‘Too Close to Home’: Kelly Sullivan on Going From Soaps to the New Tyler Perry Series

Too Close To Home, highlights

She died horrible deaths on General Hospital and The Young and the Restless, but now Kelly Sullivan is in a happy place—literally. The daytime fave has landed a juicy role in the new TLC drama Tyler Perry’s Too Close to Home, playing single mom Bonnie, a diner waitress with four kids who lives in a rundown trailer park in Happy, Alabama. Bonnie is the oldest of three sisters. The youngest, Shelby (Brooke Anne Smith), is a hopeless drug addict and middle sib Anna (Danielle Savre, above left, with Sullivan) comes running home to Happy when a sex scandal ends her promising Beltway career. But you gotta have hope, right?

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“Tyler is bringing light to a part of the country we don’t get to see on television,” Sullivan says. “Bonnie and her family represent the forgotten ones, people who have been dealt a really rough hand in life, people who don’t have a voice. And that is a big part of America.”

If all this sounds wildly political, it’s not. “You certainly feel the intense contrast between the worlds of Washington, D.C., and small-town Alabama, but we don’t take a stance or hit you with a message,” Sullivan says. “This is a story about what happens when the s–t hits the fan—and who bounces back and who can’t handle it. It’s real and it’s raw.”

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Hey, it’s also a Tyler Perry show! Where are the nasty secrets and jaw-dropping shocks? “Oh, don’t worry,” Sullivan says. “Everybody in Happy has their skeletons—and when they are revealed, it is spine-tingling.”

Too Close to Home, Series Premiere, Monday, August 22, 9/8c, TLC.