Tyler Perry's Sistas and The Oval Will Be the First TV Series to Return to Full-Time Production Amid Pandemic

Tyler Perry speaks on stage during the Oval and Sistas screenings on October 20, 2019 in Atlanta, Georgia.
Tyler Perry speaks on stage during the Oval and Sistas screenings on October 20, 2019 in Atlanta, Georgia.
Photo: Marcus Ingram (Getty Images for BET)

Tyler Perry is doing bad all by himself by social distancing away from the industry pack and making major moves during an uncertain time.


On Tuesday, BET announced the network had renewed both Tyler Perry’s The Oval and Tyler Perry’s Sistas for a second season, each of which had top ratings among their respective demographics. Plus, Perry will be reopening his Tyler Perry Studios lot in Atlanta to resume production of both shows starting July 8. According to TV Guide, these will be the first tv series to return to full-time production amid the coronavirus pandemic.

“We are excited to continue our partnership with Tyler Perry and for the renewals of our two Wednesday night programming staples, The Oval and Sistas. BET is committed to investing in quality programming from top industry power players and giving viewers more of the content they love and expect from the brand across our platforms,” Scott Mills, President of BET, said in a statement via a press release sent to The Root.

Variety further reports:

BET announced 22-episode orders for both shows on Tuesday. Filming for each series will take place over approximately two and a half weeks.

A source tells Variety that Perry’s “doing everything by the book” when it comes to his plan to reopen the studio. He’s working closely with local officials and unions to implement his plan to restart production as safely as possible.

While most of the crew on “Sistas” and “The Oval” are Atlanta-based, Perry will use his personal private plane to fly cast in from New York and Los Angeles after they are tested for coronavirus before boarding. Upon arriving in Atlanta, they will head straight to set where all cast and crew will immediately be tested again for COVID-19, awaiting their results for four hours before they are cleared to work. Carlos Del Rio, professor at the Emory Vaccine Center in Georgia, will serve as the testing consultant. Testing will occur four times during the two-and-a-half-week shoot.

Recently, Perry laid out a thorough mapped-out plan to safely return to production as part of Deadline’s “Reopening Hollywood” series. His plan includes testing, housing, quarantining, securing proper insurance and more.

To the cautious eye, this announcement seems to be a super early and ambitious feat. Perry’s penchant to keep his productions low-budget and short-term could be the most effective and low-risk way to ease back into working life in Hollywood (especially since adding testing would increase the overall budget). The Hollywood Reporter mentioned that crew members (with the exception of talent who appear on camera) may have to wear masks while shooting and that sanitation on set will be of the utmost priority.


This is still quite an unpredictable time, so I’m sure other production companies and networks will be looking at Perry’s production as a guinea pig of some sorts. We’ll see how it goes.

In the meantime, here’s the breakdown of The Oval and Sistas from BET, in case you’ve been meaning to catch up on each:

About “Tyler Perry’s The Oval”

“Tyler Perry’s The Oval,” tells the story of a family placed in the White House by people of power while also highlighting the personal side and everyday lives of the staff who run the inner workings of the nation’s most iconic residence. “Tyler Perry’s The Oval” stars Ed Quinn, Kron Moore, Javon Johnson, Ptosha Storey, Vaughn Hebron, Teesha Renee, Paige Hurd, Daniel Croix Henderson, Lodric Collins, Ciera Payton, Walter Fauntleroy, Taja V. Simpson, Brad Benedict, Travis Cure, and Matthew Law.

About “Tyler Perry’s Sistas”

“Tyler Perry’s Sistas,” follows a group of single black females as they navigate their “complicated love life,” careers and friendship through the ups-and-downs of living in a modern world of social media and unrealistic relationship goals. The one-hour drama takes viewers on a roller coaster ride of emotions and hilarious moments that are the epitome of #squadgoals. “Tyler Perry’s Sistas” stars KJ Smith, Mignon Von, Ebony Obsidian, Novi Brown, DeVale Ellis, Chido Nwokocha, Anthony Dalton, Brian Jordan Jr., and Kevin Walton.


Premiere dates for The Oval and Sistas have not yet been announced, but those dates will be forthcoming.

Staff Writer, Entertainment at The Root. Sugar, spice & everything rice. Equipped with the uncanny ability to make a Disney reference and a double entendre in the same sentence.



Quarantining crews to soundstages/ location will probably be the way of the future. Most shows shoot 3 months - 1 year. Two 1/2 weeks for 11 episodes sounds insane. That’s an episode a day. He must never make a lighting change and have 2 takes. Then again most soaps run really tight productions.