Ouse of Payne

Tyler Perry's House of Payne

Tyler Perry's House of Payne is an American sitcom/comedy-drama TV series that airs on TBS. Created and produced by playwright, director, and producer Tyler Perry, the show revolves around a multi-generational family living under one roof in Atlanta, Georgia. The family is often involved in hectic and dramatic situations. The show premiered in syndication on June 21, 2006, and has been broadcast exclusively on TBS since June 6, 2007.

Production history

The sitcom ran in first-run syndication for 10 episodes during the summer of 2006 on the broadcast version of WTBS, along with 9 other broadcast outlets across the country, as a limited run, with additional episodes to be available for national distribution on TBS in June 2007. An order of 100 episodes was requested by TBS.

A cable record for sitcom airings was broken with 5.2 and 5.8 million for the two premiere episodes on TBS on June 6, 2007. However, the audience has declined to a recent 4.3 million as of the week ending September 30, 2007.

The principal cast remained the same (with the exception of Lance Gross being added), led by Allen Payne. The original format of the series centered around C.J. and his family moving in with his aunt Ella and uncleCurtis (Cassi Davis and LaVan Davis). Rochelle Aytes originally had a recurring guest stint as Malik and Jazmine's principal, Nicole Jamieson, whom C.J. soon began dating. She was replaced by Robinne Lee. In the test run, Ella and Curtis were originally, C.J.'s parents but in it's current format, Calvin is their son and C.J. became their nephew.

The show is well-known for its frequent advertisements during NBA on TNT broadcasts. Since its initial association with the NBA on TNT during the 2006 NBA Playoffs, House of Payne has developed a symbiotic relationship with the NBA on TNT, and the two serve as ambassadors for each other's promotion.


The show revolves around the misadventures of the fictional, multi generational Payne family.

  • Curtis Payne (portrayed by LaVan Davis) is the program's main character. He is often referred to as Uncle Curtis by his nephew (C.J), his nephew's ex-wife (Janine), and their two children (Malik and Jazmine). Curtis is the self appointed "king" of the household, known for his selfishness, often lazy lifestyle, and reluctance to accept his nephew's family into his house (Curtis thinks the house is already crowded). Comedic plot points come from Curtis' unusual and often disrespectful attempts to rid his house of his nephew's kin. Despite his immaturity in this matter, his maturity and responsibility is apparent in his job as the chief of the local fire department. LaVan Davis won an NAACP image award in 2008 for Outstanding Actor In A Comedy Series for this role.
  • Ella Payne (portrayed by Cassi Davis) Curits's wife. She is a stay-at-home mother who is the voice of reason. Curtis has been known to take advantage of Ella's good nature, although he is usually punished for doing so.
  • Ella and Curtis's college-age son Calvin (portrayed by Lance Gross) rarely attends college classes (the same ones Curtis often complains about paying for). Much like his cousin C.J., Calvin spends a great deal of time working with his father at the firehouse. He is the only main character originally not included in the show.
  • Miranda Lucas (Keshia Knight Pulliam) is Calvin's girlfriend-turned-wife. She was first introduced in the 1st season as a con-artist who stole all of Calvin and Curtis' money. The character returned eventually, but what she did to Calvin is not mentioned. In the conclusion to Season 5, she married Calvin.
  • C.J. is a responsible adult who, despite his good nature and morality lessons aimed at his two children, made financial choices and misjudgments of character that led to moving his family in with his uncle. C.J. originally was portrayed as Ella and Curtis' son, but his character was changed so that he is now a nephew. Janine (C.J's ex-wife) is an apparently responsible adult and nurturing mother at the beginning of the series. However, she is later revealed to be a drug addict and the arsonist who burned down C.J.'s home. For a short time, she is rarely seen in the series except in episodes where she associates with Ella Payne, who helps Janine enter a rehab program and return to the family. Later in the series, she is often criticized by C.J., Curtis, and her own son for her irresponsible actions. She is apparently impregnated by her current boyfriend, until an episode reveals that her boyfriend is sterile. Since C.J. is the only other person she had had intercourse with, she comes to the conclusion that C.J. is the father of the unborn child. CJ and Janine remarry at Calvin and Miranda's wedding. Her water also unexpectedly broke.
  • Malik is C.J's son. He is a teenage boy whose interest in young women in his class is so extreme that he'll resort to desperate measures, such as trying out for the cheerleading squad, just to associate with him. He is often bullied in school as a result of his mother's past problems with drugs. As a result, he is reluctant to welcome her back to the household.
  • Jazmine is C.J.'s daughter. She is the youngest of the household. She constantly feels invisible and acts out to get her father's attention while her mother is in rehab. Despite her apparent innocence and youth, throughout the series, she is known to be cruel towards her brother and devise schemes just to make him miserable.
  • Nicole Jamieson is the Payne children's assistant principal. Originally, she was a minor character whom Malik had a crush on. This scenario was quickly ditched, and Nicole became C.J.'s second main love interest after Janine. Her role, though smaller, recurred in several episodes, most of which concerned Jazmine adjusting to having a stepmother and acting out to get her father's attention. However, Jamieson was replaced, first with Robbine Lee's character and, later, Robin Givens' character, C.J.'s current girlfriend.
  • Kevin is Malik's best friend, also hungry for female affection and often competing with Malik to see who can get the most phone numbers. Claretha is the Payne's nosy, well-informed neighbor. Claretha's spying skills are shown to be more advanced than the FBI's, and she was rewarded for her work when the Payne's house was used to stake out alleged drug dealers next door. She is also Ella's best friend.

