A Madea prequel television series entitled Mabel is in the works at Showtime. Deadline reports that the network is developing a new drama series created by Tyler Perry and Tim Palen. The series will follow the origin story of the over-the-top Madea character created and performed by Perry. Mabel is written by JaNeika James and JaSheika James.
The show is described as, every great story has to start somewhere and every legend has a beginning. Long before she was the force of nature known as Madea she was a smart, fierce, irresistible, dangerous, crazy 20-something black woman named…Mabel Simmons. When she moved to Atlanta in 1972 she set the city – and the world – on fire!
Perry’s journey to the top began with his plays featuring Mabel “Madea” Earlene Simmons, the character he based on his mom and aunt. Perry first portrayed the 65-year-old woman in his first play, I Can Do Bad All By Myself, and began creating the franchise we know and love today. As Perry transitioned from stage plays to film, Madea made her feature film debut in the 2005 Diary of a Mad Black Woman, which became a breakout box-office hit. This film launched a franchise for Perry and Lionsgate, which includes nine live-action films and one animated movie, with the most recent being A Madea Family Funeral which debuted in 2019.
Mabel is the newest project under Perry’s extensive partnership with ViacomCBS. It also includes his co-venture with the company, BET+, which has since produced popular series like BET’s Sistas and The Oval.
All of his projects are produced at his new 330 acres Tyler Perry Studios in Atlanta, Georgia. Opening in October 2019, Perry became the first African American to own a major production studio of this stature.
His success has continued to empower future creators like twin sisters JaNeika and JaSheika James, who serve as executive producers alongside Perry and Palen, worked their way up from staff writers to supervising producers on Empire, then served as co-executive producers on True Story and Gossip Girl. These two are a force to be reckoned with as they create the next series associated with the massive Madea franchise.
There is no release date yet. We will keep you updated with more on the prequel series, Mabel, developing at Showtime.