: Oprah Winfrey
Network announced on Monday (October 1) that it has struck an exclusive deal with actor-director-producer-writer-juggernaut Tyler Perry
The pact, which will mark OWN's first segue into original scripted programming, will make the network the "singular destination" for original TV output from the Madea mastermind.
The plan will be for Perry and OWN to premiered two new scripted shows by 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," blurbs Oprah Winfrey. "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's TV ventures thus far have included "Tyler Perry's House of Payne," "Meet the Browns" and "For Better or Worse." His most recent film, the double possessive "Tyler Perry's Madea's Witness Protection" took in over $65 million domestic this summer. He'll be seen in an acting-only capacity this fall in "Alex Cross."
"It's a dream realized to partner with Oprah and bring scripted programming to OWN," Perry states. "She has accomplished so much with the network and I'm excited to work with her to be a part of its continued growth."
Adds Discover Communications President and CEO David Zaslav, "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. 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."
The OWN press release boasts that the network has had three consecutive quarters of year-over-year grown in both primetime and total day in its core demo of women 25-54, including triple-digit growth in September. Take that as you will.