Tyler Perry Series Draws Record Ratings For OWN

`The Haves and the Have Nots’ Generates 1.7 Million Viewers

OWN: The Oprah Winfrey Network's first scripted series produced by Tyler Perry yielded record-setting ratings for the network last night.

The May 28 premiere of drama series The Haves and the Have Nots drew 1.7 million viewers, the highest rated series debut in network history, outperforming the 1.2 million viewers generated by reality series Life With La Toya this past April.

A second episode of the series at 10 p.m. drew 1.8 million viewers, said network officials.

Perry's first two cable comedy series were big hits for TBS. Tyler Perry's House drew 5.8 million viewers during its June 2007 premiere, while Meet The Browns garnered 4.2 million watchers for its January 2009 debut.

The one-hour Haves and the Have Nots, which follows the lives of the rich and powerful Cryer family and the hired help who work in their mansion, is the first of two Perry series debuting on OWN this week. Comedy series Love Thy Neighbor premieres tonight with two back-to-back, half-hour episodes beginning at 9 p.m., said OWN.

The two series are part of an exclusive production deal between Perry and OWN reached last October.