OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network has signed Tyler Perry to a multi-year deal to create new scripted TV shows for the struggling network. Two scripted shows are targeted for a mid-2013 premiere.
“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,” Oprah Winfrey, CEO of OWN, said in a statement. “We are all energized by the opportunity to collaborate with Tyler who has a proven track record for producing highly successful cable series. He has an incredible ability to illuminate life stories and characters in his unique voice and inspires and encourages people all over the world."
Perry has created a string of sitcom hits for TBS, including "House of Payne" and "Meet the Browns." Perry will write, direct and executive produce both new shows on OWN.
"It's a dream realized to partner with Oprah and bring scripted programming to OWN,” Perry said in a statement. "She has accomplished so much with the network and I'm excited to work with her to be a part of its continued growth."
“Bringing Tyler Perry exclusively to OWN is a major coup. Today’s announcement demonstrates the power of the Oprah brand to attract some of the biggest names in television and film to OWN,” David Zaslav, president and CEO of Discovery Communications, said in a statement. “OWN’s growth over the past nine months has been nothing short of phenomenal and, with the continued support of our advertising and affiliate Partners, this bold move into scripted entertainment positions OWN to continue that momentum going forward.”