OWN Announces Tyler Perry's Answer to 'Downton Abbey'

OWN Announces Tyler Perry's Answer to 'Downton Abbey'

"Downton Abbey," meet Tyler Perry.

Oprah Winfrey's OWN announced last year that the filmmaker and "Madea" actor would make the first two scripted shows for the network. Saturday, it provided details. One of the shows, a drama called "The Haves and the Have Nots," will follow the lives of a rich family, the Cryers, and their impoverished maid, Hanna.   

It's a familiar setup -- one that worked for "Upstairs Downstairs" long before "Abbey" borrowed it -- and fits perfectly into Perry's series of morality plays, in which righteousness trumps wealth. Besides a string of hit films, he has previously produced sitcoms for TBS.

Perry's other series for OWN, "Love Thy Neighbor," is a comedy set at a neighborhood restaurant called Love's Diner. Both shows will premiere Monday, May 29.

OWN detailed the Perry shows at the Television Critics Association winter press tour, where it also announced four new reality shows.

The Perry shows are a big step for OWN, which has aired only interview and reality shows since its debut in January 2011.

Here are details on OWN's new shows, provided by OWN.

"Blackboard Wars" (Premieres in March)

"Blackboard Wars" centers on the dramatic transformation of New Orleans' John McDonogh High School, one of the most dangerous and under-performing high schools in the country, where more than half of its students fail to graduate.  Granted unprecedented access, the docu-series goes behind the scenes following education maverick Steve Barr and no-nonsense principal Dr. Marvin Thompson as they embark together on an unpredictable mission to reinvent and revive the struggling school.  The series is produced by Discovery Studios.

"Golden Sisters" (Premieres 2013)

"Golden Sisters" is a real-life comedy following the hilarious adventures of Mary, Josie & Teresa, three sisters who shot to fame after a web video of the ladies watching a celebrity sex tape went viral.  With Mary in her eighties and her twin sisters not far behind, these three raucous women are not your average seniors.  Between running a successful salon and giving colorful advice to their growing online fan base, these spirited, lovable ladies share their outrageous opinions on everything from sex and dating, to celebrities and pop culture.  One minute they are at each other's throats, and the next they're best friends sharing a lifetime of memories and providing an endless supply of laughs.  Produced by LMNO Productions.

"Raising Whitley" (Premieres 2013)

"Raising Whitley" (working title) is a humorous and poignant new docu-series following actress and comedienne Kym Whitley and her chaotic collective of friends -- whom she calls "The Village" -- as they attempt to do something none of them have ever done before: raise a baby…together.  When Kym signed up for the Big Sister program to mentor a troubled young girl, she never imagined she'd get a call from the hospital saying, "Your baby is ready for collection." After learning that her mentee exited the maternity ward leaving only Kym's contact information, Kym experienced a cataclysmic moment.  With less than an hour to make a life-changing decision -- and to do a lifetime of soul-searching -- Kym chose to become a mother.  The Village banded together to help Kym bring up baby Joshua Whitley the best they know how, but sometimes it's hard to tell who is more mature – baby Joshua or the adults tasked with raising him.  Produced by Pilgrim Studios.

"Dogfellas" (Premieres 2013)

"Dogfellas" (working title) follows James "Head" Guiliani, a former street enforcer for the mafia and one of John Gotti's most trusted men, whose life-changing encounter with a stray pup inspired him to open Brooklyn's top dog grooming parlor.  In addition to pampering pooches, Head rescues dogs, and his life is as complicated now as it was with the mob.  With a constant battle to pay the bills, a fiery wife who doesn't always share his love for canines, and a staff who spend more time primping themselves than the pets, Head has his hands full.  From old "associates," to thrilling rescue missions, to his wife, Head tries to maintain some semblance of normalcy in his bizarre, heartfelt, and hilarious new life.  Produced by NERD TV.

"The Haves And The Have Nots" (Premieres Wednesday, May 29)

Written, directed and produced by TylerPerry, "The Haves and the Have Nots" is a one-hour drama series following the dynamics of the affluent Cryer family and the impoverished family of Hanna, their housekeeper, and the obstacles and secrets that exist within both families.  Produced by Tyler Perry Studios. 

"Love Thy Neighbor" (Premieres Wednesday, May 29)

Written, directed and produced by Tyler Perry, "Love Thy Neighbor" is a half-hour comedy set at Love's Diner, where every day the menu serves up good food, great laughs, valuable life lessons and a whole lot of love for its zany neighbors.  Produced by Tyler Perry Studios.