The Oprah Winfrey Network and Tyler Perry announced an exclusive multiyear deal in which the actor, director, screenwriter, playwright and producer will develop OWN series and projects, including two new scripted series to premiere in the middle of 2013.
Perry will executive produce, write and direct both series, the first scripted shows for OWN. Perry, who has expressed an interest in starting his own network, as Winfrey did with OWN, also produces series for TBS in addition to creating his own plays and films.
"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."
Added 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."
The announcement comes after a bumpy start for the network, which debuted Jan. 1 of last year. OWN now points to three consecutive quarters of year-over-year, double digit ratings growth in primetime and total-day numbers among women 25-54, its key demographic.