Oprah Winfrey’s cable channel is in business with media mogul Tyler Perry, who has signed an exclusive multiyear deal with OWN, Deadline.com reports.
“Under the pact, he will executive produce, write and direct two new scripted series for a mid-2013 premiere on OWN, marking the network’s first foray into scripted programming,” the story reports.
Said Winfrey: “I have been looking forward to the day when we would be in the position to enter the world of scripted television. That day has come. We are all energized by the opportunity to collaborate with Tyler, who has a proven track record for producing highly successful cable series.”
Perry has been behind the TBS series “House of Payne,” “Meet the Browns” and “For Better or Worse,” the story notes.
“Like his movies, Perry’s TV brand has been an urban sitcom with a predominantly black cast but in both areas he has been packing large audiences,” the report notes. “Given OWN’s success with series like ‘Welcome to Sweetie Pie’s,’ the network has been expanding on programming appealing to black viewers, now bringing in one of those viewers’ biggest draws in Perry.”
Perry’s current shows will remain on TBS, while his new development will be for OWN. Perry and Winfrey partnered before on the movie “Precious.”
The report adds: “The deal with Perry comes as OWN finished its third consecutive quarter of year-over-year, double-digit ratings gains across primetime and total day in the key women 25-54 demo (+63% and +70% respectively) and saw triple-digit ratings growth in September.”