Tyler Perry's House of Payne

Tyler Perry's House of Payne
Created by Tyler Perry
Starring LaVan Davis
Cassi Davis
Allen Payne
Lance Gross
Larramie "Doc" Shaw
China Anne McClain
Denise Burse
Demetria McKinney
Keshia Knight Pulliam
Palmer Williams Jr.
Country of origin United States
Original language(s) English
No. of seasons 8
No. of episodes 254 (list of episodes)
Executive producer(s) Tyler Perry
Camera setup Multiple
Running time 20 to 23 minutes
Production company(s) Tyler Perry Studios
Distributor Debmar-Mercury
20th Television
Original network Syndication (2006)
TBS (2007–12)
Picture format 480i (SDTV)
1080i (HDTV)
Original release June 21, 2006 (2006-06-21) – August 10, 2012 (2012-08-10)
Followed by Meet the Browns
Love Thy Neighbor
External links

Tyler Perry's House of Payne is an American sitcom television series created and produced by playwright, director, and producer Tyler Perry. The show revolved around a multi-generational family living under one roof in Atlanta led by patriarch Curtis Payne and his wife Ella. The show premiered in syndication on June 21, 2006, and new episodes of a retooled version were broadcast exclusively on TBS from June 6, 2007, until August 10, 2012.[1] While primarily a comedy sitcom, House of Payne was known for featuring dark themes and subject matter, such as substance abuse and addiction. It also had elements of slapstick.[2] The storyline of the show is serialized, with many references to past episodes, creating a continuing story arc.

House of Payne aired more episodes than any other television series with a predominantly African American cast, surpassing The Jeffersons with 253 episodes, Family Matters with 215 episodes, and The Cosby Show with 202 episodes.[3]

Production history

The sitcom ran in first-run syndication for 10 episodes during mid-2006 on the Atlanta-area broadcast of WPCH-TV, along with nine 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 later 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.[4] However, the audience has declined to a recent 4.3 million as of the week ending September 30, 2007 and 2.260 and 2.099 as of May 19, 2010.[5]

The principal cast remained the same (with the exception of Lance Gross being added), led by LaVan Davis. The original format of the series centred around C.J. (Allen Payne) and his family moving in with his Aunt Ella and Uncle Curtis (Cassi Davis and LaVan Davis). Robinne Lee had a recurring guest stint in Season 1–2 as Malik and Jazmine's principal, Nicole Jamieson, whom C.J. soon began dating. Rochelle Aytes originally portrayed as Nicole Jamieson in the test pilot episodes; whereas she was Malik's math teacher. In the test run, Ella and Curtis were originally C.J.'s parents, but in its current format, Calvin is their son and C.J. their nephew. Despite his top billing, Allen Payne is not considered the main actor of the series, especially due to his long absence in the fifth season. The show was recorded in front of a live studio audience but sometimes used a laugh track.

At the beginning of the fifth season, China Anne McClain (Jazmine) and Denise Burse (Claretha) were removed from the series. The characters were written out, with Jazmine going away to a school for gifted children in North Carolina and Claretha marrying a prince and moving away. In real life, McClain and Burse left the series for undisclosed reasons. In the beginning of Season 6, both McClain and Burse have returned. Some of the cast members of Tyler Perry's House of Payne were on The Mo'Nique Show in October 2009. Beginning with seventh season, China Anne McClain has appeared infrequently due to her work schedule for A.N.T. Farm. Denise Burse was no longer credited as a regular cast member. She appeared in a recurring role.

Larramie "Doc" Shaw, who portrayed Malik, has appeared infrequently since the sixth season. This is due to Shaw's work schedules for The Suite Life on Deck and Pair of Kings. He remained a cast member throughout the series.

Tyler Perry directed every episode of the first 5 seasons. Throughout Season 6, each episode has been directed by actress Kim Fields or her mother Chip Hurd. Tyler Perry directed some of the episodes in seasons 7 and 8 while other episodes were directed by Kim Fields, Chip Hurd, and producer Roger M. Bobb.

During the first 5 seasons, the show was rated TV-PG but due to a rapid increase of strong language and mature content (particularly sexual), later episodes are rated TV-14.

