Everything You Need to Know About Tyler Perry’s New Shows on BET
Tyler Perry has become one of the richest media moguls in history thanks to his consistent work in film, television and stage plays. He continues to add to his already successful brand and recently became the first African-American to own a film studio outright. The new Tyler Perry Studios is larger than the Warner Bros, Disney and Paramount lots combined.
Along with a new studio equipped with 12 sound stages, Perry has new programming to that’s recently been added to the BET lineup. After multiple years with OWN, he made the switch with an unprecedented deal.
Tyler Perry snags deal with OWN
Tyler Perry’s genius can be credited for somewhat saving the once struggling Oprah Winfrey network. During its first year of operation, OWN struggled to build an audience. The network played shows in syndication and some original programming but none of it stuck and had extremely low ratings, with the exception of Our America with Lisa Ling.
In October 2012, CBS News reported that Tyler Perry a deal to produce shows exclusively for OWN. Perry’s first two productions for OWN—the night time soap opera, The Haves and the Have Nots, and the sitcom Love Thy Neighbor— premiered in May 2013. The two-hour series premiere of The Haves and the Have Nots debuted with 1.18 million viewers, becoming the network’s highest-rated series premiere to date. The two shows continued to break records and put OWN at a competitive label with other networks.
Perry refuted claims that he was responsible for saving the network. In a 2016 interview with Essence Magazine, he gave praises to Winfrey for trusting him to bring great programming to the network, saying:
“It’s the power of Oprah that’s saved the network. It’s the business sense of Oprah as a CEO to say [Tyler], come do this for my network. Yes, we have great ratings, but we’re not saving the network. Oprah herself has set that network on the right path, and she is the wind that is pushing it in the right direction.”Essence Magazine
Tyler Perry leaves OWN for BET (Viacom)
Perry’s programming dominated OWN. Along with The Haves and the Have Nots and Love Thy Neighbor, he eventually transitioned his original show, For Better or Worse, from TBS. For Better or Worse ended in 2017. By 2017, he had already generated more than 500 episodes of original programming for OWN.
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution revealed in 2017 that after five years with OWN, Perry was not renewing his deal and was taking his talents to Viacom, specifically BET. At the time of the announcement, BET was airing repeats of Perry’s TBS shows, Meet the Browns and House of Payne.
The new deal with BET called for him to be under contract from 2019 through 2024. He would be responsible for producing a minimum of 90 television episodes yearly. Perry will also get to develop films for Viacom’s Paramount Pictures and work exclusively to bring content to BET’s new digital streaming service, BET+.
Tyler Perry’s new shows on BET
Beginning this month, Perry’s new shows began airing on BET and BET+. The Hollywood Reporter announced in January of this year that there were four new confirmed series by the mogul. There’s a lot riding on Perry as the overall goal for the network is to increase original programming by 21 percent with new scripted series and movies.
The first two BET originals from Perry are the White House inspired drama, The Oval, and Sistas, which premiered back to back on October 9. According to Deadline, The Oval “centers on a family placed in the White House by people of power while also highlighting the personal side and everyday lives of the staff who run the inner workings of the nation’s most iconic residence.” Sistas “revolves around a group of single black females as they navigate their “complicated” love lives, careers and friendships through the ups-and-downs of living in a modern world.”
Perry has also committed to producing a live holiday-themed production set to air this holiday season. Fans are excited about the new Perry original series and look forward to his continued reign.