I think it possible that I’m in the small minority of folks that are bigger fans of actor and industry powerhouse Tyler Perry in roles that come nowhere near his famed Madea character; nothing personal, but I’d give my left eyeteeth to see Perry – an accomplished actor if ever there was one – return to the sort of work he so thoughtfully plied in David Fincher’s 2014 magnum opus Gone Girl. Perhaps luckily for the rest of the world, I have absolutely no hand in casting and my tastes are exactly that: My personal tastes. Hey, I worship at the hallowed feet of the Two Corey’s, so take what I say with a grain of salt. All of that said, it’s a good day indeed if you’re a fan in general of Tyler Perry and, more specifically, it’s a great day if you are among the vast majority who do love Perry’s comic chops in the long-running Madea movies.
Per those Jamie Farr aficionados over at Variety comes the news today that Tyler Perry is developing a Madea prequel television series for Showtime that is meant to be a dramatic deep-dive into the early years of the Madea character. This must count as a series overhaul on what audiences have come to expect from the venerable and steadfast Madea who, to date, has appeared in a grand total of nine films.
So how far down the pike is Perry and Showtime in getting this new chapter on the audience-favorite character off the ground? Far enough that Showtime has commissioned multiple scripts for the concept which is going under the working title of Mabel. According to the officially sanctioned description for the in-development show, Mabel focuses on Madea as “a smart, fierce, irresistible, dangerous, crazy 20-something black woman named Mabel Simmons;” Still with me? Of course any self-respecting fan of the Madea franchise knows that the titular character’s full name is Mabel “Madea” Earlene Simmons.
Tyler Perry and Tim Palen serve as creators and executive producers on Mabel. Twin sisters and creative dynamos JaNeika James and JaSheika James are the point-guard when it comes to writing and executive producing the series.
No word on production start date, let alone an official air date, but Vents will keep you posted on any and all developments for Tyler Perry’s upcoming series Mabel.