Filmmaker Tyler Perry insisted on laying down "ground rules" before agreeing to work with his good pal Oprah Winfrey in an effort to protect their close friendship.

The Madea Goes to Jail director and actor signed up to create two new Tv shows for the Oprah Winfrey Network (Own) last year (12), after previously enjoying success as co-producers of Lee Daniels' Oscar-winning 2009 movie Precious.

However, Perry wanted to make sure their personal bond would not suffer by the tensions that could arise in the workplace, so he sat Winfrey down to establish some boundaries.

He tells Essence magazine, "The most important thing about coming together was making sure we would not lose our friendship because of the business. We had to establish ground rules.

"The main one: Both of us have to continue to live in our truth. If she doesn't like something, say it. If I don't like something, I'll say it. And we'll figure it out and keep moving on..."

The two new scripted series are due to premiere on the Own cable channel later this year (13).