Tyler Perry's Meet the Browns is an American sitcom created and produced by playwright, director, and producer Tyler Perry. The show revolves around a senior family living under one roof in Decatur, Georgia led by patriarch Mr. Brown and his daughter Cora Simmons. The show premiered on Wednesday, January 7, 2009 and finished its run on November 18, 2011 on TBS. It is made in the model of his play and film of the same name. The show stars David Mann and Tamela Mann, who starred in the earlier stage play and motion picture.
As Season 2 began, Brianne Gould, who played Brianna, was removed from the series for undisclosed reasons. She was replaced by Logan Browning.
In the series, Eddie Walker, one of Will's former friends, who was close to molesting Joaquin, became the first on-screen character to die. He suffered stab wounds and the surgery done to try to save his life was performed by Will himself. Also, in season 4, Brianna's friend Antonio, is killed in a car crash involving texting while driving.
David Mann is the only cast member who appears in every episode.
Mabel "Madea" Simmons, a recurring character in many of Tyler Perry's works, is an unseen character in this series though mentioned many times. Throughout the show's five seasons, she never made an on-camera appearance.
Other unseen characters include Brown's brother and sister-in-law, LB and Sarah. Both appeared in the stageplay and film adaptation of Meet the Browns but they've never graced the series. However, LB was mentioned once in the backdoor pilot episode which aired as an episode of House of Payne.
In November 2011, TBS suddenly announced that the series finale would be airing since it was cancelled. The final two episodes aired on November 18, 2011, concluding the series with 140 episodes in total.
Cast and characters
The show revolves around the misadventures of the multi-generational Brown family. They live in suburban Atlanta, Georgia. All main cast members are credited only for the episodes in which they appear.
David Mann as Leroy S. Brown: The show's main protagonist, Mr. Brown is a church deacon in his mid-60s who's very proud about being saved. He has one brother, Larry “L.B.” Brown, who is never mentioned, and one sister, Vera. He was married years ago, but his wife died; in the original Tyler Perry plays, they had a daughter, but the character was never mentioned in the films and only shown in the Family Reunion play. Recently he has learned that he has a daughter, Cora Simmons, the result of a prom-night escapade with Mabel "Madea" Simmons. Brown isn't overbright (mentally, that is; the word more aptly describes his outrageous dress sense) and he has the wiseguy role, making fun of characters like Edna and Reggie; but he is a nice, caring, giving man. He works part-time as a hospital janitor and also as a school enforcement officer (he once beat up a teacher he thought had done something wrong). He is somewhat good at karate, busting out his "Kangaroo" move. His catchphrases include "Stop being nasty!", "What the what?", and "The Devil is a liar!" Running gags involve Brown calling Edna different kinds of animals, making fun of Cora's fiance' Reggie's weight, and otherwise being open about his dislike for this future son-in-law. In one episode Brown begins to deal with his diabetes. Although he has used many variations to what the middle initial "S" is in his name, in one episode it is revealed his middle name is Sakagawea (pronounced sah-kuh-jeh-wee-uh). In the Madea's Big Happy Family movie, Brown discovers that he is not Cora's father through a paternity test on Maury. However, this is not in the same continuity as the series.
Tamela Mann as Cora Jean Simmons-Brown: Cora Simmons is Brown’s daughter with Madea. She is a teacher and a praying woman who is very active in her church, but when angered, she shows aspects of her mother, Madea. A childless widow, she later becomes engaged to Reggie Brooks, the football coach at her school who lives with his mother, Thelma (In the play and movie, Cora had 2 adult daughters). "Meet the Candlelight Dinner" reveals that she is allergic to laxatives; the episode "Meet the Attraction" reveals that she's afraid of mannequins and test dummies. In Seasons 3 and 4, she dates Reggie and Gordon and eventually chooses Reggie over Gordon. Her age is never flat-out revealed in the series; she comes closest to blurting it out in "Meet the Big Wedding" ("Mr. Brown, I am" [covers mouth] "years old!"). In the TV series' continuity, Cora has known for many years that Mr. Brown is her father, and he often references raising and being there for her; in the Madea's Big Happy Family movie, Madea claims that Mr. Brown has given her $18 in child support: $1-per-year from her birth to age 18. It was also discovered that Cora is not Brown's daughter after appearing on Maury, but in the episode "Meet the Baby Daddy", a man claimed to be Cora's father but it was revealed that Mr. Brown was Cora's father after all.
