Using the unique model created by Debmar-Mercury for Tyler Perry's House of Payne and Meet the Browns, TBS is teaming with Joe Roth and Ice Cube for Are We There Yet?, a sitcom starring Terry Crews (Everybody Hates Chris) and based on the hit Revolution Studios film of the same name. TBS has ordered 10 episodes of the new sitcom, slated to premiere in June 2010, with the option for an additional 90 episodes. The series is produced by Cube Vision and distributed by Debmar-Mercury, with Revolution's Joe Roth and Cube Vision's Ice Cube and Matt Alvarez serving as executive producers, along with multiple Emmy-winning show-runner Ali LeRoi (Everybody Hates Chris). In addition to executive-producing, Ice Cube will have a recurring role.
This is the fourth television series for which Debmar-Mercury has utilized its groundbreaking approach to launching shows into distribution and syndication, following in the footsteps of Tyler Perry's two hit sitcoms, House of Payne and Meet the Browns, which also air on TBS, and the new Jon Heder sitcom from writer-producers Will Ferrell, Adam McKay and Chris Henchy ordered by Comedy Central last week.
The movie Are We There Yet?, a breakout 2005 hit, told the story of Nick (Ice Cube), a smooth operator who is trying to land a date with Suzanne, a divorcee stuck working out of town over New Year's and miserable because she misses her kids. Nick gallantly offers to make her New Year's wish come true - and his own in the process - by driving her two children to be reunited with their mom. What Nick doesn't know is that Suzanne's children, whom he's never met, hate every man their mom dates on sight. The movie grossed more than $82 million at the box office and was followed in 2007 by a sequel, Are We Done Yet?
In the sitcom Are We There Yet?, Crews will star as Nick, the character Ice Cube played in the film.
Debmar-Mercury's association with TBS began in 2006, when the company devised a groundbreaking distribution strategy for Tyler Perry's House of Payne. Debmar-Mercury offered a 10-episode experiment in select markets that produced strong ratings, leading TBS to order a full-fledged series with an unprecedented 100 episodes. In January 2009, TBS premiered 10 episodes of Tyler Perry's Meet the Browns to strong ratings, leading the network to order additional episodes for a total of 80. So far this year, the two series have ranked as the top television programs in delivery of African-American viewers.
"When we set out to expand on the television comedy model that the amazing Tyler Perry has turned into a runaway success at TBS, we knew we had to be in business with Ice Cube, a cultural icon who can do it all: an acclaimed hip-hop artist, film phenomenon, actor, writer, director and producer," Debmar-Mercury co-president Mort Marcus said.
Debmar-Mercury co-president Ira Bernstein added, "To be back with TBS again and have a dream team of creative partners like Ice Cube, Joe Roth, Matt Alvarez and Ali LeRoi attached to this project, plus a breakout star in Terry Crews, this show has all the elements to be a major hit."