Tyler Perry has signed a multiyear content deal with Viacom, which will (eventually) encompass TV shows, movies and short-form video. The big-screen collaboration begins right away, but Perry's still under contract with Oprah Winfrey's OWN for television projects.
Under the terms of the agreement, beginning in May 2019, Perry will produce approximately 90 episodes annually of original drama and comedy series for BET and other Viacom networks, the publicly-traded corporation said Friday in a media release. Viacom will hold the licensing rights. The home to Comedy Central and Nickelodeon will also get the exclusive distribution rights to Perry's short-form video content.
Effective immediately, Paramount Pictures gets first-look rights for any new feature film concepts created by Perry. Viacom's agreement with Perry extends through 2024.
"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," said Bob Bakish, president and chief executive officer of Viacom. "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."
Debra L. Lee, chairman and CEO of BET Networks, added: "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 honored 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."
"Viacom has a rich tradition of reaching my audience through their TV, film and digital platforms and I am excited to partner with them," said Perry. "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."