Lamman Rucker as William "Will" Brown, MD: Will is Brown’s nephew, a doctor who loves his uncle so much that he provides free medical services to the retirement-home residents. He and his wife Sasha have become adoptive parents to Brianna and Joaquin Ortiz. Will never met his father; Vera, his alcoholic mother, met his father while she was drunk.
Denise Boutte as Sasha Brown (nee Bohem-Brown), RN: Sasha, Will's wife, is a nurse who decides to work for Brown helping to look after the retirement-home residents. Sasha and Will start their family by adopting Brianna and Joaquin Ortiz. In one episode Sasha becomes pregnant, then miscarries.
Tony Vaughn as Colonel Cleophus Jackson: The Colonel is a former military man who still lives as if he’s in the military. His motto is “Shoot now, ask questions later.” He’s a very disciplined, very formal, and very official man, but underneath that hard exterior is a soft heart. His wife died several years ago and he's estranged from their only child, daughter Karen. He takes up with Edna Barnes; in Season 3 they moved out of Brown Meadows to a house down the street. He finally weds Edna in Season 5.
Juanita Jennings as Edna Wright Barnes Grey Foster Jackson: 69-year-old childless widow Edna has always wanted to be a singer but has never actually pursued this dream. Most of her close friends and relatives have passed. She's extremely in touch with her sexuality—she can relate everything to sex—and acts like "late 60s" is the new 40. In Season 3, she and her fiancé, the Colonel, moved down the street from Brown Meadows. A running gag involves Brown comparing Edna to various animals. She finally weds the Colonel in Season 5. In the series pilot she had a crush on Brown, telling him to come in his bed with her plus showing him her full body naked.
Brianne Gould (Season 1)/Logan Browning (Season 2–5) as Brianna Janae Ortiz: Brianna is a foster child who comes from a broken home and an unsafe foster environment. At age 16, she knows the foster care system too well. She's very bright, but has anger problems that stem from her tragic childhood. The only relationship she nurtures is with her brother Joaquin; she feels like they are alone in the world. At the end of Season 1, Brianne Gould left the series for undisclosed reasons and Logan Browning took over the role from the beginning of Season 2.
Gunnar Washington as Joaquin Ortiz: Joaquin is Brianna’s 12-year-old brother. As the siblings are veterans of the foster care system, Joaquin in particular is very anxious to find a good home and feel settled. He and Brianna have their moments of discord, but mainly they look after each other. Overall, he just wants to be loved.
Terri J. Vaughn as Renee LaToya Smith: A nurse at the hospital where Will, Sasha, Brown, and Derek work, Renee was a recurring character in Season 3 who became a regular in Season 4. She claims to have four kids.
Robert Ri'chard as Derek Porter: A Dominican frat student who lives next door to Brown Meadows and often helps out there, in between masterminding or participating in Brown's antics. He made his debut in Season 3 and has been a recurring character throughout the series' run.
Jenifer Lewis as Vera Brown: Mr. Brown's younger sister and Will's mother. Vera means well but she is a loud, controlling alcoholic who spoils Will and subtly despises Sasha. She appeared with Mr. Brown, Cora, and Will in the film version of the series. In one episode, Vera and Brown have an argument and Vera says, "I'm about to be an only child," which indicates that their brother LB has died—or does not exist.
Tasha Smith as Tanya Ortiz: Joaquin and Brianna's biological mother, who only wants them back for money. She is either in denial or simply ignoring the fact that one of her former boyfriends molested Brianna. She serves as a major antagonist to the series during her first few appearances, but during her later appearances, she becomes less of an antagonist when she improves on being a better mother to Joaquin and Brianna and helps Cora with some of the household chores when she spends a couple of nights there. She also tries hitting on Will, while he and Sasha go through some marriage issues. After Brianna gave her a makeover for her date, she has not been seen or mentioned since.
Lisa Arrindell Anderson as Karen: The Colonel's pushy daughter. She was estranged from her father when she put him in a nursing home after the death of her mother. The two eventually reconciled. Before The Colonel married Edna, Karen tried to persuade Edna to sign a prenuptial agreement.
