Thursday, April 14, 2011
OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network - The Next Season
New Series Include "Confronting…," "I Owe You My Life," "Louie Spence Dance Project," "My Mom and Me," "Sweetie Pies" and "Unfaithful: Stories of Betrayal"
NEW YORK, April 14, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network announced today new original programming coming to OWN including four series pick ups and six new series totaling over 60 hours of television.
"After four months on the air it's great to be able to renew series that connected with our audience," said Christina Norman, chief executive officer, OWN. "Our new shows will continue to bring viewers more compelling characters sharing their real life journeys that entertain, engage and inspire."
"We're excited to give our audience more of what they love along with new series that are fun and relatable," said Lisa Erspamer, chief creative officer, OWN. "We guarantee each new show will get viewers talking."
Joining the previously announced pick up of OUR AMERICA WITH LISA LING are six more episodes of ASK OPRAH'S ALL STARS, six episodes of ENOUGH ALREADY! WITH PETER WALSH, six episodes of IN THE BEDROOM WITH DR. LAURA BERMAN and eight episodes of OPRAH PRESENTS MASTER CLASS.
The six new series include CONFRONTING…, I OWE YOU MY LIFE, LOUIE SPENCE DANCE PROJECT, MY MOM AND ME, SWEETIE PIES and UNFAITHFUL: STORIES OF BETRAYAL.
Brief synopses of the series being announced today follow.
This provocative series documents the powerful and sometimes painful mediation process in which victim and offender come together in the hopes of achieving closure. Currently available in 48 states, mediation programs offer the possibility of catharsis, relief and, at their best, forgiveness. In each episode, viewers follow the real life process of both victim and offender as they prepare to confront each other, face to face, for the most important conversation of their lives. Produced by Relativity Real.
I OWE YOU MY LIFE
TV makes it look easy. Writers know how to make their characters brave in the face of unspeakable dangers, determined when the odds are against them, and focused and virtuous when temptations abound. What about real people? What makes us heroic? These and many more questions will be posed in "I Owe You My Life." The nature of being a hero involves a multi-layered, complex set of circumstances, and this series will delve into the dramatic stories of everyday people from every corner of the world who take risky, even death-defying actions to protect others and right wrongs. Produced by Skip Film.
LOUIE SPENCE DANCE PROJECT
Manhattan, meet Louie Spence: He's a world-renowned choreographer who has worked with some of the biggest names in the business. Everyone from Mariah to Kylie to the Spice Girls have tapped Louie's creative talent -- and now it's Broadway Dance Center's turn. The much-vaunted New York studio has commissioned Louie to breathe new life into its curriculum, so the flamboyant Brit is jumping the pond, prepped to revamp the program. He's bringing his passion, his impeccable technique and his own unique style to the studio. Broadway Dance won't know what hit it. Produced by Kinetic Content.
MY MOM AND ME
The mother-daughter dynamic can be more than a little tricky -- so how much trickier does it become when kid has to play parent? "My Mom and Me" examines unusual mom-daughter relationships in which "normal boundaries" are challenged. Intimate, heart-warming and at times shocking, the series features mothers and daughters opening up about their atypical relationships and, with the help of a therapist, tackling their deep-rooted issues. Produced by Firecracker Films.
When Robbie Montgomery, a 1960s backup singer and former Ikette, suffered a collapsed lung and had to stop singing, she decided to pour her talents into another creative venture -- a soul food restaurant. At her family-oriented eatery, Sweetie Pies, both hilarity and drama are offered in equal measure -- and now Robbie's upping the ante with a second location. This docu-series follows the loud, loving and often singing Montgomery family as they work to expand their empire, one soulful dish at a time. Produced by Pilgrim Films & Television.
UNFAITHFUL: STORIES OF BETRAYAL
This compelling series features couples that have suffered and survived infidelity in their marriages. In each episode, couples share their deeply personal stories of heartbreak, while a therapist provides perspective and advice on how to heal. Revealing and surprisingly uplifting, the series illustrates how love can endure even the darkest times. Produced by True Entertainment.
