As I said before, OWN is becoming a black cable TV network, whether its intentional or not. So BET and TV One especially may want to start paying attention to developments at OWN, if they aren't already.
In addition to the 2 scripted Tyler Perry serials that are set to debut this spring, OWN has also greenlit 2 new series (unscripted) that will join its slate of original programming: Millionaire Mama's Boy (about the relationship between former WNBA star Pamela McGee and her NBA star son JaVale McGee who plays for the Denver Nuggets), and Houston Beauty (which follows Miss Glenda Jemison, the owner and director of Franklin Beauty School, the oldest continuously operated licensed beauty school in Texas).
Leading up to the premieres of the two Tyler Perry serials, OWN has announced that it will air some special event programming; specifically, on Sunday, May 26, Oprah will sit down with Perry for what the press release calls "an intimate in-depth interview" on a special Oprah's Next Chapter at 9 pm ET/PT.
Didn't she already do one of those with Perry recently?
It will be immediately followed at 10 pm ET/PT by Tyler Perry Comes to OWN: Behind The Scenes, said to be an exclusive inside look at the making of his two new series - the one-hour ensemble drama The Haves and the Have Nots, which is set to premiere on Tuesday, May 28 at 9 pm ET/PT, and the sitcom Love Thy Neighbor, which will premiere on Wednesday, May 29 at 9 pm ET/PT, with two back-to-back half-hour episodes.
"We are delighted to celebrate Tyler coming to OWN with these new specials as we ramp up to the debut of our first scripted series," said Sheri Salata, president, OWN. "Tyler's fans, like Oprah's fans, are incredibly connected and passionate. We can't wait for them to see these shows."
And I'm sure those incredibly connected and passionate fans can't wait to see them!
Full descriptions of all of the above follow below:
OPRAH'S NEXT CHAPTER (Sunday, May 26 from 9-10 p.m.)
Oprah Winfrey sits down with Tyler Perry at his home. The two friends discuss his life and career, how he has navigated Hollywood on his own terms and his creative process behind OWN's first two scripted shows. "Oprah's Next Chapter" is OWN's award-winning primetime series featuring Oprah's in-depth interviews with today's biggest newsmakers and celebrities. The series has delivered some of the network's highest ratings reaching millions of viewers worldwide. "Oprah's Next Chapter" is produced by Harpo Studios. Executive produced by Tara Montgomery and Andrea Wishom. Join the conversation on Twitter using #NextChapter.
TYLER PERRY COMES TO OWN: BEHIND THE SCENES (Sunday, May 26 from 10-10:30 p.m. and 10:30-11 p.m.)
The two half-hour back-to-back specials give viewers an inside look at the making of Tyler Perry's new series coming to OWN - "The Haves and the Have Nots" and "Love Thy Neighbor." We'll go straight to the action at Tyler Perry Studios in Atlanta, Georgia to see the inner workings of the entertainment mogul's empire and what it takes to create the anticipated new series. The two-part special will offer unprecedented access inside the essence of the Perry process, from making business decisions in his barber's chair, to spontaneously changing up a scene. See first-hand what drives the multi-hyphenate's passion for entertaining audiences around the world. "Tyler Perry Comes to OWN: Behind the Scenes" (working title) is produced by True Entertainment and executive produced by Steven Weinstock, Glenda Hersh, Carlos King, Lauren Eskelin and Stephanya Bareham.
