TBS Orders Tyler Perry’s For Better or Worse

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TBS has ordered 10 episodes of the new series “Tyler Perry’s For Better or Worse” from Tyler Perry Studios. The dramedy, based on Perry’s “Why Did I Get Married?” films, marks the third Tyler Perry series to come to TBS, which is also home to “Tyler Perry’s House of Payne” and “Meet the Browns.” As with “House of Payne” and “Meet the Browns,” syndication will be sold by Debmar Mercury.

“Tyler Perry’s For Better or Worse” follows the ups-and-downs of married life for Marcus and Angela, two characters who originated in the feature films Why Did I Get Married and Why Did I Get Married Too? Michael Jai White (The Dark Knight) and Tasha Smith (Couples Retreat) are set to reprise the roles of television anchor Marcus and salon owner Angela. Additional cast members to be announced.

“For Better or Worse” marks a new direction for Tyler Perry’s television properties. Unlike his family-oriented sitcoms, “For Better or Worse” will target young adults. Production on the series is slated to begin this summer at Tyler Perry Studios in Atlanta.

“Tyler Perry’s series have been tremendously successful for TBS, helping establish the network as a prime destination for African-American viewers,” said Michael Wright, executive vice president, head of programming, for TBS, TNT and Turner Classic Movies (TCM). “Given such a remarkable track record, we’re excited for the opportunity to expand our relationship with Tyler Perry and Debmar-Mercury with the new series ‘For Better or Worse.'”

“For Better or Worse” comes just as “Tyler Perry’s House of Payne” prepares to end its highly successful run. “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 Tyler Perry. “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.'”

Debmar-Mercury Co-Presidents Mort Marcus and Ira Bernstein commented, “The entertainment industry has never seen anyone like Tyler Perry, an extraordinarily talented film/television/stage producer, writer, director, actor and mogul who is capable of repeatedly turning out hit after hit for both TBS and broadcast syndication. We are thrilled to be associated with another of Tyler’s unique, remarkable and groundbreaking series.”

TBS’s association with Perry and Debmar-Mercury first began in May 2006 with the announcement of a “House of Payne” test-run on 10 local independent stations. After the successful test, TBS and Debmar-Mercury announced an additional 100 episodes of the series to air nationally on TBS. The first-of-its-kind deal marked a new model for the television industry.

The national premiere of “Tyler Perry’s House of Payne” on TBS in June 2007 drew 5.9 million viewers, at the time basic cable’s biggest sitcom audience ever. The show remained basic cable’s #1 sitcom until TBS’s August 2008 premiere of “Tyler Perry’s Meet the Browns.” For the first quarter of 2011, “House of Payne” and “Meet the Browns” ranked among television’s Top 5 primetime sitcoms with African-American adults 18-34 and 18-49.