Tyler Perry's House of Payne

2007, TV Show

News

While watching reruns of ...

Question: While watching reruns of Seinfeld on TBS, I caught a promo for Tyler Perry's House of Payne that called the show "the No. 1 comedy of all time." Obviously nothing is farther from the truth, and to run this commercial during, in my opinion, the actual  No. 1 comedy of all time was even more insulting. What constitutues a valid promotion for a show? Are television stations allowed to say virtually whatever they want to attract an audience, no matter how false the information they present actually is? Answer: Who's going to sue them? Promos are all about hyperbole, and for all I know, TBS meant House of Payne was the No. 1 cable comedy, which might actually be true. (Its numbers are freakishly strong considering the appalling ineptitude of the show itself.) Networks often crunch their numbers selectively when making such outrageous claims in their promos. One network is  No. 1 in total viewers, another is No. 1 in demos, and so on. It's all just so much white noise to me ... read more

Kardashians Are "Assked" Back, More News Briefs

Keeping Up with the Kardashians courtesy E!

E!'s Keeping Up with the Kardashians returns for a second season on March 9 at 10 pm/ET.... The cast of Tyler Perry's House of Payne will answer fans' questions in a live Web chat to be held March 5, from 9 to 11 pm, at TBS.com.... Today, on the Great One's birthday, JackieGleason.com has been relaunched. In addition, The Color Honeymooners Set No. 2 is being released on DVD.... Veteran TV writer Richard Baer (Leave It to Beaver, Bewitched and many more) on Feb. 22 died of a heart attack. He was 79. read more

NAACP Awards: Grey's, Tyler Perry Are Big Winners

Tyler Perry by Jesse Grant/Getty Images, Chandra Wilson by Kevin Winter/Getty Images for NAACP

While The Great Debaters dominated the film categories at Thursday's NAACP Image Awards — it turned eight nods into a quartet of wins (including best motion picture and acting kudos for Denzel Washington and Jurnee Smollett) — Tyler Perry's House of Payne and Grey's Anatomy emerged as the most-lauded TV series. Grey's walked away with drama series and writing team honors, while Chandra Wilson scored best supporting actress. TBS' House of Payne, meanwhile, was named best comedy series, while LaVan Davis and Lance Gross won for lead and supporting actor in a comedy, respectively.In the other TV races, Ugly Betty's America Ferrera and Vanessa Williams won for lead and supporting comedy actress; CSI: NY's Hill Harper and The Unit's Regina Taylor copped the top prizes on the drama side; and House's Omar Epps took home the supporting actor/drama trophy. read more

Preview: Tyler Perry's Madea Visits House of Payne

Tyler Perry, House of Payne

Madea fans rejoice! Tyler Perry's buxom alter ego returns for a second appearance tonight on House of Payne (tonight at 10 pm/ET, TBS), giving "her" nemesis, Curtis "Pops" Payne, a less-than-silent night in this parody of A Christmas Carol. Pops taps into his inner Ebenezer Scrooge when Ella cancels their trip to Maui in order to stay home with CJ's kids, who are spending their first holiday without their mom. But leave it to Madea, as the attitudinal angel of Christmas past, present and future, to bring Pops back around to the true spirit of the season. "[His first thought is] that he's died and gone to hell," says LeVan Davis, who plays Pops. "Pops can't stand anybody who challenges his authority, and Madea challenges everybody's authority." Perry, who directs the episode, isn't so demanding. "He's too eager for your input read more

I had to respond to Gregory's ...

Question: I had to respond to Gregory's comment about the casting of minorities. Please, Gregory, take off your rose-colored glasses! We are still so far away from race-blind casting. While this was hardly a priority in my life, it really jumped to the front of my mind recently. My 9-year-old asked me why there aren't any brown-skinned people on most shows. Of course, I'm sitting there trying to figure that out for myself. In fact, one of TV Guide's magazine columnists (I can't think of her name) just recently asked why they didn't cast a woman of color for the lead in Bionic Woman. Was one even considered? Probably not. Anyway, these two comments really got me looking at the upcoming season. I can't think of one drama that is led by a person of color: black, brown, red or yellow. We may be part of an ensemble, but rarely the lead. What a shame. My hope is that with cable drawing Hollywood actors to take on projects, perhaps a show will be written for a person of color. Answer: For the ... read more

Recently, a few readers wrote ...

