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Tyler Perry Launches New TV Series, For Better or Worse

Film and television mogul, Tyler Perry, has done it again. TBS has ordered 10 episodes of his new television series, “For Better or Worse,” based on characters from his hit Why Did I Get Married? films. This is the third series partnership for Tyler Perry Studio and TBS. As with Perry’s “House of Payne” and “Meet the Browns,” Debmar-Mercury will handle syndication.

“Working on ‘House of Payne’ taught me a lot about what it takes to make a successful television series, and I’m looking forward to applying that experience to ‘For Better or Worse,’” Perry said in a statement.

The introduction of the new series comes along just as Tyler Perry’s history-making “House of Payne” prepares to end its highly successful run on TBS. “House of Payne” premiered June 2007 with 5.9 million viewers, the highest number for a sitcom on basic cable.

Perry’s “For Better or Worse” continues with the characters Marcus and Angela from the films Why Did I Get Married and Why Did I Get Married, Too? Michael Jai White (The Dark Knight) and Tasha Smith (Couples Retreat) will reprise their roles as the television news anchor and salon owner in an embattled, co-dependent marriage. The series will begin production this summer at Tyler Perry Studios and marks a new direction as this series is slated for young adults.

“Tyler Perry’s series have been tremendously successful for TBS, helping establish the network as a prime destination for African American viewers,” said Michael Wright, executive vice president, head of programming, for TBS, TNT and Turner Classic Movies (TCM). “Given such a remarkable track record, we’re excited for the opportunity to expand our relationship with Tyler Perry and Debmar-Mercury with the new series ‘For Better or Worse.'”

Debmar-Mercury co-presidents Mort Marcus and Ira Bernstein commented, “The entertainment industry has never seen anyone like Tyler Perry, an extraordinarily talented film/television/stage producer, writer, director, actor and mogul who is capable of repeatedly turning out hit after hit for both TBS and broadcast syndication. We are thrilled to be associated with another of Tyler’s unique, remarkable and groundbreaking series.”

The three organizations began its partnership in May 2006 with the announcement of a test-run with “House of Payne” in 10 markets with local independent stations. After the tests were successful, TBS and Debmar-Mercury announced an additional 100 episodes to air nationally on TBS. It was a first-of-its-kind deal for the entertainment industry. –a. robinson