Debmar-Mercury signs TBS to launch first-run syndicated series nationally in primetime in June 2007; Fox O&Os in New York, Houston, Dallas and Washington, plus WCUI Chicago follow a year later.
After a test run in 10 major markets earlier this summer, Debmar-Mercury announced plans for the national launch of Tyler Perry’s House of Payne. TBS will begin airing 100 episodes in primetime beginning in June of 2007, with the network having exclusive rights to the episodes before they become available to local stations through syndication in a year later.
Broadcast syndication will begin in September 2008, led by Fox-owned stations in New York, Dallas, Houston and Washington plus Weigel’s WCIU Chicago in four-year cash-plus-barter deals.
Tyler Perry’s House of Payne was created by Tyler Perry, who has teamed with Debmar-Mercury parent, Lionsgate, on the consecutive No. 1 theatrical hits Diary of a Mad Black Woman and Madea’s Family Reunion. The series is the first television outing for Perry, expanding his relationship with the Lionsgate family as he partners with Debmar-Mercury to develop the show specifically for first-run syndication. Perry is the show’s director, producer, executive producer and writer.
The show follows the comic situations that ensue when a multi-generational family lives under one roof. It stars Allen Payne as C.J. Payne, who is forced to move in with his parents (Lavan Davis as Curtis Payne and Cassi Davis as Ella Payne) after his house burns down.
“The highly successful test run of Tyler Perry’s House of Payne this summer proved to broadcasters around the country that viewers will respond to this show. We are thrilled that TBS and Fox recognized the value of the series and the tremendous appeal of Tyler’s sensibility, and have come on board with this ambitious launch strategy,” said Debmar-Mercury co-president Mort Marcus.