Tyler Perry and Oprah Winfrey announce partnership deal
Tyler Perry, the prolific movie and television producer behind sitcoms like “House of Payne,” will soon start to produce shows exclusively for OWN, Oprah Winfrey’s cable network.
The exclusive partnership between Mr. Perry and Ms. Winfrey, announced Monday, may be OWN’s biggest programming bet to date.
The network (OWN), which has struggled to define itself and draw an audience since its founding 22 months ago, said in a news release that it planned to premiere two new scripted series made by Mr. Perry sometime in mid-2013. Going forward, OWN will be Mr. Perry’s “singular destination for all new television series and projects,” the network said.
Mr. Perry’s current home on cable, TBS, will continue to broadcast repeats of his shows “House of Payne,” “Meet the Browns” and “For Better or Worse.” But he will only produce new shows for OWN.
OWN did not disclose the amount paid to Mr. Perry. But the multiyear deal is almost certain to consume a large portion of OWN’s annual programming budget, particularly because it involves scripted shows, which are more expensive to produce than unscripted shows. Until now, OWN has only broadcast unscripted series.
Ms. Winfrey, the chief executive of OWN, said in a news release, “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. We are all energized by the opportunity to collaborate with Tyler Perry 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.”