Variety can confirm that production at Tyler Perry Studios on BET’s “Sistas” will begin on July 8, with “The Oval” starting on July 28th. BET announced 22-episode orders for both shows on Tuesday. Filming for each series will take place over approximately two and a half weeks.
A source tells Variety that Perry’s “doing everything by the book” when it comes to his plan to reopen the studio. He’s working closely with local officials and unions to implement his plan to restart production as safely as possible.
While most of the crew on “Sistas” and “The Oval” are Atlanta-based, Perry will use his personal private plane to fly cast in from New York and Los Angeles after they are tested for coronavirus before boarding. Upon arriving in Atlanta, they will head straight to set where all cast and crew will immediately be tested again for COVID-19, awaiting their results for four hours before they are cleared to work. Carlos Del Rio, professor at the Emory Vaccine Center in Georgia, will serve as the testing consultant. Testing will occur four times during the two-and-a-half-week shoot.
Tyler Perry Studios sits on 330 acres of land, which Perry purchased for $30 million in 2015. Formerly the Fort McPherson Army base, the structures used for military housing are fully functioning and available to house the cast and crew. Ahead of the studio’s grand opening celebration in October 2019, Perry detailed the $250 million renovation and expansion to make all of its structures and sets — including a full-scale replica of the White House — fully operational.
“We just finished Phase 1, which is the 12 sound stages,” he told Variety in an interview at the grand opening. “The second phase that we’re starting late next year is the six-lane highway, the backlot, the small little European town, a bigger lake and pond on it. So there’s so much more that I’m gonna do here.”
Deadline was first to report this story.