TBS Expands Order for Tyler Perry's MEET THE BROWNS, From Debmar-Mercury, to 80 Episodes
Initial 10-Episode Run Catapults MEET THE BROWNS to Top Spot as Ad-Supported Cable's #1 Comedy
Among Key Adults and Television's #1 Scripted Series among African-American Viewers
Spin-Off of Popular Sitcom HOUSE OF PAYNE
Is Based on Characters in Perry's Popular Play and Hit Movie
Following on the heels of a highly successful 10-episode run, TBS has agreed to expand its licensing of Tyler Perry's MEET THE BROWNS, owned by Perry and distributed by Debmar-Mercury, to a total of 80 episodes. The show, a spin-off of the equally popular Tyler Perry's HOUSE OF PAYNE, features characters that appeared in the play and movie of the same name. MEET THE BROWNS heated up January as ad-supported cable's #1 comedy among key adult demos and television's #1 scripted series among African-American viewers, households and key adults. Perry serves as owner, creator, executive producer and director of both series.
"Tyler Perry has once again created a series that resonates with an enormous audience," said Steve Koonin, president of Turner Entertainment Networks. "MEET THE BROWNS is a perfect match with HOUSE OF PAYNE, giving TBS a great lineup on Wednesday nights for years to come."
MEET THE BROWNS stars David Mann as the fun-loving but sometimes crass "Downtown" Leroy Brown, who also appeared in several episodes of HOUSE OF PAYNE on TBS. The show follows Brown as he tries to fulfill his father's dying wish by running a retirement home. Helping him out are his daughter, Cora (Tamela Mann � Diary of a Mad Black Woman); his nephew, Will (Lamman Rucker � Why Did I Get Married?), a doctor; Will's wife, Sasha (Denise Boutte � Days of Our Lives), a nurse; Carmen Martinez (Jeanette Sousa � Supernatural), a beautiful young social worker; and Jes�s Hernandez (Antonio Jaramillo � CSI: Miami), a maintenance engineer studying to be a lawyer.
MEET THE BROWNS premiered on TBS Wednesday, Jan. 7, with 4.2 million viewers. It has consistently ranked as ad-supported cable's top comedy each week among adults 18-49 and adults 25-54. Over the first four weeks, the show has averaged 3.4 million viewers, 1.9 million adults 18-49 and 1.8 million adults 25-54. It ranks second only to American Idol among television's top series in January delivery of African-American viewers, households, adults 18-34, adults 18-49 and adults 25-54.
Perry's association with TBS began in 2006, when he and Debmar-Mercury devised a groundbreaking distribution strategy for HOUSE OF PAYNE. Perry and Debmar-Mercury 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. TBS has subsequently purchased an additional 26 episodes. New episodes are scheduled to begin airing Wednesday, Feb. 11.
"I am thrilled to be extending my relationship with TBS," Perry said. "From an artistic point of view, it has been a delight creating MEET THE BROWNS and watching how my audience has embraced it so quickly."
"Tyler Perry and TBS have turned the traditional sitcom model on its head with hit comedies like MEET THE BROWNS and HOUSE OF PAYNE," said Mort Marcus, co-president of Debmar-Mercury. "We couldn't have asked for better partners."
Ira Bernstein, co-president of Debmar-Mercury, said, "To achieve one, let alone two, comedy hits in today's market is nothing short of amazing and serves as a testament to the creative genius of Tyler."
The deal for MEET THE BROWNS was negotiated on behalf of TBS by Jonathan Katz, Turner Entertainment Group senior vice president/general manager of program planning, acquisitions and Peachtree TV, and on behalf of Tyler Perry by Matt Johnson at Ziffren, Brittenham and the William Morris Agency.
Since making his film debut in 2005 with Lionsgate's, Diary of a Mad Black Woman, Tyler Perry has become a multimedia phenomenon with a roster of hugely successful film, stage, television and book projects. Four of Perry's six 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 DVDs total more than 25 million units. 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 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 have set box office records in major venues across the country, including the Kodak Theatre in Los Angeles and the Beacon Theater in New York. 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. Perry will release his seventh film, Madea Goes to Jail, based on his most popular play, nationwide on Feb. 20. In 2008, Perry unveiled Tyler Perry Studios, a 200,000-square-foot studio situated on the former Delta Airlines campus in Atlanta, where his films and television shows will be filmed.
Debmar-Mercury, a worldwide media company specializing in syndication, network, cable and ancillary markets, produces and distributes The Wendy Williams Show, debuting in July 2009; distributes Tyler Perry's House of Payne and spinoff Meet the Browns; produces and distributes Trivial Pursuit: America Plays, in association with Hasbro, Inc.; distributes strips Family Feud, South Park and True Hollywood Story, as well as weeklies American Chopper, Deadliest Catch and The Dead Zone; and distributes a movie library featuring titles from Revolution Studios and Lionsgate. Debmar-Mercury is a wholly owned subsidiary of Lionsgate (NYSE: LGF), the leading next generation filmed entertainment studio.
TBS, a division of Turner Broadcasting System, Inc., is television's top-rated comedy network. It serves as home to such original comedy series as My Boys, The Bill Engvall Show, Tyler Perry's House of Payne and Meet the Browns; original late-night series like 10 Items or Less; hot contemporary comedies like The Office, My Name is Earl, Sex and the City, Everybody Loves Raymond, Family Guy, King of Queens, Seinfeld and Friends; specials like Funniest Commercials of the Year; special events, such as June's TBS Presents a "Very Funny" Festival: Just For Laughs event in Chicago and November's TBS Presents A "Very Funny" Festival: The Comedy Festival event in Las Vegas; blockbuster movies; and hosted movie showcases.
Turner Broadcasting System, Inc., a Time Warner company, creates and programs branded news, entertainment, animation and young adult media environments on television and other platforms for consumers around the world.