House of Payne TV Poster Image

House of Payne



No-frills sitcom is lackluster in every way.

What parents need to know

Positive messages

Family members tease each other about topics some might find offensive, such as skin color and body size.


In the first episode, viewers learn that a drug-addicted character burned her family's house down.

Not applicable

Family members taunt and tease each other, and the word "sucker" is used.

Not applicable
Drinking, drugs, & smoking

Although no drug use is shown, one of the characters is a former addict.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that one of the main characters in this syndicated sitcom is a formerly drug-addicted mother of two who was forced into rehab after burning the family house down. She receives very little emotional support from her in-laws and husband when she's released from her program.

What's the story?

In HOUSE OF PAYNE, a syndicated sitcom created and directed by filmmaker Tyler Perry (Diary of a Mad Black Woman), viewers follow Atlanta fireman CJ Payne (New Jack City's Allen Payne -- it's coincidental that they share the same last name) as he and his two kids move into his parents' home after his drug-addicted wife burns down their house to cover their debt. (Laughing yet?) CJ often butts heads with his strong-willed but well-meaning parents, Ella (Cassie Davis) and Curtis (Lavan Davis). The three disagree on everything from personal hygiene to child-rearing and further test each other's patience when CJ's wife returns from rehab and re-enters their lives. Larramie Shaw and China McCain co-star as Curtis' two children, Malik and Jasmine, and Denise Burse plays nosey neighbor Claretha.

Is it any good?


Perry has lots of fans, but even his alter-ego Madea couldn't infuse enough life into the mediocre House of Payne to make it stand out from the crowd. House of Payne's storyline is an interesting one, in that viewers essentially see a single father raising his kids with the help of his parents. But amateurish acting and a low-quality set detract from any originality. What's more, the writing at times verges on the offensive. At one point, Curtis tells CJ that all black people have high blood pressure, to which the lighter-skinned CJ responds that he doesn't. His father's retort? "I said black, not beige."

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about drug abuse and its consequences. Why is it a bad idea to do drugs? How can you say no when all your friends might be experimenting? Do you think drugs should be illegal?

TV details

Premiere date:June 21, 2006
Cast:Cassi Davis, Lance Gross, LaVan Davis
Networks:Syndicated, TBS
TV rating:TV-PG
Available on:DVD

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What parents and kids say

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Adult Written byHasana April 9, 2008

Jim Crow hits a new low

I tried a couple of times to sit down and watch TPHP and couldn't get past the first commercial break. This is show depicts cooning at its finest. I am embarassed to see black people huff, shuck n' jive on national tv. The worst part is the jokes aren't funny at all and the storyline is unoriginal and not to mention the acting is a bit "iffy". I discourage any from watching this modern day black face comedy.
Teen, 14 years old Written bySilverSnake July 16, 2010

I don't see whats wrong with it..

Wow, THIS show got bad ratings yet The Suite Life on Deck got better ones? I think the actings really good, the lessons are good, its funny and relatable. The characters have their own attitude and ARE interesting, the plots are a little scrambled, but really good. Just give it a shot. Its better than soaps!
What other families should know
Too much sex
Too much swearing
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking
Great messages
Great role models
Adult Written byEyewitness December 8, 2008

Poor Writing

Unfortunately, this is some of the worst writing I have ever been exposed to. The plot is non-existent. There is no definable story line. The character development is shallow leading one to believe that the story is being written by sixth graders. The humor is juvenile, the scenes are choppy, the dialogue is fragmented, the actors do not come across as real characters and the soundtrack is weak and incongruent with the imagery of the filming.


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