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Tyler Perry, Viacom enter multi-year agreement

Comprehensive partnership to include TV, film and short-form content.

Viacom has announced a comprehensive, multi-year content partnership with Tyler Perry, encompassing television, film and short-form video.

Under the agreement, Perry will produce approximately 90 episodes annually of original drama and comedy series for BET and other Viacom networks. Viacom will have exclusive licensing rights on this programming. 

In addition, Viacom will have exclusive distribution rights to Perry’s short-form video content, and Paramount Pictures will have exclusive first-look rights on Perry’s feature film projects.

The film agreement is effective immediately, with the partnership on Perry’s TV and short-form video content to go into effect in May 2019, following the expiration of Perry’s exclusive agreement with OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network. Viacom’s agreement will extend through 2024.

Perry is behind seven television series and 16 feature films in addition to 20 plays and a best-selling book.

His first television series, Tyler Perry’s House Of Payne set a ratings record for a basic cable sitcom when it debuted and was followed up by Meet The Browns

Since then he has launched several more programmes, including the drama The Haves And The Have Nots. His films include Boo! A Madea Halloween, which grossed $74.8m worldwide and Tyler Perry’s Madea Goes To Jail that grossed $90.5m.

Bob Bakish, president and CEO of Viacom, said: “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. Tyler is a prolific creative force, and I’m excited that this collaboration will bring his signature humour 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.”

Debra L. Lee, chairman and CEO of BET Networks, said: “I am delighted that we are deepening our longstanding relationship with Tyler. BET co-funded Tyler’s very first feature film, we’ve aired his movies and many of his series with great success on our networks, and we’ve honoured his tremendous talent with our signature awards. This partnership will allow us to work even more closely with him and bring more of his iconic content to our viewers.”

Perry added: “Viacom has a rich tradition of reaching my audience through their TV, film and digital platforms and I am excited to partner with them. 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.”

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