Oprah Winfrey ended her talk show after dominating ratings for 25 years to start a cable network. OWN was one of the highly anticipated networks of the year, especially with Oprah backing the project. The station airs a number of documentary-style shows and programs just like Oprah’s talk show. Despite the interest in the Queen of Talk, the network is failing and in a bad way.
No worries though.. Oprah to the rescue! The talk show host is returning to television in January with “Oprah’s Next Chapter,” a show similar to her daily syndicated show that made her famous. TV insiders and experts think it’s a move to save the dying network, but let’s be honest.. TV is who Oprah is! Did anyone truly expect her to stay away for long? Everyone from Rosie O’Donnell to Ricki Lake and Katie Couric are trying to fill her shoes, it’s not possible. Naturally, Oprah has to make a comeback in a big way.
“Oprah’s Next Chapter” is similar to the show that helped her rise to international fame, but is a more intimate look at the lives of major public figures and heroes. In the first episode, Oprah talks to American Idol’s Steven Tyler (perfect marketing move consider American Idol returns just weeks later).
OWN is hoping this is the big rating leader they need. THR reported that production has cost Oprah’s business partners, Discovery Communications, $254 million, and ratings are less than one million per show. The biggest draw so far was “The Judds” with 724,000 viewers per episode. This show ended in May. CBS’ “Undercover Boss” is the second highest rated show with 640,000 viewers, and “Our America With Lisa Ling” is the third rated show with 477,000 viewers.
“Oprah’s Next Chapter” will debut on OWN’s first anniversary, January 1, 2012 at 9 p.m.