Tyler Perry to Resume TV Show Production in July in Atlanta

Tyler Perry, creator and star of the “Madea” movie franchise, May 12 announced in a statement from ViacomCBS unit BET that he would resume production on the second seasons of two original TV series July 8 at his studio in Atlanta. Perry becomes one of the first Hollywood movie and TV executives to announce post-coronavirus production plans.

“BET is committed to investing in quality programming from top industry power players and giving viewers more of the content they love and expect from the brand across our platforms,” Scott Mills, president of BET, said in a separate statement.

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Perry’s series “Sistas,” about a group of single black women dealing with love and friendship, and “The Oval,” showcasing fictional life in the White House, are filmed on the actor/producer’s 330-acre converted army facility (acquired in 2015) that includes housing, greenspace and 12 sound stages.

Georgia in April became the first state to re-open select businesses, including movie theaters, despite the ongoing pandemic that has killed more than 80,000 people in the United States.

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In an interview last month with Deadline, Perry outlined how he would sequester cast and crew on his studio grounds, among other safeguards, during production to minimize any potential spread of COVID-19.

Netflix Gets New ‘Shaun the Sheep’ Movie, Tyler Perry Drama

Netflix has acquired the U.S., Canadian and Latin America rights to Aardman’s A Shaun the Sheep Movie: Farmageddon from StudioCanal, which will be available on the service in early 2020. French-based StudioCanal and its worldwide distribution partners are releasing the stop-motion animated film in the rest of the world.

A number of Aardman’s titles, such as Wallace & Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit, Flushed Away and Shaun the Sheep Movie, are currently available on Netflix in most countries.

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Separately, Tyler Perry announced on social media that his new drama, A Fall From Grace, will begin streaming on the platform on Jan. 17.

“My next movie guys!!! This is an amazing thriller!!!” Perry tweeted on Nov. 22. The cast includes Crystal Fox, Phylicia Rashad, Bresha Webb, Cicely Tyson and Perry.

Perry remains busy co-launching the BET+ streaming service with Viacom, in addition to launching an original children’s series with Nickelodeon.

Viacom’s $9.99 BET+ Streaming Service Launches

Viacom Sept. 19 launched just its third branded domestic subscription streaming video service BET+, priced at $9.99 per month.

The SVOD service complements BET’s linear network, which launched in 1980 by Robert L. Johnson. Additional access points include BET.com and the BET Now app for TV Everywhere users.

In addition, BET’s recently launched channel on Pluto TV will continue to feature classic films and box office hits from the best of black Hollywood.

The service follows previous launches of preschool-based Noggin and Comedy Central Now. Viacom also owns and operates ad-supported Pluto TV.

Ironically, BET+ will compete directly against AMC Networks’ Urban Movie Channel (UMC), the SVOD created in 2018 for African American and urban audiences — by Robert L. Johnson’s RLJ Entertainment.

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BET+ is also available on the App Store for iPhone and iPad, Android devices, Android TV devices, Amazon Fire TV and Prime Video Channels.

Users can also subscribe directly through Apple TV channels and watch in the Apple TV app, on demand and ad-free, across their devices for online and offline viewing.

The joint venture by BET Networks and Tyler Perry Studios launches with more than 1,000 hours of ad-free premium content, including exclusive new original programming and a broad array of top African-American-focused dramas, sitcoms, films, and specials from BET and sister networks within the Viacom portfolio.

Additionally, BET+ will offer an exclusive collection of Tyler Perry films, television, and stage plays. The service will also provide a host of content from leading African American creators, including Tracy Oliver, Will Packer, along with fresh new voices, on both sides of the camera. New titles will be added to the service regularly.

Initial content includes all nine episodes of BET+ original series, “First Wives Club,from Girls Trip screenwriter Tracy Oliver, and starring Ryan Michelle Bathe, Michelle Buteau and Jill Scott.

