On Friday, media conglomerate Viacom announced its new multi-year content partnership with renowned actor/comedian/filmmaker/writer and songwriter Tyler Perry.
The partnership between the media company and Perry, which will run until 2024, will encompass television, film, and short-form video. The film agreement is effective immediately but the TV and short-form video won’t be in effect until May 2019, when Perry’s current agreement with the Oprah Winfrey Network (OWN) concludes.
“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,” Viacom President and CEO Bob Pakish, said in a statement. “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.”
Under the new agreement, Perry will produce around 90 episodes annually of original drama and comedy series for the Black Entertainment Television (BET) and other Viacom networks, the company stated. BET has had a long standing relationship with Perry. The network co-produced his first feature film “Diary of a Mad Black Woman,” in 2005, and also two of his TV comedies, “Meet the Browns” and “House of Payne.”
“I am delighted that we are deepening our long-standing relationship with Tyler,” Debra Lee, BET Networks CEO, said in a statement.
Along with the partnership, Viacom will have exclusive licensing rights on this programming and exclusive distribution rights to the filmmaker’s short-form video content. In addition, Paramount Pictures– a subsidiary of Viacom– will have exclusive “first look” rights to Perry’s new feature film concepts.
“Viacom has a rich tradition of reaching my audience through their TV, film and digital platforms and I am excited to partner with them,” Perry said in a statement. “I am eager to have one home where I can leverage all of their assets to tell my stories to an even wider audience.”
Perry is widely known for his comedic character Madea, who starred in several of his films. Including his first feature film, “Diary of a Mad Black Woman,” and in many others like Madea’s Family Reunion, and in his earlier plays. Perry is also known for his TV shows including “Tyler Perry’s House of Payne,” and “The Have and Havenots.” The filmmaker has produced a variety of productions over the years and is expected to release two movies by the end of this year and another next summer.
In the mean time, Perry will still release new content on OWN and Lionsgate and says he plans to continue working with both on a non-exclusive basis.