THE HAVES AND THE HAVE NOTS (Tuesdays from 9-10 p.m. beginning May 28)
From prolific writer, director, producer Tyler Perry, "The Haves and the Have Nots" is a new television drama which follows the complicated dynamic between the rich and powerful Cryer family and the hired help who work in their opulent mansion set in Savannah, Georgia. From the outside, the Cryer's are the enviable face of success and wealth, but behind the veil, the family's dysfunction threatens to destroy their world of privilege. Cryer family patriarch Jim Cryer (John Schneider, "Dukes of Hazzard") is a powerful judge whose double-life, including tawdry affairs with high-priced escorts, puts his family and political ambitions at risk. His wife, Katheryn Cryer (Renée Lawless, "Wicked"), is the ultimate matriarch portraying a loving and dutiful wife, but she is willing to do anything to protect her family's status. Their son Wyatt (Aaron O'Connell) is a troubled angry jock who cares little for his own image and finds himself in and out of rehab. His sister Amanda (Jacyln Betham), a struggling law student, tries harder to live up to her parents' expectations, but unknowingly has befriended a scurrilous young woman, Candace Young, with the power to ruin the entire family. Hanna Young (Crystal Fox) is the Cryer's maid and the matriarch of her family. Despite having no money, she has found other types of wealth through religion and virtue. She prides herself on her dutiful son Benny (Tyler Lepley), the glue who helps keep the family together. Hanna does have one dark secret, however, her estranged daughter Candace (Tika Sumpter, "Gossip Girl") --- a manipulative opportunist who will stop at nothing to get what she wants. In a bizarre coincidence, Candace is shocked to find out that her newfound friend Amanda's father is Jim Cryer, the very man who has been paying her for sex and who also employs Candace's mother as his family's maid. Armed with this knowledge, the dramatic stage is set for what will be, in Candace's eyes, the opportunity of a lifetime. Other characters in the series include the Cryer's chef Celine (Eva Tamargo, "Passions"), their wealthy friends Veronica (Angela Robinson) and David Harrington (Peter Parros) and son Wyatt's rehabilitation counselor, Jeffery Harrington (Gavin Houston). "The Haves and the Have Nots" is produced for OWN by Tyler Perry Studios. It is created, written, directed and executive produced by Tyler Perry. Join the conversation on Twitter using #HavesandHaveNots and visit the show online at www.oprah.com/havesandhavenots
LOVE THY NEIGHBOR (Wednesdays from 9-10 p.m. beginning May 29; two back-to-back half-hour episodes)
Written, directed and produced by Tyler Perry, "Love Thy Neighbor" is a half-hour comedy set at The Love Train Diner a family run restaurant where every day the menu serves up good food, great laughs, valuable life lessons and a whole lot of love. Diner owner and feisty family matriarch Hattie Mae Love (Patrice Lovely, "A Madea Christmas") has her hands full not only managing her customers but her family drama, too. Her daughter Linda (Kendra C. Johnson, "Phat Girlz") splits her time between Hattie's home and the apartment she shares with her philandering husband. Linda's son Danny (Andre Hall, "Goodbye LA"), a recent college grad, moves into a bachelor pad with his best friend Sam (Jonathan Chase, "Chemistry") and lands a job at a hot internet design firm. He quickly establishes himself as a rising star... that's when he's not distracted by Sam's hard-partying ways and their beautiful co-workers Marianna (Zulay Henao, "The Fighter") and Drew (Darmirra Brunson, "Sunset Junction"). Meanwhile, Uncle Floyd (Palmer Williams, "House of Payne") is an ever-present thorn in the Love family's side. Like old luggage, they can never seem to get rid of him. "Love Thy Neighbor" is produced for OWN by Tyler Perry Studios. It is created, written, directed and executive produced by Tyler Perry. Join the conversation on Twitter using #LoveThyNeighbor and visit the show online at www.oprah.com/lovethyneighbor
MILLIONAIRE MAMA'S BOY
The new OWN series "Millionaire Mama's Boy" explores the dynamic relationship between former WNBA basketball star Pamela McGee and her 25-year-old son, Denver Nuggets center, JaVale McGee. Famous for being domineering on and off the court, Pamela is not only JaVale's mom, she's also his business manager, working to build an empire while trying to keep a tight rein on the glitz and girls that come with the life of an NBA star. Meanwhile, Pamela's managing her own life, which consists of her equally fabulous single girlfriends who also have sons coming up in the league. When Pamela needs someone to laugh with or a shoulder to cry on, she turns to her girls. Like Pamela, they are single mothers raising their sons while dating and chasing their own ambitions. With her hectic schedule, Pamela relies on her "manny" Jay to get things done. She trusts him to oversee her mansion, bank accounts and properties. While her friends think there could be a love connection, Pamela and Jay deny it - but they certainly fight like a married couple. Like any good mother, Pamela is a force to be reckoned with, and no one is going to stop Mama McGee from taking care of her own. After all, she is basketball royalty herself. They may be crazy, loud and a little wild, but family's what it's all about for the McGees and their friends. Ultimately, it's a show about family, love and the unbreakable bond between a mother and her son; all seven feet of him. The series is executive produced by Pete Tartaglia and Amy Palmer Robertson and distributed by Sony Pictures Television. Join the conversation on Twitter using #MillionaireMamasBoy.
"Houston Beauty" (working title) follows Miss Glenda Jemison, the owner and director of Franklin Beauty School, the oldest continuously operated licensed beauty school in Texas. The Jemison family may be established pillars of the community, but their trainees come from all walks of life. While trying to balance school with their erratic home lives, many of these students do whatever it takes to make ends meet: Whether working behind makeup counters, as kitchen beauticians or exotic dancers, these tough and talented pupils all share the pursuit of a better life. The series is produced by Park Slope Productions and executive produced by Paul Reitano and Terrence Sacchi. Showrunner is Lindsey Bannister. Join the conversation on Twitter using #HoustonBeauty.