New weekly original series,Bigger— a 10-episode comedic series from hitmaker Will Packer (“Ride Along” and “Think Like a Man.”) — gives fans a taste of what’s to come by making the first three episodes of the series available now.

The remaining episodes of will be released every week beginning Sept. 26. In addition to its new original content, BET+ is also now streaming the comedy series, Martin”.

In the coming months, BET+ will stream Tyler Perry’s theatrical films, including the Madeafranchise; new original series; and a selection of Perry’s stage plays —Meet the Browns,” “Daddy’s Little Girls,” “Family That Preys,” and “I Can Do Bad All By Myself,” among others.

BET+ will stream a lineup of African American TV, movie and musical content including BET’s library series, films, documentaries, and specials such as “The Bobby Brown Story,” “The New Edition Story,” “Real Husbands of Hollywood,” “The Quad,” “Being Mary Jane,” “Love & Happiness: An Obama Celebration, ” “College Hill,” “Comic View,” “Hell Date,” “Keyshia Cole: All In,” “Nellyville” “Reed Between The Lines,” “Ali: People’s Champ,” “Katrina: 10 Years Later,” “Killer Curves,” “BET Awards,” “Hip Hop Awards,” “Soul Train Awards,” “Black Girls Rock,” “Boomerang,” “Harlem Nights,” “Coach Carter,” “Losing Isaiah,” and “Tina Turner Live In Holland,” among others.

Viacom library TV shows include VH1’s “Love & Hip Hop: Atlanta,” “Basketball Wives,” “T.I. & Tiny: The Family Hustle,” Comedy Central’s “Why? With Hannibal Buress”, MTV’s “Todrick,” TV Land’s “Soul Man,” Nick @ Night’s “Instant Mom,” and more.

In the coming weeks, BET+ will feature stand-up comedy specials from D.L. Hughley, Eddie Griffin, Nick Cannon, Sasheer Zamata (Saturday Night Live), Lil Rel (Get Out), Gina Yashere (The Daily Show), and Sinbad.

 

Viacom, Tyler Perry Partner for BET Streaming Video Service

BET Networks, a unit of Viacom Media Networks, and Tyler Perry Studios June 24 unveiled a new joint venture to launch BET+, a pending subscription video-on-demand service targeting the African-American audience.

Available this fall, BET+ will feature more than 1,000 hours of content, including original programming and catalog series, movies, and specials from BET Networks, Perry, and other African-American content creators.

Tyler Perry

“African-Americans are the leading consumers of streaming services, with higher SVOD adoption rates than other consumers, which is why we’re so excited to launch a premium product for this underserved audience,” Scott Mills, president of BET Networks, said in a statement.

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BET+ will offer consumers a comprehensive collection of African-American-focused dramas, sitcoms, films and specials. It will be the official home of Tyler Perry’s collected works across film, television and the stage.

The service will feature Perry’s box office-topping theatrical films, including films from the “Madea” series; original series “House of Payne” and “Meet the Browns” and a selection of Perry’s stage plays.

“In our industry, the way people consume content is constantly evolving,” Perry said. “I’ve paid attention to my audience and what works for them and, for that reason, I’m very excited not only about the idea of partnering with BET to create new and exciting content, but also about the idea of giving people a personalized experience through the ability to curate the content they love to consume.”

The first BET+ original — “First Wives Club,” a 10 episode scripted drama from Girls Trip screenwriter Tracy Oliver — will debut on the service in the fall.

The modern television remake of the classic 1996 revenge comedy starring Goldie Hawn, Bette Midler and Diane Keaton now stars an African American cast, including Jill Scott(“Why Did I Get Married”), Ryan Michelle Bathe (“This is Us,” “Empire”) and Michelle Buteau (“Isn’t It Romantic”).

“First Wives Club” kicks off BET+’s slate of exclusive original programming that includes the premiere of a new series from Will Packer (“Ride Along,” “Think Like a Man”) and new original series from Tyler Perry and more.

