The screening for Tyler Perry’s new scripted series on the TLC channel, “Too Close to Home” was held Tuesday, Aug. 9 in Atlanta at the W Hotel. Tyler Perry’ made a surprise appearance during the Q-and-A portion of the event.
The first question asked was related to the type of reception Mr Perry was maybe looking for that he didn’t get from the OWN Network. Perry quickly made it clear that the TLC Network and OWN are part of the same umbrella, DISCOVERY. Both networks support each other, but are not part of each other. This shut down rumors that he and Oprah Winfrey were parting ways and seemed to be that Perry is just expanding his brand. Perry stated that Winfrey is actually very excited about the new series.
Perry opened the Q-and-A by thanking the press for the support they’ve shown his brand. “I read everything and I don’t want you to think it goes unnoticed, even the bad stuff!” he exclaimed.
“Keeping in mind my target audience is mostly women, I watched everything on the TLC and OWN Network that went over big and took something from each aspect. I took elements from each show and put them all together so that this particular audience would be the people who love these types of shows already. Then you are giving the people something they are already looking forward to. The theme I’m trying to convey in ‘Too Close to Home’ is that everything is about your choices in life and the consequences from your choices. How do you use your platform to counsel people but not beat them over the head with things they shouldn’t be doing? If you make bad choices everything you do you’re going to be held accountable for. How do you use the show to talk to people subtly? That’s what I’m doing,” he said.
Of course, you can’t be in a room with Perry and not make some sort of personal connection. So I waved my hand and arm until he took notice my arm was about to fall off. “This better be good!” he said. So I asked, “Why Heather Locklear?” Perry responded, “When I was writing the role I said ‘who could do this?’ Bam! Heather Locklear. … So I said somebody get me her number, heck, I called her up. … She was the one I had in my mind as the person who could pull this off. I called her, she agreed to do it, was happy about it and wants to do more.”
The entire production was shot at the new 330-acre $30 million former Army base, Ft McPherson. Perry explains how they never leave the studio for the entire production. Even the street scenes are done right there surrounded by green screens for the background and it looked great on film.
Tune in as the eight part drama premieres at 9 p.m. on Monday, Aug. 22 kicking off with a two-hour show. Check out the video and photo gallery of Perry as he speaks to the media after the break