EXCLUSIVE: In one of the biggest talent deals under the new Viacom leadership, the company has signed a long-term pact with prolific writer, director, producer and actor Tyler Perry, which encompasses television, film and short- form video.
Under the agreement, Perry, who is currently under an exclusive deal at OWN: The Oprah Winfrey Network, will produce approximately 90 episodes annually of original drama and comedy series for BET, which caters primarily to African-American audiences, and other Viacom networks. Viacom will have exclusive licensing rights on the TV programming as well as exclusive distribution rights to Perry’s short-form video content. Additionally, the pact gives Paramount Pictures exclusive first-look rights on Perry’s feature film projects.
The TV pact is similar to Perry’s arrangement at OWN: The Oprah Winfrey Network where he has been since 2012, helping to put the then-fledgling cable network on the original scripted series map with such series as The Haves And Have Nots, Love Thy Neighbor and For Better Or Worse. The film agreement is effective immediately, while the TV/short-form video one will kick in May 2019 when the OWN pact ends and will feature new series. Both parts of Perry’s Viacom deal will go through 2024.