Tyler Perry, left, and Oprah Winfrey. (OWN )
OWN announced Monday an exclusive partnership with Tyler Perry, which includes two new scripted series for the network that would premiere in mid-2013.
The deal would make the Oprah Winfrey Network the “singular destination” for any new television series or projects from the multi-hyphenate Hollywood mogul. It also marks OWN’s first foray into original scripted series as the network eases into a groove after a wobbly start.
News of this new venture comes as the network has seen some improvement--with the help of interviews featuring Rihanna and the Kardashian family. It closed its third quarter with double-digit ratings gains year-over-year with women 25-54.
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“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,” Winfrey said in a statement. “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 has found success on the TV front with three TBS shows: “Tyler Perry’s House of Payne,” “Meet the Browns” and “For Better or Worse.” Those shows will continue airing on the network, but he won’t be developing anything new for them.
"It's a dream realized to partner with Oprah and bring scripted programming to OWN,” said Perry in a statement. "She has accomplished so much with the network and I'm excited to work with her to be a part of its continued growth." Perry will executive produce, write and direct both series. Both shows will be produced by Perry's production company, Tyler Perry Studios.
The duo have already generated some unforgettable TV moments together. Perry was a frequent guest on his friend’s daytime talk show, often promoting his films. In a 2010 appearance, things got serious as Perry spoke out about the sexual abuse he experienced as a child.
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