Oprah Winfrey and Tyler Perry Talk Mixing Friendship With Business

May 22, 2013 8:30 am
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Oprah Winfrey and Tyler Perry have teamed up to create the first scripted shows for her OWN Network.

The two friends revealed to On Air with Ryan Seacrest that they joined forces when Tyler just called up Oprah.

“I was on the phone with him one day and he said, ‘You know what? I can help you out … I can write something for you. Why don’t you let me write something for your network?’ And I was like, ‘You’re too busy because aren’t you going to have your own network?’ At the time, he was working on his own network and I never want to be the imposing friend. I said, ‘You know? I’ll be okay.’ And as time went on we realized that him coming to help me out on OWN and offer his talent to our network was really going to be the best for me and also for him. So that’s really how it happened.”

The scripted shows the two joined forces for are The Haves and the Have Nots and Love Thy Neighbor.

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Tyler describes The Haves and the Have Nots as “a nighttime soap drama that takes you back to Dallas and Knots Landing and those kind of shows that I grew up on and love so much … John Schneider is in it and a lot of new faces … I think the audience will love it because it’s one of those shows … that’s designed to take you on a roller coaster and never let you go until it’s time to get off.”

As for how Oprah and Tyler’s process is when it comes to giving notes, Oprah shared: “I’ve called Tyler from the treadmill and been like, ‘Oh my goodness! What is going on in your brain?'”

“I watch episodes on the treadmill from my iPad … Tyler was sending me the episodes supposedly for me to critique. I only had a couple critiques … if you’re talking about the covering on the chair in the office then that’s not too bad.”

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Even though she’s considered the Queen of Daytime TV, Oprah said, “You know, I don’t watch a lot of TV …this is the most TV I’ve watched since Mary Tyler Moore went off, except for Scandal … I was tweeting the week before literally, I realized, I’m holding my breath. I need to breathe!”

So have the BFFs gotten into any friendly tiffs over creative differences?

“I’m not the fighting kind,” Oprah admitted. “I call him Moses at times. [He's like,] ‘What does that really mean? I’m hearing a pause?’ I was like, ‘I’m just tryng to sip my tea, Tyler.'”

Tyler added: “The way we communicate as friends is we really respect each other, [so] there’s really none of that.”

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Aside from working on their first scripted shows, Oprah’s also been busy Instagramming photos of her gorgeous and robust garden.

“That’s just my teeny-tiny garden,” she said. “I’m going into the garden business in Hawaii … I have an organic farm in Maui. The truth is I love gardening. It takes me back to my Mississippi roots, but at the time when I was growing up I didn’t want the garden. I wanted store-bought food. I was like, ‘Grandma, how come we can’t have the peas from the can?’ … But now, it’s a hobby that nourishes me in more ways than one and when you have so much, I’ve been giving it to neighbors, to restaurants. So eventually I’ll turn it into a business particularly in Maui.”

For more from Oprah and Tyler, like how “this is just the beginning [there's] more to come,” listen to the full interview above!

Catch the premiere of The Haves and the Have Nots and Love Thy Neighbor on OWN Tuesday, May 28. Find OWN here.


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