Atlanta media mogul Tyler Perry had a good run with Atlanta-based TBS, but he’s now moving on to his buddy Oprah Winfrey and her TV network OWN.
According to deadline.com, Perry will “executive produce, write and direct two new scripted series for a mid-2013 premiere on OWN, marking the network’s first foray into scripted programming.”
Perry had a long run with TBS, first with “Tyler Perry’s House of Payne,” then “Meet the Browns” and now “For Better or Worse.”
The sitcom “House of Payne” aired 254 new episodes from 2007 through August of this year under a model designed by Perry to whip out as many shows as possible in as short a time as possible to get to syndication. “Meet the Browns” lasted 140 episodes from early 2009 through November of last year.
“For Better or Worse” has aired 34 new episodes to date, with 11 more to go this second season. That show will be committed to TBS as long as TBS still wants it.
But TBS is no longer focused as much on the African-American audience, especially after it picked up talk show host Conan O’Brien last year. Conan was not a good coupling with the Tyler Perry series (which Conan made fun of at times.)
So with Conan airing Monday through Thursday, TBS decided last year to move the Perry shows from Wednesday to the less popular viewing night of Friday. “The Big Bang Theory” repeats, which debuted on TBS a year ago, have paid dividends for the network, boosting Conan as a more compatible lead in.
Clearly, Perry saw the writing on the wall with TBS and pursued a new home for his scripted TV work. OWN has seen its own ratings grow sharply this year and one of its most successful shows, “Welcome to Sweetie Pies,” does well with black audiences.
By Rodney Ho, Radio & TV Talk