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Can Rosie O'Donnell Help Oprah Save Struggling OWN? (VIDEO)

by Nick Zaino, posted Aug 3rd 2011 4:55PM
Oprah Winfrey's OWN network on 'The Insider'In her first week on the job at her OWN network, Oprah Winfrey discovered she was in for a much different experience than her 25-year tenure on 'The Oprah Winfrey Show.' In a note on her Facebook page, she wrote, "It's ten times harder than doing my daily show." 'The Insider' (weekdays, 7PM on CBS) reported on Winfrey's efforts to improve the network, including hiring Rosie O'Donnell to do her own show.

According to 'Insider,' OWN is the 63rd ranked cable network and Web site traffic has recently plunged by 50 percent. Winfrey is hoping O'Donnell's show, which shoots on Winfrey's old set, will give the network a boost when it debuts this fall. O'Donnell seems happy to be involved. "We did like a four-hour sort of sit down, what's going on, what do you think," she said. "At the end of it, she's like, what do you say we do this. I'm like, I'm in."

One 'Insider' reporter seemed optimistic about the network's future. "Certainly launching a new network in this economic environment is a very challenging task," she said, "but the one thing that this network in particular has behind it that no one else can that it does is the power of Oprah Winfrey." Whether that's enough remains to be seen.


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devinmcmusters

OWN= Overweight Women Network.

August 04 2011 at 9:04 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Aeeadd Aeea

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August 03 2011 at 10:20 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Nancy Martin

There have been so many mistakes with the launching of this new network that I'm not sure even OPRAH is powerful enough to fix it. My first question to Oprah and the powers that be is, "Why launch a new network, when most of the shows that are going to be on the network, aren't even ready to go?" It just makes no sense. You capture your largest audience when something is NEW and it better be good enough to HOLD the audience or they are going to leave and not come back.

Another mistake of Oprah's is in thinking that just because she loves someone, everyone else in the world feels the same way. Case in point would be the Judds -- who cares? Shania Twain -- much loved but after one episode so boring and so, so repetitive. The O'Neals -- a really big WHO CARES? Fergie -- probably more loved by Americans than her own people but, again, got so, so boring. Kidnapping Dad -- please...couldn't be more boring. I could go on and on. I say fire whoever is coming up with these ideas. It sure isn't Sheri Salata.

Obviously, the biggest hit is Oprah Behind The Scenes. It was great on Friday nights when nothing else was on. Why then move it to Sunday night which is probably the biggest TV night for hits. I kept forgetting to Tivo it. And every site that tells you "What's on Tonight" never even bothers to list what's on OWN. So slowly but surely, you forget there's an OWN channel.

The one other show that had the potential to be a hit is Gayle King's show. A great show but after a few weeks was already showing reruns. I never saw a new show have so many reruns in my life. The show is obviously geared toward Gayle's personal life so if she has other stuff to do or places to go with Oprah, we get reruns. That's a surefire way to lose your audience. Case in point was when the Prince William and Kate were in LA and Gayle's show is the rerun the Monday after the royal wedding. She's taking about them just getting married and they're here in the states on a whirlwind trip.

Another thing about Gayle -- her audience is HER audience because of the things she used to do on the Oprah show. We loves seeing her going around NYC in search of the best cupcake. Or going around Chicago in search of the best pizza. Or going around America in search of the best hamburger. This is the show Gayle should be doing on own.

And here's some good advice for Rosie -- if she comes back on the air with some kind of self-help show, she will also have no audience. Why??? Because Rosie's fans love her art and craft segments or her cooking segments or her skits. That's the Rosie America knows and loves.....it's not going to be an Oprah-made Rosie.

So my advice for Oprah and OWN - fire whoever is giving you advice on programming and hire some people who actually know what audiences want to watch. And try reading the comments people leave about the network.

August 03 2011 at 7:15 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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