Oprah’s OWN Network fails to build momentum
By Kim Palacios
hollywoodnews.com: After nearly a month on the air, the Oprah Winfrey Network (OWN) has failed to maintain the energy of early buzz and to build critical momentum. Ratings for most shows are on decline, even following normalization from the initial push. The response is surprising, given the media mogul’s capacity to supply rich content and finance a successful marketing campaign, not to mention the built-in following afforded by OWN’s partnership with Discovery Networks.
A questionable programming mix may explain poor results. When paired with Oprah originals such as “Oprah Behind the Scenes” and “Oprah’s All-Stars”, Discovery Network shows such as “Mystery Diagnosis” and “Trading Spaces” seem unlikely bedfellows. Add in several completely unrecognizable titles such as “Cristina Ferrare’s Big Bowl of Love” and “Anna & Kristina’s Grocery Bag” and the network’s focus seems a bit schizophrenic.
Another peculiarity of the network: despite fourteen currently available shows and another three in the pipeline for spring, viewers who tune in often find three to four-episode marathons of the same show allocated to a large block of time.
Still, the OWN Network isn’t much ado about nothing. Current programming notwithstanding, the network hasn’t even scratched the surface of its potential. Hours of programming from years worth of Oprah Show archives would surely appeal to die-hard fans. And, new shows such as “Oprah Presents Master Class” are distinguishing themselves as winners.
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