The former Queen of Daytime Television has still not been able to bless OWN (The Oprah Winfrey Network) with the Midas touch. After Oprah ended her talk show reign and went out with a big bang, this past May, it was assumed that she would enjoy the same level of success with OWN, considering her enormous popularity and solid team of programming execs. But it’s starting to look like this “new kid on the block” may end up costing more than its worth. Discovery Communications, who has been the struggling network’s consistent supporter, has not only invested a big chunk of money, $15 million to be exact, but also added some of the more promising programs to their own schedule to encourage viewership, but all the efforts have been in vain.

This past summer Oprah was appointed CEO, and with that came a revamping session, that included changes in the programming format and shuffling of the staff.

But the numbers don’t lie and the road is bumpy with lots of craters and potholes along the way.

Despite the discouraging forecast, David Zaslav, who heads Discovery Communications, remains positive and believes OWN will overcome the challenges and make its mark in the landscape of television.

Maybe it is too early to write off the validity of Oprah’s newest springboard, but this could also be a nagging indication that her luck is finally running out.

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  • rkj

    I think my comment was eaten. Never posted. Will try again here.

    I’ve started checking out OWN and I like the shows they have. I DVR Rosie, Sweetie Pie’s and Lisa Ling. Not too interested in LifeClass.

    It’s far too early to judge OWN. I think there were a few missteps in rolling it out. The network really needed Oprah’s attention and presence at the start when interest and curiousity were high. However, it’s too soon to write this one on off. I’d be interested in seeing OWN’s numbers compared to Discovery Health’s numbers when it first started. DiscHealth had a decade to build up an audience. I believe OWN is hurting because it doesn’t have any new Oprah content to promote (LifeClass is little more than reheated clips from OWS with some added advice). It’s unfortunate that she couldn’t (or wouldn’t) move the syndicated OWS to her network for a season to help get it off the ground floor.

    I also think OWN will face an uphill battle as far as attracting people to uplifting and inspirational TV. People say they don’t want to watch trash (i.e. Kardashians, VH1 reality, Housewives)… yet they watch. What people say they want and what they really want are often two different things.

  • Im not a fan of her or her network but people act like the business has been going on for over 10 years now? It will take a while to get it right, they just have to stick with it.

  • Jess

    I love “Don’t Tell the Bride”. It’s beyond cute, I love it. Now if she would just play “Their Eyes Were Watching God”!! Why she never plays that movie, I dont understand. It was soo good.

  • The discovery channel that the channel was before OWN was free. For me, OWN is a pay channel, I don’t get it without a bumped up Comcast package,so I don’t have it. That has to account for the rating of the channel being lower now than they were when it was a free channel.