Many of the actors in the main cast have been affiliated with or worked with Tyler Perry in the past. LaVan Davis and Cassi Davis appeared in the stage play Madea Goes to Jail together. Demetria McKinney appeared in the plays Meet the Browns and Why Did I Get Married? (the latter also featured LaVan Davis) and had a non-speaking role on Daddy's Little Girls. Cassi Davis was featured in the films Madea's Family Reunion and Daddy's Little Girls. China Anne McClain began working as an extra on the film version of Madea's Family Reunion before being cast in Daddy's Little Girls alongside her real-life sisters. Actress Keke Palmer played a role in the show's first episode. Keke Palmer was in the main cast of Tyler Perry's movie Madea's Family Reunion and will be in the film Madea Goes to Jail.


Locations include the Payne's home, a firehouse located across the street from Curtis' house, a barbershop, and the school Malik and Jazmine attend. The Payne home is a one-story building, and 4 rooms are featured throughout the series: Curtis and Ella's bedroom, Malik and Jazmine's shared bedroom (which Jazmine often complains smells of Malik's feet), the kitchen, and the living room. C.J. and Janine's rooms are never seen. Only the living room and Malik and Jazmine's room is seen throughout the show. The firehouse's main room is the only one seen on camera. The barbershop is a setting often used in more recent episodes, and it is similar to that of the Barbershop movies.



  • Testing Episodes premiered on June 21, 2006.
  • Season 1 premiered on June 6, 2007.
  • Season 2 premiered on December 5, 2007.
  • Season 3 premiered on March 5, 2008.
  • Season 4 premiered on June 4, 2008.
  • Season 5 will premiere on December 3, 2008.


The CW began airing reruns of Tyler Perry's House of Payne on September 22, 2008


Madea connections

Tyler Perry's claim to fame is with the popularity of character Mabel "Madea" Simmons, who has appeared in numerous Tyler Perry plays and their film adaptations. When the series debuted on TBS in June 2007, Perry made a guest appearance as Madea, a foster mother of Nikki. Actor David Mann reprised his Mr. Brown role, and Keke Palmer returned as Nikki, a bully who stole $20 worth of Malik's lunch money over a period of time, money which Madea, Nikki's foster mother, used at a casino. Perry returned as Madea for a Christmas episode of the show on December 5, 2007. Perry again returned as Madea to act as Curtis's wife on March 5, 2008. She has appeared in one episode every season, save season 4.

In the series, Janine's drug problem and going to rehab are possible references to Diary of a Mad Black Woman. The events of the episodes "Sad, Sad, Leroy Brown" parts 1 and 2 came directly before the movie Meet The Browns, when Brown learns his father has died. The events of the episode "Weeping May Endure for a Night" happened somewhere in the middle, directly after the funeral and the reading of the will, where Brown found out that his father left him a broken-down house which Brown turned into a retirement home. Even though in the episode "Weeping May Endure for a Night" the Paynes claim to have attended the funeral of Brown's father, in Meet the Browns, they are nowhere to be seen. This may be because Lance Gross, who plays Calvin Payne in the series, plays a character named Micheal in the film and LaVan Davis, who plays Curtis Payne, plays a bus driver. Curtis claimed Brown made them wait in the cemetery for 2 hours while he gave his father a tour around Atlanta (his last request), but in the movie, Brown stayed the entire time.

DVD releases

Tyler Perry's House of Payne Volume 1 was released on DVD on December 4, 2007.- Episodes 1-20

Tyler Perry's House of Payne Volume 2 was released on DVD on July 1, 2008.- Episodes 21-40

Tyler Perry's House of Payne Volume 3 will be released on DVD in 2009.- Episodes 41-60


USAToday criticized the show early in its run calling it "one of the worst [sitcoms] of the modern era".


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