TBS has picked up a new Perry comedy, For Better or Worse, based on Perry’s Why Did I Get Married? films.[6]

On September 28, 2011, TBS ordered 42 episodes.[7] Newer episodes have been aired on TBS since October 21, 2011 with season 8, and concluded the series with a total of 254 episodes. The show aired its final two episodes on August 10, 2012.


Season Episodes Originally aired
Season premiere Season finale
1 37 June 6, 2007 September 26, 2007
2 22 December 5, 2007 January 30, 2008
3 16 March 5, 2008 April 23, 2008
4 25 June 4, 2008 August 6, 2008
5 26 December 3, 2008 June 3, 2009
6 46 November 4, 2009 January 19, 2011
7 20 March 30, 2011 June 15, 2011
8 62 October 21, 2011 August 10, 2012


House of Payne revolves around the Payne family who reside in the suburban Atlanta. It is noted that all main cast members are credited only for the episodes in which they appear.

Actor Character Seasons
Pilot 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8
Lavan DavisCurtis Booker T. Payne Main
Cassi DavisElla Williams-Payne Main
Allen Payne Clarance C.J. Payne, Jr Main
Lance GrossCalvin Payne Main
Larramie "Doc" ShawMalik Payne Main
China Anne McClainJazmine Sierra Payne Main Main
Demetria McKinney Janine Shelton-Payne Recurring Main
Keshia Knight-PulliamMiranda Lucas-Payne Guest Main
Denise BurseClaretha Jenkins Main Recurring
Palmer Williams Jr.Floyd Jackson Recurring Main


In the seventh season, Calvin briefly had a job as a manager of a supermarket. He then started working in the public relations department with C.J., Janine and Roland in Season 8. Calvin is the only main character who was originally not included in the show. In the season 8 episode "God Bless the Paynes", Calvin gets shot by a man who had harassed Miranda. The man saw the shooting as a way to get revenge at Calvin for beating him up. Calvin is later found by Janine and is rushed to the hospital in "Do or Die". He survives, but with serious injuries. In the series finale, "All's Well", his wife, Miranda, demands a divorce. The very last scene shows Calvin throwing a vase of flowers at the wall, and the series ends with the camera zoomed in on broken glass and rose petals.
In the series finale "All's Well', Janine, Miranda, CJ, and Calivin celebrate their wedding anniversary, but Miranda and Calvin never show up. Then Calvin shows up at the Payne House to take Miranda to the anniversary dinner, with a dress and a vase of roses. She interrupts him, and demands a divorce, saying that she'd been waiting for the right moment to tell him, but couldn't find one. The very last scene shows Calvin throwing the vase of roses at the wall, and it shatters. The series ends with the camera zoomed in on the broken glass and rose petals. (Seasons 3-8, guest star in Season 1)
In the sixth season, Floyd's second wife kicks him out so he moves into Curtis and Ella's back yard and started dating Claretha, until his second wife returned, having lost fifty pounds because she was depressed that they were splitting up. While Floyd had been hoping to string both along without either finding out about the other, until they bumped into each other in the Payne house and both subsequently broke up with him and Claretha kicked him out. He is the longest running recurring character on House of Payne. In mid Season 8, he joined the main cast. (recurring role, Seasons 3–7, main role in Season 8)


The Hernandez family


Locations in Atlanta, Georgia include the Payne's home, a firehouse located across the street from the Paynes' house, a barbershop, the help center, and the schools Malik and Jazmine attend. The Payne home is a one-story building, and 5 rooms are featured throughout the series: Curtis and Ella's bedroom, Malik and Jazmine's shared bedroom, the spare bedroom (which was Calvin's until he moved out), the kitchen, and the living room, and the outside patio. Calvin, C.J. and Janine's rooms were never seen. The only part of the firehouse seen on camera was its day room. The firehouse and its characters were phased out around Seasons 3 and 4. The barbershop is a setting often used from Seasons 2-5, and it is similar to that of Ice Cube's Barbershop movies. Miranda and Calvin's condo was added. The living room was the only room that was shown. C.J. and Janine's house is another setting added on to the series. The kitchen and the living were always seen on camera. None of the bedrooms were ever shown. The university Malik attended was a more recent setting and various areas were shown.

