After a test run of 10 episodes last last year, TBS has given “Tyler Perry’s For Better or Worse” a 35-episode pick up while officially retiring “Tyler Perry’s Meet the Browns.”
Perry’s first TV show, “House of Payne,” which wrapped production last year, is still airing new episodes but will end its run at some unspecified date. “Payne” and “Meet the Browns” were family comedies with both slapstick and occasional serious moments. “For Better or Worse” is Perry’s first adult relationship-type dramedy featuring no laugh track and a one-camera set up.
TBS aired back-to-back episodes of “For Better or Worse” for five weeks in November and December. The show opened averaging a very strong 3.4 million, then fell to 2 million the next week but stabilized at around 2 to 2.4 million the final three weeks. Counting DVR usage over seven days, the show averaged 2.9 million viewers over 10 episodes, 1.6 million in the coveted 18 to 49 year old demographic.
According to the press release, the program finished the year as basic cable’s No. 1 sitcom of 2011 and the the No. 1 show on all of television with African-American adults.
Although these aren’t quite as big a numbers as “Meet the Browns” or “House of Payne” in their earlier days, the audience is different. Plus, TBS has moved Perry’s shows to Friday nights from Wednesdays. Fridays tend draw fewer viewers.
While 35 episodes is a big pick up by any measure for a new show, it’s less than what “House of Payne” and “Meet the Browns” received. “House of Payne” was rewarded 100 and “Meet the Browns” 90 after their initial test runs.
“House of Payne” does not have an end date yet but when all is said and done, Perry will have created more than 250 episodes since its test run in 2006. “Meet the Browns” aired its final episode last November after 140 shows in the can.
The release also provided a summary of TBS’s three other committed scripted projects for 2012:
TBS recently announced that this summer, the network will premiere the new sitcoms Men at Work, starring Danny Masterson, James Lesure, Michael Cassidy and Adam Busch, and Sullivan and Son, starring comedian Steve Byrne. Also this year, TBS will launch The Wedding Band, a new comedy series starring Brian Austin Green, Harold Perrineau, Peter Cambor and Derek Miller, Melora Hardin, Jenny Wade and Kathryn Fiore.
By Rodney Ho, Radio & TV Talk