The Oprah Winfrey Network on Television
TV and media guru Oprah Winfrey creates her OWN cable channel by launching the Oprah Winfrey Network.
It's not every person who has enough power and money to establish their own self-named television network, but "queen of all media" Oprah Winfrey has so much influence that she had good reason to believe that she could find success with her own cable channel. Launched on New Year's Day 2011, the Oprah Winfrey Network (OWN) seemed like a promising venture, but it has struggled during its infancy.
Oprah on OWN
Starting out with a slate of original shows, specials, new documentaries, and re-airings of other TV shows, OWN found its primary success came from Season 25: Oprah Behind the Scenes, a program that was directly tied to the final season of Oprah's long-running daytime talk show. Offering a glimpse of the real Oprah as she and her hard-working staff put together each episode, the show served as the flagship of the network. Unfortunately, by definition, it could only have a limited life, as The Oprah Winfrey Show has now ended.
Oprah will continue to be a strong presence on her network, though. She has said that, with her daytime TV show now over, she will be able to devote much more time to OWN. The first expected venture on her part is a new primetime program called Oprah's Next Chapter, expected to air 2-3 times per week.
Oprah Winfrey Network Personalities
During its 25 years on air, The Oprah Winfrey Show was responsible for cementing the careers of many now well-known TV personalities, and several of them are returning the favor by appearing in shows on Oprah's network. Oprah's best pal Gayle King has her own program, The Gayle King Show; Dr. Phil and Dr. Oz are among those featured on Ask Oprah's All-Stars; and Dr. Phil show reruns also have a spot on the network.
Stars Get Shows of Their OWN
Since she knows just about every single famous person on the planet, Oprah is having no trouble drawing stars to her network, and no doubt she is banking on these big names bringing in more viewers. Among the performers and celebrities who are starring in their own reality-based TV shows are Shania Twain, Ryan O'Neal and Tatum O'Neal, The Judds, Sarah Ferguson, and Rosie O'Donnell, who will take over Oprah's old Chicago studio for her new daytime talk show.
New Original Shows and Reruns
The Oprah Winfrey Network's original programming includes showcases for a variety of TV / radio personalities and other celebrities. The Dr. Laura Berman Show, Carson Nation, Our America with Lisa Ling, and Becoming Chaz are among the new shows on the network. Other programs that focus on the issues and challenges facing everyday people include Addicted to Food, Extraordinary Moms, Unfaithful: Stories of Betrayal, and Kidnapped By the Kids.
Rounding out OWN's schedule are shows like Mystery Diagnosis and Deliver Me, which had previously existed on the Discovery Health Channel (before the Oprah Winfrey Network took over the station). Reruns from Discovery's sister channels have also been aired, such as Cash Cab, Say Yes to the Dress, and What Not To Wear.