Other Cast


Meet the Browns

Love Thy Neighbor

Reception and criticism

The national premiere received 5.9 million viewers on June 2007—at the time, basic cable’s biggest sitcom audience ever. The show remained basic cable’s top-rated first run sitcom until TBS’s August 2008 premiere of sister series Meet the Browns. For the first quarter of 2011, House of Payne and Meet the Browns ranked among television’s five highest-rated primetime sitcoms with African-American adults aged 18–34 and 18–49.[8]

Paul Katz of Entertainment Weekly wrote the program had a "bleak premise" and referred to the laugh track as "grating." He also wrote that "(Tyler) Perry should unleash Madea on the Payne household. They could use the laugh."[9]

Movie Web wrote: "I try not to be cynical about TV shows, particularly sitcoms. I know how hard it is to try to write a funny, relevant and interesting television show. I also know that it takes a perfect storm of talent, writing and zeitgeist to capture these elements for an audience. Sadly, Tyler Perry's House of Payne fails to do so."[10]

Ginia Bellefante of The New York Times commented on the sitcom's "narrative aimlessness and languorous pacing," and criticized what she saw as unexplained turns towards topicality. Bellefante did note that House of Payne had "the effect of affirming the progressiveness of a show like Norman Lear’s Good Times."[11]

Variety's Phil Gallo wrote: "In the first episode, House of Payne rolls through a collection of stereotypes and characters familiar to TV auds. ...It's old-fashioned in structure, sets and characters. Despite having his name in the title, Payne is straitjacketed into a straight-man role; the saving grace is the grumpy father figure Curtis as Davis huffs and puffs his way through the unnatural dialogue. As the mother Ella, Cassi Davis is all exaggeration—from the bug eyes to the girth—and she isn't given the material to make her character either outrageously humorous or poignantly comforting. She doesn't seem particularly real."[12]

Tom Shales of the Washington Post said: "Three generations of an African American family share—sometimes—what looks like an enormous house in the Atlanta suburbs, and things sort of happen to them. Some things happen repeatedly, such as the patriarch of the family telling everybody to 'get out' or 'go home,' apparently desiring the company of none of them. ...At times one wishes that, yes, House were Payne-less. ...(T)he program has a long way to go before jelling as a believable unit. ...(T)he acting styles conflict or seem barely to exist." Shales also criticized the program for some of the subject matter, such as Janine's crack addiction, stating that "It's commendable to try to introduce serious and topical material in sitcoms, but the way it's done here is awkward and cringe-inducing."[13]

Special appearances

Syndicated reruns

Madea connections

Tyler Perry's claim to fame is with the popularity of character Madea, 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. 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 seasons 4 and 5. She is one of Curtis' arch enemies.

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 Michael in the film and LaVan Davis, who plays Curtis Payne, plays a bus driver. Curtis claimed Brown made them wait in the cemetery for two hours while he gave his father a tour of Atlanta (his last request), but in the movie, Brown stayed the entire time. The episodes serve as a backdoor pilot to Tyler Perry's Meet the Browns, a spin-off of the film and play as well as House of Payne.

Meet the Browns crossovers

There have been crossovers on House of Payne from Meet the Browns:


Lionsgate Home Entertainment has released the first 10 volumes on DVD in Region 1. It is unknown about the release of the two remaining volumes. According to listings of the previous volumes through Amazon.com, the series DVD releases has been put out of print.

DVD TitleEp #Release DateBlu-ray Disc
Tyler Perry's House of Payne Volume 1 1–20 December 4, 2007
Tyler Perry's House of Payne Volume 2 21–40 July 1, 2008
Tyler Perry's House of Payne Volume 3 41–60January 13, 2009
Tyler Perry's House of Payne Volume 461–80June 16, 2009
Tyler Perry's House of Payne Volume 581–100January 13, 2010
Tyler Perry's House of Payne Volume 6101–124February 8, 2011[14]
Tyler Perry's House of Payne Volume 7125–148April 5, 2011
Tyler Perry's House of Payne Volume 8149–172June 14, 2011
Tyler Perry's House of Payne Volume 9173–192June 19, 2012[15]
Tyler Perry's House of Payne Volume 10193–212March 5, 2013[16]
Tyler Perry's House of Payne Volume 11213–233TBA
Tyler Perry's House of Payne Volume 12234–254TBA


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