Fans of Viacom, BET, Paramount and Tyler Perry got some good news last week:
Beginning in May 2019, the prolific writer, director, producer, actor and playwright behind seven television series, 16 feature films and 20 plays will turn his creative energies toward producing 90 episodes of original comedy and drama each year for BET and other Viacom networks. His movies may be coming to Viacom even sooner – Paramount Pictures has exclusive first look rights to Perry’s new feature film content starting immediately.
“Today’s announcement represents an important step forward as Viacom continues to make swift progress against our new strategic plan,” said Viacom President and CEO Bob Bakish, referring to the company’s February reorientation around our six flagship networks: MTV, Comedy Central, Nickelodeon, Nick Jr., BET, and Spike (soon to become Paramount Network).
“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. 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.”
Perry, whose work has aired extensively on BET, cited Viacom’s vast reach and inroads with his target audience as motivation behind signing on with the company. “Viacom has a rich tradition of reaching my audience through their TV, film and digital platforms and I am excited to partner with them,” he 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.”
As recently as last summer, Perry played an important role in a Paramount film – as inventor-cum-bad guy Baxter Stockman in Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows. In an interview with movie news and review site JoBlo, Perry gave some insight into the work ethic and curiosity that undergird his continuous success. Asked if he was able to turn off the writer/director part of his brain when he was acting in someone else’s film, Perry said, “Absolutely. But I don’t turn off the student, because I like to go onto other people’s sets to learn, and for me I’m sitting back and just taking in as much and learning as much as I can as an actor, but also as a student.”
Watch the full interview below:
Video courtesy of joblo.com. Used with permission.
Perry’s work includes the iconic Madea character, a combative, righteous elderly black woman that he has portrayed in 11 plays and 11 movies; the TBS hit Tyler Perry’s House of Payne; and The Haves and the Have Nots for Oprah Winfrey Network.
It will be a while yet before Perry’s new concepts make their way to Viacom’s varied platforms, and there’s no way to predict what kind of compelling content will emerge from his active mind, but this much is certain: the wait will be worth it.