Tyler Perry’s “Madea Goes to Jail” grossed more than $90 million in 2009 — a major feat for any film — but the moviemaker’s big triumph this year has been on the smallscreen, where Perry exceeded his 100-episode deal with TBS on “House of Payne” and launched a second hit sitcom, “Meet the Browns.”
“Tyler is completely unique,” proffers Mike Paseornek, president of motion picture production and development at Lionsgate. “He has a voice as a filmmaker that has become a brand.”
In the summers of 2007 and 2008, “House of Payne” was No. 1 among African-American adults 18-49. So far this season, “Meet the Browns” ranks as the No. 1 series among African-American adults 18-34 and 18-49.
But Perry’s fanbase continues to develop beyond the African-American demographic.
” ‘Madea Goes to Jail’ was appreciated with a frenzy response,” Paseornek cites. “(Perry) combines themes of hope and redemption with comedy that has helped to expand his films beyond Tyler’s core audience to white and Latino audiences.”
This universality applies to Perry’s TV projects as well. “Everybody has a Mr. Brown in his or her family,” Paseornek says. “He’s really identifiable.”
With “I Can Do Bad All by Myself” set for a September release and “Why Did I Get Married Too” in production, Paseornek promises that viewers “are going to get the full emotion ride when they come to (Perry’s) movies.”