About OWN: OPRAH WINFREY NETWORK
A joint venture between Harpo, Inc. and Discovery Communications, OWN: OPRAH WINFREY NETWORK is a multi-platform media company designed to entertain, inform and inspire people to live their best lives. OWN debuted on January 1, 2011, in approximately 80 million homes on what was the Discovery Health Channel. The venture also includes the award-winning digital platform, Oprah.com. For more information, please visit www.oprah.com/own and www.press.discovery.com/us/own.
SOURCE OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network
On the Net:
Q&A: OWN CEO Christina Norman on How Oprah's Tweets Help Drive Ratings
4/13/2011 by Georg Szalai - Hollywood Reporter
While there are things to learn from the early days, she says, the Oprah Winfrey Network had a "good" debut quarter in its key target demo and will launch more programming featuring Oprah in September.
NEW YORK -- OWN: The Oprah Winfrey Network, a joint venture of Discovery Communications and Winfrey, just finished its first quarter on the air.
After the panel, she took a few minutes to talk to The Hollywood Reporter about OWN's performance over the first few months and what is up next for the new channel.
THR: How do you feel about your performance to-date?
Norman: The first quarter was good. It is 13 or 14 weeks that we have been on the air. Our upfront is tomorrow. We have grown primetime ratings by 32% since launch. We have launched 14 original series. We got another 25 to come before the end of the year. We're learning more and more every day about the audience, what works and what they like and don't like.
THR: Some people have said your ratings haven't been that good. What are they missing?
Norman: We are obviously talking about our core audience -- women 25-54. That is who we are primarily focused on. I think the brand is bigger than that. We are talking about the time slots that we are programming. Primetime is where we are putting most of our effort and energy. It's 13 weeks in. If anybody wants to write the story now about what it means and where it is, that's a little premature, and we are trying to stick to our knitting and keep our goals in mind and keep looking forward.
THR: What do they like?
Norman: They like The Judds. 1.7 million people watched that when it premiered on Sunday. That was a nice moment for us. And Oprah is not really on the network yet if you think about it. We've got Rosie [O'Donnell] coming, we've got Oprah coming. We've got more series: a show with Shania Twain, the O'Neals, which will be interesting, and we got non-celebrity stuff. We are announcing a bunch of stuff tomorrow and really trying to take it in, figure out what it means and then be smart and reactive about it.
THR: Any particular lessons or interesting things you have found?
Norman: One thing that's really interesting for us is to see how Oprah's social media profile has grown. She has been twittering for the past couple of Sundays, and the world likes to tweet with Oprah. Of course, they don't think it's her, but they love that.
THR: So is Oprah tweeting herself?
Norman: It's really her. It's actually really her.
THR: People said at least on the first Sunday that the tweeting helped drive viewership. Does it?
Norman: It seems to. It really did. The Judds were the No. 1 social media trend for television this past weekend, and that did really translate into ratings, so it does feel like you can't just rely on one thing. You have to use everything in very different ways. We had the Judds on talk radio in addition to television and then all the social media we did with them. I think that's what's pretty fascinating about right now.
THR: You started with big advertising partners. Where do you stand on ad partnerships? Any new marketers?
Norman: We have massive launch partners who have signed up for multiple years. Managing those relationships is a lot -- everybody from GM to P&G to Kohl's. With some of our partners, we have already gone through a big integration. So, now is an opportunity to say how did that work, what do you guys want to do differently going forward. And for some of them we have barely gotten started. We got Target and Walmart. We're still working on programs with them that will come later in the year. And we can use them as marketing partners for us. It's scratching the surface of where we are. But we have started to sign on some new advertisers for sure. But what's really exciting is that people believe in this brand, they believe in what we are doing and they believe now is the time to do it.
THR: So when will Oprah have a bigger presence on the network after her syndicated talk show ends?
Norman: In September, she will be on the network. And she has been on the network with Behind the Scenes. But new stuff is coming with her in September.
THR: Any details you can share?
Norman: [doesn't immediately answer]
(*Note: Details are ABOVE)
From April 2010: OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network reveals its upcoming slate of shows