'House of Payne' Is No. 1 With African-American Audiences

Debmar-Mercury's rookie sitcom, Tyler Perry's House of Payne, is running in the middle of the pack when it comes to off-net sitcoms, but among the African-American audiences it targets, it tops anything else on television.

Among African-American adults age 18-34, 18-49 and 25-54, House of Payne is the No. 1 show in all of network prime, all of cable and all of syndication, according to its — take a breath here — live-plus-seven, season-to-date, gross-average-audience ratings average. That rating includes double-runs on stations and its cable run on TBS.

In primetime, House of Payne beats such ratings monsters as Grey's Anatomy, Dancing With the Stars, Desperate Housewives and CSI in all African-American adult demographics. Among African-Americans 18-34, the weekday airings of the show are scoring a 6.3 household average. That rating climbs as audiences age, scoring a 7.1 among adults 18-49 and a 7.6 among adults 25-54.

Among syndicated shows, Twentieth'sFamily Guy comes closest to House of Payne at a 4.9 among adults 18-34. Among adults 18-49, NBC Universal's Maury inches out Family Guy at a 4.2 to a 4.1. And among older African-American audiences Judge Judy and Oprah are in third and fourth at a 5.1 and 4.3, respectively.

In primetime, Fox's Family Guy is Payne's closest competition among African-Americans 18-34 at a 5.2. ABC's Grey's Anatomy wins third place among African-Americans 18-49 at a 5.2, followed by CBS' 60 Minutes at a 4.8. And among older audiences, CSI: Miami takes third at a 6.5, followed by CSI at a 6.1.

“If you want to reach 7.1% of the African American audience among adults 18-49, you can do that. And you can buy House of Payne for a lot less than CSI,” which ties for sixth in that demographic, says Bob Cesa, Twentieth's executive VP of ad sales. “There's no doubt that House of Payne is a screaming deal.”

That's even truer on cable, where the show's ratings in all African-American adult demographics double nearly anything else.

Among general audiences, the show averaged a 2.7 live-plus-same-day GAA household rating in the week ending Nov. 16, placing it seventh among 23 off-net sitcoms.

Paige Albiniak

Contributing editor Paige Albiniak has been covering the business of television for nearly 25 years. She is a longtime contributor to Next TV, Broadcasting + Cable and Multichannel News. She concurrently serves as editorial director for entertainment marketing association Promax. She has written for such publications as TVNewsCheck, The New York Post, Variety, CBS Watch and more. Albiniak was B+C’s Los Angeles bureau chief from September 2002 to 2004, and an associate editor covering Congress and lobbying for the magazine in Washington, D.C., from January 1997-September 2002.