Oprah And Tyler Join Forces
Bucking the American system of rugged individualism and the perception that we can’t work together successfully, Black media moguls Oprah Winfrey and Tyler Perry have decided to join forces to form an exclusive partnership which includes two new scripted series that will premiere on the network in mid-2013.
Perry will maintain his movie relationship with Lionsgate, which released the critically acclaimed 2009 movie “Precious,” but neither the production company nor its television distribution unit, Debmar Mercury, in involved in the OWN-Perry partnership. In Perry’s case, he decided against the idea of creating his own network. In Oprah’s case, she decided to venture into original scripted series via their exclusive partnership, which includes two new scripted series that will premiere on OWN in mid-2013.
OWN will own the shows Perry produces for the channel. Winfrey and Perry served as executive producers of “Precious,’ and Winfrey championed the drama about an abused teenage girl in Harlem, NY. Perry will maintain his movie relationship with Lionsgate, which released “Precious,” but neither the production company nor its television distribution unit, Debmar-Mercury, in involved in the OWN Perry partnership.
Perry had been toying with the idea of creating his own network and had talks with Lionsgate and One Equity Partners, the co-owners of the TV Guide Channel. The plan under discussion would have had TV Guide becoming a platform for Perry, and there was even a name – Tyler TV – being floated. According to sources, Perry decided that the less risky strategy was to sign a production deal with Winfrey’s OWN, hich is co-owned by Discovery Communications, Inc. Although OWN has struggled since its launch in January 2011, its audience reach and subscriber revenue are growing and its ratings have some steady improvement.