Ciara Wilson as Simone Taylor: Brianna's dimwitted, somewhat childish best friend who became pregnant. She is similar to Mr. Brown.
Courtney Gray as Jamal: Brianna's male best friend. In one episode, Brianna noticed that he'd been eating very frequently. Later, the Browns caught him stealing food from them. He is confronted by Brianna at school and he reveals that his parents recently split up, he stayed with his mother, who lost their house, and they'd been living in their van without food, so he began stealing food.
Bernard Jones as Milo: A detention-prone student at Cora's school. He appeared in the Tyler Perry's House of Payne episodes "What You Know About Me" and "Payneful Divorce" as a college student and friend of Malik.
Leland L. Jones as Gordon Bob: The principal at Cora's school. He still has feelings for her but can't get her to leave Reggie for him.
Maurice G. Smith as Reggie Brooks: Cora's off-and-on boyfriend, the school's football coach. He lives with his mother, Thelma.
Laura Hayes as Mrs. Thelma Brooks: Reggie's sometimes overbearing, sometimes caring, mother. In "The Cheating Liver", it is revealed that she has a crush on Mr. Brown and so on.
Njema Williams as "Benny": A local bum who is usually hustling with (or against) Brown.
K Callan as Daisy LaRue: Daisy is a former B-movie actress and "legend in her own mind"; she really misses her career. She has made a lot of money but she's frugal. Whenever someone tries to talk to her about money or anything else she doesn't want to discuss, she "goes into character" to avoid the conversation. She will often act like she believes she is in Manhattan or Los Angeles, etc., rather than Brown Meadows in suburban Atlanta. She never married due to never finding anyone like her high school crush, but she has dated the best of them. In season 3, she moved to Palm Beach, Florida with her cousin Lorraine (the late Rue McClanahan) after she realized that she had Alzheimer's disease, but she made a trip back to attend Edna and Colonel's Season 4 wedding.
Antonio Jaramillo as Jesus Hernandez: Jesus is a handyman who worked at Brown Meadows to save up for law school; in Season 3, Brown fired him to save money. When he comes back in Season 4 for Edna and Colonel's wedding, he claims that he has become a lawyer and is doing well. He has a love/hate relationship with London.
Arielle Vandenberg as London Sheraton: London is a very privileged celebrity who is famous for absolutely no reason. Although she has no clue about hard work, she has to do community service at Brown Meadows, due to having several DUIs. She may appear dim, but at times she shows almost startling intelligence. In Season 2, her family forces her to move after her probation, but she occasionally visits Brown Meadows, like for Edna and Colonel's Season 4 wedding. She is similar to the character London Tipton from the show The Suite Life of Zack & Cody; both Londons are portrayed as dumb, both are heiresses, and both depend on their unseen-but-mentioned fathers (both characters, in turn, are loose parodies of real-life Hilton Worldwide heiress Paris Hilton).
Jeannette Sousa as Carmen Martinez: Carmen only appears in early Season 1 episodes; she is Brianna and Joaquin's social worker, and Sasha's good friend.
Maestro Harrell as Antonio: Brianna's best friend from the foster home that was introduced in season 3. In season 4, he accidentally killed himself by texting Brianna while driving to a party according to the episode "Meet The Big Payoff".
Locations seen in the show set in Atlanta, Georgia include Brown Meadows and the school where Cora and Mr. Brown work. The Brown Meadows Home is a two-story building, and throughout the series 5 rooms have been featured: the kitchen, the living room, the dining room, Brianna's room, and Mr. Brown's room. The outside patio is also on display. Will and Sasha's, Joaquin's, Cora's, and residents' rooms have never been seen. Season 3 takes us into the hospital where Will, Sasha, Renee, and Mr. Brown work. Season 4 shows The Colonel and Edna's home.
When the series premiered on January 7, 2009, it received a viewership of 4,027,000 viewers based on Nielsen ratings. In March 2010, Meet the Browns became TBS's #1 sitcom having a viewership of 2.3 million and among adults 18–49 having 1.2 million. In October 2010, the show continued to be TBS's #1 and #2 sitcom telecasts with an audience of 1.2 to 1.4 million among adults 18–49.