Filmmaker Tyler Perry already has a hit sitcom on TBS, and the “Very Funny” network thinks he can bring it a second one.
TBS had ordered 10 episodes of the new comedy from Perry based on characters from his play and hit movie, Meet the Browns, officials said Tuesday. The new show, from Debmar-Mercuty, is slated to debut in January.
TBS already has a major hit in Perry’s Tyler Perry’s House of Payne, ad-supported cable’s No. 1 original sitcom of all time, which 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.
“I am so excited to continue my relationship with TBS,” Perry said in a 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 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.
Debmar-Mercury is owned by Lionsgate, whose CEO Jon Feltheimer earlier this month said 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 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 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,” Mort Marcus, co-president of Debmar-Mercury, said in a statement “We knew the same distribution model was the perfect way to go to expand the huge Meet The Browns brand to television.”
Since making his film debut in 2005 with Lionsgate’s Diary of a Mad Black Woman, four of Perry’s five films have debuted at No. 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.