For someone used to dominating television in syndication, the numbers have to be a disappointment for Winfrey. But as Ronald Glover of Bloomberg Businessweek pointed out, cable is a different game. "Cable television is not afternoon television, it's not broadcast television," he told CBS. "The number of channels that the OWN channel is competing against is huge."
CBS also reported that Winfrey sent a memo to her staff, which read, in part, "We are in this boat together in a very real way now. And I will put my brand and my future on the line because I know this one team ... is the boat I want to be in." That's a good thing for Oprah, as since her show ended, OWN is the only TV boat she's in.
So until some stoned extreme sports team organizer invents "sharkboarding," we'll just have to settle with a three-dimensional Discovery Channel.
The network is teaming with Sony and IMAX to launch its own 3D, 24-hour channel by 2011. It doesn't say exactly what the programming will entail, but expect a lot of giant man-eating animals trying to jump out of your TV and claw their way up the food chain.
There are pros and cons on either side. The companies that syndicated her talk show stand to lose a significant asset if she wraps up the current incarnation and abandons the market. Think of all those afternoon hours around that country that count on Oprah at three or four o'clock, or the morning slots where Oprah leads in to noon newscasts. Companies like CBS Distribution and the Tribune Company have feasted on the robust ratings Oprah has consistently delivered.
Well, after the news was reported all over the place, Oprah's company Harpo, Inc. issued a statement that there would be no announcement until the end of the year. They didn't deny it; they just said the announcement about the switch would be later in the year.
To the average fan, if Oprah stopped her syndicated show, it probably wouldn't matter too much. Most people have basic cable and OWN would probably be a major addition to most cable systems, as well as DirecTV and Dish. Longtime fans would be able to watch Oprah on cable or satellite. No biggie.
Sam is actually not a formally trained chef or a caterer turned cook or a restaurateur or any of the other types that have made their way to TV. I looked him up and Sam Zein was a regular Joe, working for a pharmaceutical company, who dumped it all to make a TV show about travel, which turned into a food program instead. FitTV, which is part of Discovery, probably bought the show because they liked Sam. And that's the beauty of the show.
In fact, in the finale episode, I was more impressed with one of the two contestants that didn't win, Adam Gertler. Now Food Network is giving Gertler his own show. The program is called Will Work for Food and it's going to be premiering on September 30 on Food Network.
From the press release, the show sounds like it will be a lot of astounding statistics. The surface area of the lungs is about the size of a tennis court. And the fastest sneeze was clocked at 100 miles per hour (those are some fast boogies). So, if you're into cool graphics and interesting facts or just like learning about the human body, this sounds like it could be for you. However, as I read the press release, I couldn't help but wish that Discovery Health got the kid from Jerry Maguire to narrate the program.
Body in Numbers premieres Wednesday September 3rd at 8 p.m. ET / PT and will continue every Wednesday night in September.
According to insiders, the Harpo team had meetings with distributor in Chicago last month. A medical talker with Doc Oz, which I bet will be called Ask Dr. Oz -- the name of his successful segments on Oprah's show -- would follow in the footsteps of Dr. Phil. Remember, Dr. Phil McGraw began his life as a talker by appearing on Oprah in infrequent hours that were a de facto pilot for his own talk show. Dr. Phil then launched in 2002, as a Harpo production, and has been a big time hit. He's even challenged Oprah in some markets.
If you're a fan of the channels that make up the Discovery Communications kingdom then you have probably seen Michelle and Jim Bob Duggar and their 16 children in one of their specials. Maybe it was Raising 16 Children, where we were introduced to the Duggar clan, or On the Road With 16 Children, which focused on their trip to Disneyland. Or, perhaps, you may have caught Creating an Independent Country With 16 Children, which was shown only once and removed from the air by the government (and, if you watched that special, they would like to have a word with you. Something about conspiracy).
Well, get ready for another slew of specials because Michelle, Jim Bob, and all of their J-named children have welcomed a new baby girl into the brood. Jennifer Danielle Duggar was born on August 2nd at 10:01 in the morning. She weighed 8 pounds, 8 ounces and measured 21 inches long. Jennifer is the seventh girl to be born to the Duggars, who previously had six girls and 10 boys, including two sets of twins. Mother and baby are doing just fine and Michelle is already saying she'd love to have more children.
By the way, I was serious about a new set of specials. Discovery Health will premiere a new Duggar show in September that will feature Jennifer Danielle shortly after her birth and at home with her family.
Starting July 14 at 8:00 and 8:30 p.m., Discovery Health will air a new program called Doctor*ology, a look at all the different "ologies" going on at your local hospital.
The series will be hosted by actor Leslie Nielsen, who will inject a bit of comedy into each episode along with his nephew, Robert. Based on the press releases, expect an educational program with plenty of goofy comedy to make it appealing.
The Biggest Loser - 9/20, 8/7c (two hour season premiere!)
DISCOVERY HEALTH CHANNEL
I Lost It! (Episode: Carla & Shawn) - 9/19; 6:30am, 11am ET
I Lost It! (Episode: Allison & Robin) - 9/20; 6:30am, 11am ET
I Lost It! (Episode: Debi & Bob) - 9/21; 6:30am, 11am ET
I Lost It! (Episode: Dana & Caitlin) - 9/22; 6:30am, 11am ET
Relay For Life: Giant Steps - 9/23; 10am ET
Celebrity Fit Club (Episode: Put Up or Shut Up) - 9/18; 11PM ET
For the full list, check out FitTV: September 18 - September 24.
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