TBS To 'Meet The Browns'

Hoping to build on the success of Tyler Perry’s House of Payne, TBS has picked up Meet the Browns, a second original sitcom from Perry based on his play and movie by the same name. TBS has ordered 10 episodes of the new series, which will premiere in January 2009.

 If the first 10 episodes score in the ratings, TBS will order more episodes to start airing the following summer or fall, with Meet the Browns scheduled to come to broadcast syndication in 2010.

  “This is something that was always in the works in Tyler’s head,” says Ira Bernstein, co-president of Debmar-Mercury. “Once House of Payne became as successful as it was, this became the next obvious show. Of all the networks and places you could possibly put this, TBS was the best place to run this anywhere on the map. There’s nothing more powerful than a companion piece.”

 Bernstein and his co-president, Mort Marcus, both expect the show to perform well on TBS and then go on to be paired with House of Payne on TV stations. House of Payne premieres this fall in access and prime-time slots in many top markets after running for one year on TBS.

 Like House of Payne, the series will be executive produced, directed and occasionally written by Perry and distributed by Debmar-Mercury. David Mann stars as Leroy Brown, a man who 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 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.”

 TBS first began working with Perry in 2006, when Debmar-Mercury devised a groundbreaking distribution strategy for House of Payne. Debmar aired the show in a10-episode experiment in select television markets that produced strong ratings, leading TBS to place an unprecedented 100-episode order. TBS began airing House of Payne last summer and it recently ordered 26 more episodes.

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.