Tyler Perry Signs Production Deal
Business is booming for writer, director, producer and actor Tyler Perry. In one of the biggest talent deals under the new Viacom leadership, he’s reportedly snagged a long-term pact which encompasses television, film and short- form video. The 47-year-old is currently in an exclusive deal at OWN: The Oprah Winfrey Network.
Under the Viacom agreement, Perry will produce approximately 90 episodes annually of original drama and comedy series for BET, which caters primarily to African-American audiences, and other Viacom networks. Viacom will have exclusive licensing rights on the TV programming as well as exclusive distribution rights to Perry’s short-form video content. Paramount Pictures will have exclusive first-look rights on Perry’s feature film projects.
The TV pact is similar to Perry’s arrangement at OWN: The Oprah Winfrey Network where he has been since 2012. The film agreement is effective immediately, while the TV/short-form video one will kick in May 2019 when the OWN pact ends and will feature new series. Both parts of Perry’s Viacom deal will go through 2024. Bob Bakish, President and CEO of Viacom, said 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.
Perry said in a statement,
Viacom has a rich tradition of reaching my audience through their TV, film and digital platforms and I am excited to partner with them. I am eager to have one home where I can leverage all of their assets to tell my stories to an even wider audience. I have been very blessed to have worked with the incredible people at Lionsgate and OWN over the last few years and I look forward to continuing my work with them on a non-exclusive basis.
Under the OWN agreement, the cable network has ordered more than 500 episodes over 5 different Perry shows, which have been airing since May 2013. That includes The Haves and the Have Nots (151 episodes), If Loving You is Wrong (100 episodes, For Better or Worse (117 new episodes), Love Thy Neighbor (118 episodes), and the upcoming new comedy The Paynes (38 episodes), which is set to debut in 2018. In a statement about his pending departure, OWN says,
OWN has an exclusive overall television production deal with Tyler Perry that runs through May of 2019 with series airing on the network through 2020. At the end of the exclusive relationship, OWN and Tyler Perry have the option to work together on a non-exclusive basis. OWN has had great success in the scripted space with Tyler Perry and with its new original dramas Queen Sugar and Greenleaf. The network will continue to aggressively expand its roster of premium original scripted series.