‘Madea’ Prequel From Tyler Perry in the Works at Showtime

The project would trace the origins of the indelible character in 1970s Atlanta.

Tyler Perry isn’t quite ready to bid farewell to Madea.The prolific creator and producer is developing a prequel series focused on his iconic character’s origins at Showtime. ViacomCBS’ premium cable outlet has ordered multiple scripts for the project, titled Mabel.

The hourlong drama comes from creators Perry and Tim Palen, with JaNeika and JaSheika James (Empire, HBO Max’s Gossip Girl reboot) attached to write. All four will serve as executive producers.

Mabel is set in Atlanta in 1972. It will tell the story of Mabel Simmons: Long before she was the force of nature known as Madea, she was a smart, fierce, irresistible, dangerous, crazy 20-something Black woman who set the city — and the world — on fire.

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