The service will also feature a deep library of beloved series, films, and documentaries from BET Networks and the Viacom portfolio — including “Real Husbands of Hollywood,” “The New Edition Story,” “The Quad,” “College Hill,” “Comic View,” “Hell Date,” and more — most of which have not previously been available on streaming platforms.

BET+ will be available at launch on Android devices such as Samsung Galaxy, iOS devices such as the Apple iPad and iPhone, as well as other streaming devices.

BET’s new and current-window programming will continue to be available on BET’s linear network, including the newly-announced Tyler Perry original drama, “The Oval,” which will debut on BET as the first series under Perry’s multi-year content partnership with the network.

With over 75 hours of new original content slated to premiere on BET over the next year, Perry’s line-up will also include another drama series, two comedy series, and a live holiday-themed production. BET fans will have additional access points to BET content on BET.com and the BET Now app for TV Everywhere users.

‘A Madea Family Funeral’ Buries the Competition on Redbox Charts

Tyler Perry’s A Madea Family Funeral debuted at the top of both the Redbox disc rental and digital charts for the week ended June 9.

The Lionsgate comedy, featuring Perry’s final turn in the title role of Madea, took the No. 1 spot on the Redbox kiosk chart, which tracks DVD and Blu-ray Disc rentals at the company’s more than 40,000 red vending machines, as well as the Redbox On Demand chart, which tracks digital transactions, including both electronic sellthrough and streaming rentals. In the film, which made $73.3 million at the box office, Madea travels to a family celebration only to see it turn into a funeral revealing uncomfortable secrets.

Universal’s The Upside fell one spot to No. 2 on both charts after two weeks at No. 1. The comedy, starring Bryan Cranston and Kevin Hart, follows an out-of-work ex-con and a wealthy quadriplegic who unexpectedly come together and help each other. It made $108.3 million at the box office.

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Universal’s animated How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World dropped one place on the disc chart, from No. 2 to No. 3, and one spot on the digital chart, from No. 4 to No. 5. Meanwhile, Warner’s romantic comedy sendup Isn’t It Romantic, starring Rebel Wilson, fell from No. 3 to No. 4 on the disc chart and from No. 2 to No. 3 on the digital chart. Lionsgate/Quiver’s Drunk Parents, starring Alec Baldwin and Salma Hayek, retained the No. 5 place on the disc chart.

The only other new release to land on the disc chart (No. 7) was Lionsgate’s The Kid, about a boy who witnesses the famous confrontation between Sheriff Pat Garrett and Billy the Kid. The Western, directed by Vincent D’Onofrio, earned just $1.5 million at the box office, but features such stars as Chris Pratt and Ethan Hawke. It came in at No. 4 on the digital chart.

 

Top DVD and Blu-ray Disc Rentals, Redbox Kiosks, Week Ended June 9:

  1. Tyler Perry’s A Madea Family Funeral — Lionsgate
  2. The Upside— Universal
  3. How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World— Universal
  4. Isn’t It Romantic— Warner
  5. Drunk Parents — Lionsgate/Quiver
  6. Cold Pursuit— Lionsgate
  7. The Kid (2019)— Lionsgate
  8. Fighting With My Family— Universal
  9. Aquaman — Warner
  10. The Mule — Warner

 

Top Digital, Redbox On Demand, Week Ended June 9:

  1. Tyler Perry’s A Madea Family Funeral — Lionsgate
  2. The Upside — STX
  3. Isn’t It Romantic — Warner
  4. The Kid (2019)— Lionsgate
  5. How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World— Universal
  6. Cold Pursuit — Lionsgate
  7. Fighting With My Family — MGM
  8. Glass — Universal
  9. What Men Want — Paramount
  10. Aquaman— Warner

A Madea Legacy

It’s been a long, strange and hilarious trip for an iconic character taking her final bow.

