*Tyler Perry has moved his entire operation to Viacom, inking a wide-ranging content pact that includes a first-look deal with Paramount Pictures and calls for him to produce series for BET and other Viacom-owned networks, reports Variety.
The film deal takes effect immediately, while the TV pact will begin in May 2019 after his current deal with Oprah Winfrey’s OWN network expires. The Paramount move follows Perry’s longtime association with Lionsgate.
“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. “I am eager to have one home where I can leverage all of their assets to tell my stories to an even wider audience. I have been very blessed to have worked with the incredible people at Lionsgate and OWN over the last few years and I look forward to continuing my work with them on a non-exclusive basis.”
The five-year TV deal requires Perry to deliver some 90 episodes of comedy and drama series per year. Viacom will also distribute short-form content from Perry, who has a large production studio in Atlanta.
BET chairman-CEO Debra Lee noted that the network has a long history with Perry, having helped to fund his first feature, 2005’s “Diary of a Mad Black Woman.”
“This partnership will allow us to work even more closely with him and bring more of his iconic content to our viewers,” Lee said.
Perry has three more films set for release through Lionsgate. “Tyler Perry’s Boo 2: A Madea Halloween” arrives on Oct. 20. In 2018, “She’s Living My Life,” toplined by Taraji P. Henson, is set for March 30 while “Family Funeral” premieres Aug. 3.
OWN has a new Perry-produced series, “The Paynes,” arriving next year with a 38-episode order.
“OWN has an exclusive overall television production deal with Tyler Perry that runs through May of 2019 with series airing on the network through 2020. At the end of the exclusive relationship, OWN and Tyler Perry have the option to work together on a non-exclusive basis,” OWN said in a statement. “OWN has had great success in the scripted space with Tyler Perry and with its new original dramas ‘Queen Sugar’ and ‘Greenleaf.’ The network will continue to aggressively expand its roster of premium original scripted series.”