Oprah Winfrey's OWN Inks Multi-Year Deal With Tyler Perry
UPDATED: The new pact brings the cable network's first scripted shows next year.
Oprah Winfrey is partnering with multihyphenate Tyler Perry.
OWN: The Oprah Winfrey Network said Monday that it has inked an exclusive multiyear deal with Perry for new television series and projects. The pact brings two scripted series to OWN, the first for the network, to launch in mid-2013. Perry will executive produce, write and direct both shows.
The news comes as OWN closed the third quarter with double-digit ratings gains year-over-year in the women 25-54 demographic and posted triple-digit increases for the month of September.
“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,” said Winfrey, CEO of OWN. “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.”
Said Perry: "It's a dream realized to partner with Oprah and bring scripted programming to OWN. She has accomplished so much with the network, and I'm excited to work with her to be a part of its continued growth."
For Perry, the move to OWN is a big one as his previous television projects were at Turner's TBS, where the network launched the comedies Tyler Perry's House of Payne, Meet the Browns and For Better or Worse. The deal also is an effort by OWN to actively target the African-American viewing audience.
OWN, which debuted Jan. 1, 2011, is a joint venture between Harpo and Discovery Communications. It is available in roughly 85 million homes.