Oprah Winfrey is entering a business relationship with her longtime friend Tyler Perry. Her network OWN has inked an exclusive multi-year deal with the filmmaker to make the network "his singular destination for all new television series and projects."
Under the deal, the award-winning actor, director, screenwriter, playwright and producer will executive produce, write and direct two new scripted series, which are slated to premiere in mid-2013. The projects mark OWN's first foray intro scripted programming.
"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 says 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."
David Zaslav, president and CEO of Discovery Communications, chimes in, "Bringing Tyler Perry exclusively to OWN is a major coup." Meanwhile, Perry gushes, "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."
Perry's previous TV works, "House of Payne", "Meet the Browns" and "For Better or Worse", have aired on TBS. The 43-year-old, who is known for creating and performing Mabel "Madea" Simmons in "Madea" film series, has worked on "The Marriage Counselor" movie adaptation which will hit U.S. theaters in 2013.