OWN: The Oprah Winfrey Network is going all out in the lead-up to the debut of Tyler Perry's scripted efforts.
Ahead of the launches of one-hour ensemble drama The Haves and the Have Nots and half-hour sitcom Love Thy Neighbor, OWN is rolling out what it is calling "event programming" days prior to the May premieres.
The network has scheduled a special episode of Oprah's Next Chapter on Sunday, May 26, at 9 p.m., where Oprah Winfrey will interview Perry at his home. The one-hour sit-down will be followed by a behind-the-scenes look at the making of The Haves and the Have Nots and Love Thy Neighbor in Atlanta at 10 p.m. and 10:30 p.m., respectively, with Tyler Perry Comes to OWN: Behind the Scenes.
Two days later, OWN premieres The Haves and the Have Nots -- starring John Schneider and Renee Lawless -- on Tuesday, May 28, at 9 p.m. Love Thy Neighbor -- toplined by Patrice Lovely, Andre Hall and Kendra C. Johnson -- kicks off the following day on Wednesday, May 29, at 9 p.m. with back-to-back episodes.
The Haves and the Have Nots follows the dynamic between the rich and powerful Cryer family and the hired help who work in their opulent mansion set in Savannah, Georgia. Love Thy Neighbor takes place at the family-run The Love Train Diner where every day the menu serves up food, laughs, life lessons and love.
On the unscripted front, the network has added two series to its slate.
Millionaire Mama's Boy follows the relationship between former WNBA basketball star Pamela McGee and her 25-year-old son, Denver Nuggets center JaVale McGee. The Sony TV series is executive produced by Pete Tartaglia and Amy Palmer Robertson.
Houston Beauty (working title) centers on Glenda Jemison, owner and director of Franklin Beauty School, the oldest continuously operated beauty school in Texas. Park Slope Productions produces; executive producers are Paul Reitano and Terrence Sacchi, with Lindsey Bannister serving as showrunner.
“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, OWN president, in a statement. “Tyler’s fans, like Oprah’s fans, are incredibly connected and passionate. We can’t wait for them to see these shows."
“We are energized by our growing slate of original programming coming to OWN," said Erik Logan, OWN president, in a statement. “With 12 returning series and 13 new shows on the way, including the launch of Tyler Perry’s shows in May, we’re positioned for a strong season."
Earlier this year, OWN announced that it had acquired the first two seasons of Perry's sitcom For Better or Worse, which aired on TBS, and will debut new episodes in fall 2013. Perry inked a multiyear deal with OWN in October.