Hollywood Hook-Up: Oprah Winfrey & Tyler Perry Join Forces
Perry has just closed a deal with the media mogul to executive produce, write and direct two new scripted series for OWN, launching the network’s debut in the scripted programming genre. The sitcoms are slated to premiere mid-2013.
“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 Oprah Winfrey, CEO, OWN. “We are all energized by the opportunity to collaborate with Tyler who has a proven track record for producing highly successful cable series.”
The 42-year-old playwright turned Hollywood mogul has had tremendous success with scripted sitcoms for the TBS network. Perry launched his first show “House of Payne” in 2006, followed by “Meet the Browns” in 2009.
Earlier this year, Perry premiered his third sitcom, “For Better or Worse” on TBS and 34 episodes of the show have aired.
Though originally facing an onslaught of negative press for having lackluster ratings, the Oprah Winfrey Network has “turned the corner,” as Winfrey put it and is scheduled to turn a profit in 2013.
The network is having great success with reality series “Welcome to Sweetie Pies,” which is in its third season; “Iyanla, Fix Me Life,” which had huge numbers for it series premiere; and Winfrey’s interview show, “Next Chapter.”
According to Deadline.com, 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.