Network Acquires Enduring Series with the Most Episodes Produced of Any African-American Sitcom in History
October 14, 2015
NEW YORK AND LOS ANGELES – Debmar-Mercury today announced it has concluded a four-year deal for BET to acquire all 254 episodes of its record-breaking sitcom, Tyler Perry’s House of Payne. The syndicator and Perry produced more episodes of the show during its 2006-12 run than any other African-American sitcom, with House of Payne surpassing The Jeffersons at 253 episodes, Family Matters (215) and Diff’rent Strokes (189).
“We identified House of Payne as a highly compatible series for our daytime sitcom staples,” says Maureen Guthman, Senior Vice President of Programming & Acquisitions, BET. “Not only is our audience a fan of this successful series but The Mann Family has been a talent on BET for years.”
BET and the Viacom Program Acquisitions Group, led by Barbara Zaneri, Executive Vice President, Program Acquisitions, secured the series, which will be a key building block for the net’s comedy series lineup. BET will launch House of Payne with a 24-hour marathon beginning on Sunday, Nov. 1, at noon EST/PST and ending on Monday, Nov. 2, at noon EST/PST.
Debmar-Mercury Co-Presidents Ira Bernstein and Mort Marcus commented, “BET will provide a strong platform for House of Payne, which holds a special place in our hearts for laying the foundation of our company’s growth.”
After starting as a 10-episode test in 2006, the series starring Allen Payne about the misadventures of a family moving in with the husband’s aunt and uncle launched nationally the following year for a five-season run on TBS.
Debmar-Mercury, a leading media company specializing in syndication, network, cable and ancillary markets, produces and distributes The Wendy Williams Show; produces and distributes the Craig Ferguson-hosted Celebrity Name Game (renewed for a second season starting in fall 2017) with co-producer FremantleMedia North America; has U.S. distribution rights to FremantleMedia North America’s Steve Harvey-hosted Family Feud; distributes Tyler Perry sitcoms House of Payne and spinoff Meet the Browns, as well as Revolution/CubeVision’s Are We There Yet? (starring Ice Cube); and, for FX, sitcoms including Lionsgate Television’s Anger Management (starring Charlie Sheen and now also airing in national off-network syndication); and has U.S. TV distribution rights to Tosh.0, South Park, Hell’s Kitchen and a movie library featuring titles from Revolution Studios. Debmar-Mercury is a wholly owned subsidiary of Lionsgate (NYSE: LGF), a leading global entertainment company.
About BET Networks
BET Networks, a subsidiary of Viacom Inc. (NASDAQ: VIA, VIA.B), is the nation’s leading provider of quality entertainment, music, news and public affairs television programming for the African-American audience. The primary BET channel reaches more than 90 million households and can be seen in the United States, Canada, the Caribbean, the United Kingdom and sub-Saharan Africa. BET is the dominant African-American consumer brand with a diverse group of business extensions: BET.com, a leading Internet destination for Black entertainment, music, culture, and news; CENTRIC - the first network designed for African American women; BET Digital Networks; BET Home Entertainment, a collection of BET-branded offerings for the home environment including DVDs and video-on-demand; BET Event Productions, a full-scale event management and production company with festivals and live events spanning the globe; BET Mobile, which provides ringtones, games and video content for wireless devices; and BET International, which operates BET in the United Kingdom and oversees the extension of BET programming for global distribution.
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