Viacom Signs Tyler Perry to Long-Term Production Deal

Prolific producer/actor Tyler Perry will develop original series and short form programming for BET and other Viacom networks as part of a long-term agreement announced Friday (July 14).

Under the terms of the deal – which goes into effect in May 2019 after Perry’s deal with OWN expires and runs through 2024 -- Perry will produce approximately 90 episodes annually of exclusive, original drama and comedy series for BET, with Viacom holding exclusive licensing rights.

In addition, Viacom will have exclusive distribution rights to Perry’s short-form video content, said Viacom.

Perry has developed a number of scripted series for several cable networks including Tyler Perry’s House of Payne, Meet The Browns, Love Thy Neighbor, For Better Or Worse, If Loving You Is Wrong, Too Close To Home and The Have and The Have Nots.

Paramount Pictures will also hold exclusive ‘first look’ rights on any new feature film concepts created by Perry.  

“I am delighted that we are deepening our longstanding relationship with Tyler,” said Debra L. Lee, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of BET Networks in a statement. “BET co-funded Tyler’s very first feature film, we’ve aired his movies and many of his series with great success on our networks, and we’ve honored his tremendous talent with our signature awards. This partnership will allow us to work even more closely with him and bring more of his iconic content to our viewers.”

Viacom president and chief executive officer Bob Bakish added in a statement: “Today’s announcement represents an important step forward as Viacom continues to make swift progress against our new strategic plan. By prioritizing efforts to work with the best, most versatile talent in the entertainment industry, we are better positioned to deliver must-watch content across our brands and platforms. Tyler is a prolific creative force, and I’m excited that this collaboration will bring his signature humor and powerful storytelling to Viacom’s audiences while further cementing BET’s position as the leading home for bold, relevant African-American programming and scripted content.”

R. Thomas Umstead

R. Thomas Umstead serves as senior content producer, programming for Multichannel News, Broadcasting + Cable and Next TV. During his more than 30-year career as a print and online journalist, Umstead has written articles on a variety of subjects ranging from TV technology, marketing and sports production to content distribution and development. He has provided expert commentary on television issues and trends for such TV, print, radio and streaming outlets as Fox News, CNBC, the Today show, USA Today, The New York Times and National Public Radio. Umstead has also filmed, produced and edited more than 100 original video interviews, profiles and news reports featuring key cable television executives as well as entertainers and celebrity personalities.