WWith his catalogue of plays and films, plus his sitcoms “Meet the Browns” and “House of Payne,” Tyler Perry may have enough material to launch his own cable network, and he may be doing just that.
“Tyler is one of those rare resources that one could launch a channel with,” said Lionsgate CEO John Feltheimer who described Tyler as a “rare piece of talent that can bring an audience anywhere.”
The studio, which has a first-look deal with Tyler, has found the relationship beneficial, earning millions from the partnership. Ten of Tyler’s films released since 2005 have grossed about $520 million, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
Although Tyler has received criticism from Spike Lee and other filmmakers about the depiction of African Americans in his productions, it’s those very same characters, such as Madea, that will likely help launch any cable network Tyler spearheads.
Insiders are currently referring to the venture as Tyler TV, which would be one of the few networks, along with OWN, named after an African American.
Although OWN has had some trouble finding an audience, it’s doubtful that Tyler TV would, since the actor, director, writer, playwright and filmmaker has done an impressive job of serving a specific and loyal demographic.
There’s no word yet on how the launch of Tyler TV would affect Tyler’s relationship with TBS, which will carry his upcoming sitcom “For Better or Worse” this fall.
Tyler talks more about his upcoming business ventures and his personal life. Is marriage in his future? Pick up the March 2012 issue of Sister 2 Sister.
—Tracy L. Scott
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