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OWN’s Tyler Perry Drama Bags Network-Best Premiere Ratings

'The Haves and the Have Nots" averages about 1.8 million for its pair of episodes Tuesday

OWN is placing a big bet on Tyler Perry this week, and Tuesday night saw encouraging numbers for the premiere of his original drama series, “The Haves and the Have Nots.”

Nielsen estimates that an average audience of 1.77 million watched the series opener of “The Haves and the Have Nots,” making it the most-watched premiere in the network’s history. In the four prior weeks, OWN averaged 251,000 viewers in primetime, so Tuesday’s premiere audience is about seven times that.

And in a good sign, a second episode drew a little over 1.8 million viewers — with each quarter hour either holding on building upon the previous one.

Tonight marks the premiere of Perry’s new comedy series, “Love Thy Neighbor,” which will also bow with back-to-back episodes.

“Haves and Have Nots” follows the complicated dynamic between the rich and powerful Cryer family and the hired help who work in their Savannah mansion. “Love Thy Neighbor” is set at a family-run restaurant, where feisty family matriarch Hattie Mae Love (Patrice Lovely) has her hands full not only managing her customers but her family drama, too.

Quarter-to-date, OWN is up about 12% in total viewers vs. last year.

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