Question: Recently, a few readers wrote in about Tyler Perry's House of Payne, debating whether or not there is merit in airing a show simply because it features minorities. I'm a black man who loves television, and as time passes, I've noticed I don't really care whether or not a show features minorities. If the show is good and the cast is talented, who cares what race they are? Do you think we've finally come to the point where there won't be "token" minorities on a show just for the sake of avoiding cries of discrimination? It seems that diversity in casting is just happening naturally, based on talent, and that both the viewers and TV execs are happy with the result. Lost is a smash success lauded for its international cast, Ugly Betty is a hit with a largely minority cast (Latinos and blacks and gays, oh my!), and there is of course Grey's Anatomy, which has characters from several minority groups. I read somewhere that the character of Dr. Bailey on Grey's was originally ... read more

I just read your response to ...

Question: I just read your response to L.C.'s question and would like to say thank you. I am an African-American woman and have never found humor in any of Tyler Perry's buffoonish material. You will probably get slammed for your response, but I want you to know I really appreciate what you said about overembracing this show just because it has a black cast. I remember great shows like Frank's Place and A Different World, which had great writing and realistic characters. And while Seinfeld and Friends did not have a black cast, my experience is more in line with those shows than with House of Payne. I just wanted to say thank you for responding to that reader the same way I would have. Answer: Fair enough, and thanks for bringing up the remarkable Frank's Place, which deserved so much better than it got on CBS way back when. The truth is that there probably should be room on TV for sitcoms that aim both high and low, and this takes me back to the earlier High School Musical 2 question. ... read more

I am writing to you, but ...

Question: I am writing to you, but mostly to the African-American reader who wrote to you about Tyler Perry's House of Payne. I, for one, think it's a funny show. While I will agree that the first few episodes were rough, I find myself looking forward to it, and I TiVo it religiously. That reader kind of ticked me off, because maybe he doesn't personally go through the issues from the show, but they are definitely issues in a lot of families. I give thumbs up to Tyler Perry for doing the show he wanted to do, rather than what the networks wanted. I am proud to see a 90-percent black cast and wish there were more like this for my children to see. I think it's important to remember that this show is a comedy and thus makes light of issues. The episode this week about the son on the Internet and a predator coming to the house opened up a dialogue in my family about the issue. If you don't like the show, don't watch it! But let it be for those of us (and trust me, there are a lot) who do ... read more

I read your review of Tyler ...

Question: I read your review of Tyler Perry's House of Payne in the June 4 issue. I had not seen the show but had heard about it from family members who think it is awful. I watched it in July when TBS had a marathon showing. I must say that show is terrible, and I hope it is short-lived. There are so many things wrong with the show. Unbelievable, unrealistic and senseless plots disgusted me! I am African American, and to me, much of it is insulting. The actors are terrible, the plots are stereotypical and stupid. The laughter at an adult married mother of two children who suddenly becomes a strung-out drug addict (with the slapstick dancing) is deplorable, a college student who never studies, talks about class or campus life, hangs out at the fire station as a volunteer... Matt, I won't even get started on specifics. Is Tyler Perry really writing this [expletive deleted]?... so sad if he is. This show should be stopped now! What do you know about its status? Please tell me it's near ... read more

What is your take on why ...

Question: What is your take on why sitcoms have disappeared from the television landscape? I get that they don't win awards and don't get a lot of watercooler talk for the most part, but a show like The King of Queens was at times last year the top-rated comedy on any network, and House of Payne opened to huge numbers on TBS. As much as I love The Office, 30 Rock, How I Met Your Mother and others, why have the networks abandoned a genre that doesn't appear lost in terms of viewer numbers? Answer: That's a much bigger question than I can easily address in this column, but it boils down to the cyclical and cynical nature of the industry. It hasn't been that long since Friends was a phenom, not to mention Raymond keeping CBS afloat in its quieter way. But it has been a while since a new sitcom was both a critical and popular smash, feeding a perception that the old-fashioned sitcom (live audience, laugh track) was no longer in vogue and the quirkier, single-camera comedy was the way to go, ... read more

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Premiered: June 06, 2007, on TBS
Rating: None
User Rating: (414 ratings)
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Premise: A curmudgeonly firefighter serves as the patriarch of a multigenerational family in this sitcom set in Atlanta.

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