The Queen of Talk is ready for a fresh start. And it begins on January 1st.
Oprah Winfrey is launching a highly-anticipated project next week on basic cable television: OWN, otherwise known as the Oprah Winfrey Network. With the ratings of television flip-flopping in competition and compliment with the web, there is a question over whether or not the cable channel, created by one of the world’s most powerful media moguls, will be successful.
She’s come a long way from her hay days in Tennessee and Chicago when the daytime television talk show was launched 25 years ago. According to television critic Eric Deggans of The St. Petersburg Times, Winfrey’s move from network to cable television is audacious, innovative, and opportune.
“There’s really no precedent. I don’t think anyone’s ever built an entire cable network around their own personal brand,” Deggans told NPR.
The OWN channel will feature segments that showcase improving wellness, and everything from health to happiness. Deggan believes those are big promises that might not be as apparent in the initial run.
“You have reruns of “Trading Spaces,” you have reruns of “Dr. Phil,” you have shows built around cooking and sex therapy — and a guy who’s a personal organizer. It is not necessarily the most thrilling stuff,” Deggans said. “I think the initial run of shows that they have scheduled to debut are going to be disappointing.”
However, Christina Norman, who currently serves as CEO for the Oprah Winfrey Netwrok, told NPR that the mission was never to create “Oprah TV” and just drag along her main audience demographic of middle-aged women. Norman, who formerly served as president of MTV, believes that Winfrey’s impact is much larger and will be reflected by the viewers of her network.
“Young people admire her for what she’s accomplished,” Norman said. “Men look at her as a financial and business success, and think, wow, there’s someone who’s really rocking it.”
Another show that is expected to have a big hit are “Oprah Presents Master Class,” which showcases the untold stories of major celebrities and prominent members of society as they share their secrets and steps to success.
The show begins in 2011. Check your local listings so that you can tune in and see Winfrey’s magic at work.