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Tyler Perry Drama Marks TLC’s First-Ever Scripted Series

TLC is getting into the scripted game with one of the best in the biz: Tyler Perry.

The cabler has greenlit “Too Close to Home,” an eight-episode drama written, directed and exec produced by Perry that will debut later this year.

The series order was announced Thursday at the Discovery Communications upfront presentation in New York City.

“Too Close to Home” tells the story of a young woman who escaped her working class upbringing to discover unparalleled success in the fast-paced D.C. political circuit, only to find herself at the center of a scandal. After a steamy affair with a married senator makes national headlines, she is forced to return to her trailer park beginnings, where her past and everyone in it resurfaces to complicate everything.

Perry’s project marks a big move for TLC — which lately has been known for scandal-ridden reality shows — as the network is not only pushing into scripted content, but also back into home and property programming, it was announced at the upfront. TLC has given the greenlight to three new unscripted shows in the home and property genre, including one with interior designer TV personality Nate Berkus. With that new programming fare, the cable net is making an effort to evolve, as its schedule has recently been filled with family reality shows that have been splashed with off-screen drama from “Honey Boo Boo” to “19 Kids and Counting.”

At TLC, we want to give our viewers more of what they love, and more of what we do best — we tell stories of big, fascinating characters and we tell them without judgment,” Nancy Daniels, president of TLC and Discovery Life, said Thursday in a statement prepped for the upfront. This year we’re also making a big move into the scripted space with Tyler Perry and bringing back our beloved property programming with big names like Nate Berkus and Jeremiah Brent. We’re beyond excited to introduce our audience to new content and refresh a genre that TLC dominated for years.”

Casting for Perry’s “Too Close to Home” has not been announced yet, and a more firm premiere date will also be announced later.

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