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, noting that Discovery owns part of OWN so there was no major jump between networks, or bad blood.
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” tells the story of 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. The main character, Anna, soon finds herself in the middle of a major political scandal involving the President of the United States.
“In looking at what our audience watches, what our viewers watch — they watch a lot of scripted shows,” explained TLC president Nancy Daniels. “So we decided to dip our toes in and Tyler has the golden touch, so it was a no brainer.”
Daniels noted that the most amazing part of the show has been the speed at which Perry works and watching the concept come to life.
“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.
“Too Close to Home” debuts with a two-hour premiere Aug. 22 on TLC.