility in Atlanta, where his films and television shows will be filmed.