*When TLC was looking to add its first scripted series, the network didn’t have to look too far for an executive producer with the “golden touch.”
Tyler Perry has three successful shows for Oprah Winfrey’s OWN, which is TLC’s sister network under Discovery Communications. Alas, TLC president Nancy Daniels said recruiting the filmmaker was “a no brainer.”
“In looking at what our audience watches, what our viewers watch — they watch a lot of scripted shows,” Daniels told Variety. “So we decided to dip our toes in and Tyler has the golden touch, so it was a no brainer.”
As previously reported, Perry has gifted TLC the series “Too Close to Home.” The main character, Anna, is a young woman who tries to escape her low-income lifestyle in a trailer park by fleeing to Capitol Hill, and interning at the White House. She soon finds herself in the middle of a major political scandal involving the President of the United States.
Daniels said she was amazed by the speed at which Perry goes from show concept to completed episodes.
“There is no wasting time in a Tyler Perry show,” Perry stated during the panel interview following the screening. “Too Close to Home” received an eight-episode order, and Perry gave the cast and crew just eight days to shoot it. The tall order became the first time a Tyler Perry production was shot completely on the Tyler Perry Studios lot.
The writer-creator spoke to Variety about moving away from his OWN shows — “If Loving You Is Wrong,” “Love Thy Neighbor,” and “The Have and Have Nots” — to TLC.
Perry stated, “I got a call from [Discovery Communications CEO] David Zaslav saying, ‘Hey, how can we do this together with TLC?’ He, Oprah, and myself talked about it and we’re very excited about it, so here we are!”
“Too Close to Home” debuts with a two-hour premiere Aug. 22 on TLC.