TBS Commissions 20 Additional 'House Of Payne' Episodes

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TBS announced Thursday it will film an additional 20 episodes of its top-rated original comedy series House Of Payne.

The new order for the series, created by actor/playwright Tyler Perry and distributed by production company Debmar-Mercury, will bring the number of episodes to 172 since the sitcom debuted in 2006. The series -- which follows a multi-generational, African-American family living under one roof -- is among the top-viewed original cable sitcoms, averaging 3 million viewers over 20 new episodes in 2009. That's second only to the 3.5 million viewers watching Payne spinoff comedy series Meet The Browns, also on TBS. The two shows are also television's most-watched series among African-American  ages 18 to 34 in 2009.

"We have a terrific relationship with Tyler Perry, and this deal means new episodes of House Of Payne will continue to air on TBS well into the future," said Michael Wright, executive vice president, head of programming for TBS, TNT and Turner Classic Movies (TCM) in a statement. "Tyler stands alone in the entertainment business today as an entrepreneur who knows his audience. It's great to continue working with Tyler and our partners at Debmar-Mercury."