That said, I'm a little iffy about Perry's latest money grab.
Lionsgate is betting that Tyler Perry has the star power to carry an entire cable channel, Oprah Winfrey style.It's a bit ironic that a man responsible for perpetuating some of the worst stereotypes of Black life if probably going to benefit from gubb'ment regulations for minority-run programming. I'm sure that's exactly what Rebb'n Al and Co. had in mind when they were trying to extort Comcast/NBC.
That movie studio and Mr. Perry — whose flourishing African-American fan base consistently turns his plays, television shows and films into hits — are forming a new venture called Tyler TV, according to an industry official briefed on the matter who requested anonymity because the plans are private.
The partners will initially stock the channel with reruns of Mr. Perry’s sitcoms and movies, including the popular Madea series, in which he appears in drag as the title character, a gun-toting grandmother. They also plan to buy third-party content that meshes with Mr. Perry’s Christianity-tinged brand.
The days when media companies could easily introduce channels have long passed because of a clogged cable dial and competition from the Web, among other factors. Mr. Perry has always focused on a narrow and loyal niche: African-American women. His fans have a history of following him across the entertainment spectrum. Mr. Perry’s stage performances sell out in minutes. His two TBS comedies, “House of Payne” and “Meet the Browns,” have generated solid ratings, and a third series, “For Better or Worse,” will begin in the fall.
And Mr. Perry’s movies, which range from the campy “Diary of a Mad Black Woman” to the highbrow “For Colored Girls,” have sold more than $522 million in tickets.
Lionsgate and Mr. Perry are exploring three routes for distribution, according to the official briefed on the matter. One involves rebranding all or part of the TV Guide Network, which is available to about 80 million homes. Lionsgate owns 50 percent of that channel; One Equity Partners controls the rest.
Lionsgate and Mr. Perry also could buy a small cable channel that has a complementary audience — the Gospel Broadcasting Network comes to mind — and move to rebrand and expand it. Another option involves Comcast, which extracted approval from government regulators for its recent takeover of NBC Universal by committing to provide more minority-run programming.
Much like Centric/BET/TV One, I suspect I'd only occasionally tune into MadeaTV™, provided he's got the obligatory awards coontastic show.
And loses the dresses and pumps.
Question: Ashy or Classy?!? Would you watch MadeaTV™?!?