Oprah’s OWN 5 Years In
Oprah’s OWN 5 years in is at a much different place then when it began January 1, 2011. Many said the network would be a failure. Many said Oprah had the clout for an unprecedented empire with her network TV show, but an entire network is a totally different animal. There were headlines saying the network was doomed and that OWN just wouldn’t be able to cut it. Clearly, they ignored the power of Oprah Winfrey and Oprah Winfrey ignored them all.
In fact, OWN had it’s most watched year in network history in 2015 as well as it’s fourth consecutive year of double digit prime viewership growth. OWN is the most watched network for women on Tuesday night’s. The Tuesday night lineup includes Tyler Perry’s The Haves and the Have Nots and If Loving You Is Wrong.
Saturday nights have been another hot night for OWN, with the top 9 most viewed shows among African American women. Shows like Iyanla: Fix My Life, Welcome to Sweetie Pie’s, Deion’s Family Playbook, Oprah: Where Are They Now? and Raising Whitley have been ratings gold for the network. In fact, Fortune just stated, “Its average prime-time viewership has grown roughly 30% in the past two years, and it has become the most-watched network for African-American women—impressive for a network that launched just five years ago.”
Besides being a ratings success, OWN is a critical success winning a number of Emmy’s for show’s like Oprah’s Lifeclass and Super Soul Sunday.
While it is true that the first year of the show wasn’t the ratings king (or queen) it is today, Oprah herself was still on the last year of The Oprah Winfrey Show and completely committed to ending her record breaking show on the right foot after 25 years. When the show ended, she became CEO of the OWN network and everything turned around quickly. It was all uphill from there.
A few programs in the pipeline for OWN:
Queen Sugar – Based on the acclaimed novel by Natalie Baszile about a mother and daughter who leave Los Angeles for a Louisiana sugar-cane farm they inherit. The series will be directed by Selma director Ava DuVernay and produced by Oprah and DuVernay. The 13 episode first season will debut this year.
Greenleaf – Oprah will produce this series, which will follows an influential family that created a megachurch. Grace Greenleaf returns home after 20 years when her sister dies under mysterious circumstances. Oprah will also have a recurring role in Greenleaf, premiering Tuesday June 21, 2016 at 10pm ET.