A Madea Family Funeral, available now digitally and on Blu-ray Combo Pack, DVD and On Demand from Lionsgate, is the 11th and final big-screen appearance of writer/director/star Tyler Perry’s Madea character, whose film debut was 2005’s Diary of a Mad Black Woman.

Over the years, the gray-haired senior citizen Mabel “Madea” Simmons has made audience’s laugh and think, from her beginning in live theater in 1999 with Perry’s play I Can Do Bad All By Myself to her box office blockbusters in the movie theater over the following two decades. Madea last month also exited the stage, finishing her farewell tour in Atlanta where she began — but her unique presence has left a mark.

“She’s quick-witted, gun-toting, purse-slinging, funny as can be, and she might be carrying some of that little goodness in her purse — all the while giving us wise words of advice with her comedic delivery,” said Ciera Payton, who plays Sylvia in the final Madea film. “Over the years, she has celebrated with us Halloween, Christmas, a family reunion, a funeral, and she’s even been to jail — several times.”

“She gives damn good advice that’s gonna stick with you,” added Courtney Burrell, who stars as A.J. in the film. “I mean, she’s like a family member.”

And Lionsgate has been there all the way, releasing the Madea films in theaters as well as the movies and plays on home entertainment formats.

“We are so, so, so grateful to Lionsgate for giving Madea a home for so many years,” Payton added.

“It’s kudos to Lionsgate for getting behind [the franchise],” said Rome Flynn who stars as Jesse in A Madea Family Funeral. “They’ve been there.”

Despite her last film’s title, it’s not Madea’s funeral. Madea heads out to a family reunion, only for the trip to suddenly turn into a funeral threatening to reveal uncomfortable family secrets. Her longtime companions, brother Joe and his son Brian (both played by Perry), as well as Aunt Bam (Cassi Davis) and Hattie (Patrice Lovely) are along for the ride, all invited by Madea’s older brother Heathrow (also Perry) in his franchise debut.

“The message that Tyler’s delivering with this movie is karma will come back and bite you,” said Burrell, whose character constantly demeans his wife Carol (K.J. Smith), to the dismay of Madea. Carol, while not being physically abused, is nonetheless suffering.

“I think Carol was important to portray on film because she really has to take a stand,” Smith said. “She has been putting up with it enough, and I think a lot of women are dealing with that whatever it is, putting up with it, and enough is enough.”

Smith said it’s apparent Perry was raised around women because “his voice for women is so on point. You don’t have to change a word.”

Madea is famously based on Perry’s late mother and his aunt.

“[My mother] loved Madea,” Perry told CNN. “She told me whatever you do, don’t stop playing this character.”

Still, Perry said he finally had to hang up the wig.

“It’s been a wonderful run. I’m so grateful, but I’m not gonna miss that dress, not gonna miss that wig, not gonna miss how hot it is. I’m not gonna miss shaving. I’m not gonna miss any of that stuff,” he said in an extra on the disc. “As far as Madea, it’s time for her to go.”

As in all her films, Madea has a message to deliver with her final scene:

“Ya’ll gotta figure it out for yourself!”

Extras on A Madea Family Funeral include deleted scenes, outtakes and three featurettes: “Madea’s Tips for Attending a Funeral,” “Making A Madea Family Funeral: An Affair to Remember” and “Hellllur: Looking Back on Madea.”

Madea in Film

Ten other films have featured the eccentric Madea (available from Lionsgate):

Diary of a Mad Black Woman (2005): Madea makes her first appearance when, after 18 years of marriage to lawyer Charles, her granddaughter Helen finds him ending their marriage and shacking up with another. Helen retreats to the house of Madea, who helps her get revenge.

Madea’s Family Reunion (2006): While planning her family reunion, pistol-packing Madea has drama on her plate, including a runaway under her care and her love-crossed nieces.

Meet the Browns (2008): Madea has a cameo in the romantic comedy starring Angela Bassett and Rick Fox.

Madea Goes to Jail (2009): The mischievous grandma lands in jail, where she encounters a variety of crazy characters.

