TBS sure loves Tyler Perry.
The Atlanta-based network has ordered a third show from Perry called “For Better or Worse,” set to debut later this year while “Tyler Perry’s House of Payne” will be retired next year after six years on the air.
But “For Better or Worse” won’t be a family-friendly sitcom like “Payne” and “Meet the Browns.” TBS describes the new show as a “dramedy” targeting young adults and will be based on the Perry hit films “Why Did I Get Married?” and “Why Did I Get Married Too?” Michael Jai White (The Dark Knight) and Tasha Smith (Couples Retreat) will reprise their respective roles as television anchor Marcus and salon owner Angela.
As of right now, it’s a 30-minute series. Perry will use a “single camera” set up like “The Office” or “Modern Family,” not the traditional three-camera sitcom such as “The Big Bang Theory” or “Mike & Molly.” It will be shot at Tyler Perry Studios in Southwest Atlanta and is tentatively scheduled to debut at the end of 2011.
Like “House of Payne” and “Meet the Browns,” TBS will introduce “For Better or Worse” with a test run of ten episodes before committing to more.
“House of Payne” debuted in 2006 as a test run of ten episodes, all financed by Perry, and aired in ten test markets, including Atlanta. It did so well, TBS ordered an unprecedented 100 episodes. Perry, using a much tighter schedule than most sitcoms, shot two episodes a week in a span of a year. Over seven seasons, the series has aired more than 180 episodes and will end its run sometime next year. “Payne” completed production in early April.
“Even though it will be sad to say goodbye to ‘House of Payne,’ I’m really looking forward to exploring new territory with ‘For Better or Worse,’ ” said Perry in a press release. “Working on ‘House of Payne’ taught me a lot about what it takes to make a successful television series and I’m looking forward to applying that experience to ‘For Better or Worse.’ ”
“Payne” averaged close to three million viewers per new episode in its earlier days, but during this current year, viewership has dipped to about 2.2 million viewers. During its entire run, it has averaged 2.77 million viewers, 1.48 million in the advertiser-friendly 18-49 demo, according to Nielsen Research. Since 2008, it has been syndicated as well on the CW, MyNetworkTV and Peachtree TV.
His other sitcom, “Meet the Browns,” debuted in 2009 and has aired 132 episodes over four seasons of varying lengths. Its ratings are in the same neighborhood as “House of Payne,” averaging 2.57 million viewers with 1.35 million in the 18-49 demographic.
By Rodney Ho, firstname.lastname@example.org, AJCRadioTV blog