I Can Do Bad All By Myself (2009): Madea catches 16-year-old Jennifer and her two younger brothers looting her home and decides to take matters into her own hands.

Madea’s Big Happy Family (2011): Madea tries to get her fighting family together for dinner to discuss the health of her niece Shirley.

Madea’s Witness Protection (2012): Mild-mannered Wall Street banker George Needleman (Eugene Levy) learns he’s been framed in a mob-backed Ponzi scheme. Placed under federal protection, George and his family are shipped to Madea’s house, where she whips them all into shape.

A Madea Christmas (2013): Madea accompanies her niece, Eileen, to the small town of Buck Tussel to pay a surprise visit to Eileen’s daughter, Lacey, who has refused to come home for Christmas. The real reason Lacey is avoiding her mother is that she has secretly married Connor, a white classmate from college.

Boo! A Madea Halloween (2016): Trying to win the approval of her friends, 17-year-old Tiffany sneaks out of the house to go to a Halloween bash at a fraternity, which Madea crashes. The partygoers decide to scare Madea with a series of ghoulish pranks.

Boo 2: A Madea Halloween (2017): Tiffany travels to Derrick Lake to celebrate her 18th birthday at a Halloween frat party in the middle of the woods. Madea, Aunt Bam and Hattie hop in the car to save her from the same terrible fate that befell a group of teens there years earlier.

Madea on Stage

Several plays featuring Madea also are available from Lionsgate:

  • I Can Do Bad All By Myself
  • Diary of a Mad Black Woman
  • Madea’s Big happy Family
  • Madea’s Class Reunion
  • Madea’s Family Reunion
  • Madea on the Run
  • Madea’s Neighbors From Hell
  • A Madea Christmans
  • Madea Goes to Jail
  • Madea Gets a Job

Viacom’s BET Getting into Streaming Video

Viacom’s BET network reportedly is getting into the over-the-top video business with a little help from Tyler Perry.

The streaming service — dubbed BET+ — will be supported content-wise and financially by Perry, according to The Wall Street Journal, which cited people familiar with the situation.

No pricing has been announced.

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Perry, who has a five-year production deal with Viacom, would also offer content from his branded Tyler Perry Studios, as well as from Viacom subsidiaries VH1, Comedy Central and MTV.

BET+ already has competition from AMC Network’s Urban Movie Channel, which launched in 2015 by BET founder Robert L. Johnson offering movies, TV shows and stand-up comedy to African American audiences.

After a slow start, Viacom has jumped head first into OTT video following the acquisition of ad-supported Pluto TV earlier this year. BET+ follows Noggin, the $2.99 pre-school-centric SVOD service launched in 1999.

The service follows in the footsteps of pending Disney+ and Apple TV+, among other services, and will be disclosed to viewers by Perry during the BET Awards on June 23.

‘A Madea Family Funeral’ Brunch

In celebration of the home entertainment release of Tyler Perry’s A Madea Family Funeral, Lionsgate hosted a Southern brunch May 31 at Cafe Club Fais Do-Do in Los Angeles with talent from the film and entertainment from a gospel choir. Available now on digital, the film streets June 4 on Blu-ray Combo Pack and DVD. In A Madea Family Funeral, Tyler Perry steps into the character of Madea for her last movie after nearly a dozen film appearances.

Lionsgate Releasing ‘A Madea Family Funeral’ Digitally May 21, on Disc June 4

Lionsgate will release A Madea Family Funeral digitally May 21 and on Blu-ray and DVD June 4.

Written, directed by and starring Tyler Perry, the film is touted as the final big-screen appearance of Perry’s Madea character, whose film debut was 2005’s Diary of a Mad Black Woman.

A Madea Family Funeral, the ninth film starring the character, features Madea and her family heading out to a family reunion, only for the trip to suddenly turn into a funeral threatening to reveal family secrets. The film earned $72 million at the domestic box office.

The cast also includes Patrice Lovely and Cassi Davis.

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Extras include deleted scenes, outtakes and three featurettes: “Madea’s Tips for Attending a Funeral,” “Making A Madea Family Funeral: An Affair to Remember” and “Hellllur: Looking Back on Madea.”

Warner’s ‘A Star Is Born’ Shoots to No. 1 on Redbox Charts

It may have picked up just one Academy Award (Best Original Song) from its eight nominations, but A Star Is Born triumphed on both Redbox charts the week leading up to the Oscar ceremony Feb. 24.

Warner’s 2018 update of the classic film story landed at No. 1 on both the Redbox kiosk chart, which tracks DVD and Blu-ray Disc rentals at the company’s more than 40,000 red vending machines, and the Redbox On Demand chart, which tracks transactional video-on-demand (TVOD), both electronic sellthrough (EST) and streaming, the week ended Feb. 24.

The film, which earned $210.9 million at the box office and debuted on disc Feb. 19, stars Bradley Cooper and Lady Gaga — both nominated for Oscars for their performances — as two musicians who come together on stage and in life in a complex journey through the beauty and heartbreak of a relationship struggling to survive.

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Four other new releases appeared on the Redbox disc chart for the week. Lionsgate’s Robin Hood, another retelling of a classic story, starring Taron Egerton as Robin Hood and Jamie Foxx as Little John, debuted at No. 2. Paramount Pictures’ Overlord, a story produced by J.J. Abrams about a team of American paratroopers who encounter Nazi super-soldiers, entered the chart at No. 4. Lionsgate’s Backtrace, an action thriller starring Sylvester Stallone, debuted at No. 8. And 20th Century Fox’s Can You Ever Forgive Me? — which earned three Oscar noms, for Best Actress (Melissa McCarthy), Best Supporting Actor (Richard E. Grant) and Best Adapted Screenplay — entered the disc chart at No. 10.

Fox’s Bohemian Rhapsody, which won all but one of the five Oscars for which it was nominated, including Best Actor for Rami Malek, finished its second week in disc release at No. 3, falling from No. 1.

On the digital chart, Bohemian Rhapsody fell one spot to No. 2, behind A Star Is Born, which shot up the chart from No. 10 the previous week. Robin Hood took the third spot, followed by Paramount’s Tyler Perry comedy Nobody’s Fool at No. 4 (from No. 2 the previous week), Overlord at No. 5 and Can You Ever Forgive Me? at No. 6.

Interestingly, two titles released in the fall of last year appeared on the digital chart. Sony Pictures’ Nov. 13 release Searching, which stars John Cho as a distraught father who sifts through his missing daughter’s digital footprint determined to find her, appeared at No. 9. And Universal Pictures’ Sept. 25 release Skyscraper, an actioner starring Dwayne Johnson, came in at No. 10.

 

Top DVD and Blu-ray Disc Rentals, Redbox Kiosks, Week Ended Feb. 24:

  1. A Star Is Born (2018) (New) — Warner
  2. Robin Hood (2018) (New) — Lionsgate
  3. Bohemian Rhapsody — Fox
  4. Overlord (New) — Paramount
  5. The Grinch — Universal
  6. Nobody’s Fool — Paramount
  7. Widows — Fox
  8. Backtrace (New) — Lionsgate
  9. The Girl in the Spider’s Web — Sony
  10. Can You Ever Forgive Me? (New) — Fox

 

Top Digital, Redbox On Demand, Week Ended Feb. 24:

  1. A Star Is Born (2018) — Warner
  2. Bohemian Rhapsody — Fox
  3. Robin Hood (2018) — Lionsgate
  4. Nobody’s Fool — Paramount
  5. Overlord — Paramount
  6. Can You Ever Forgive Me? — Fox
  7. The Grinch — Universal
  8. Widows — Fox
  9. Searching — Sony
  10. Skyscraper — Universal