Just when executives started to worry, Oprah came in to save the day. Before Oprah’s big return to TV with “Oprah’s Next Chapter,” the future of her cable network OWN was in trouble. Though the station had promise, the ratings were not high and profits did not outweigh profit. The channel featured a number of docu-series including “Becoming Chaz” and “The Judds,” which drew in almost a million viewers each week, but nothing that the network needed.
Oprah returned on New Year’s day with an interview program that went further than she could on her syndicated talk show. The talk show queen travels around the world to catch up with celebrities and public figures at their homes or work sites. The hour-long program goes in-depth with no question left behind. (Ask Steven Tyler who had to answer questions about if he can be faithful in a relationship in front of his new fiancee.)
Each week ratings average between 925,000 and one million viewers. Though the ratings dipped for a couple weeks, the show is back on top in its Sunday timeslot. The network isn’t worried and instead decided to move forward with the project. Instead of airing just on Sunday nights, one hour will air Sunday with a continuation on Monday. The first hour will air at 9 p.m. on Sunday, while the second hour will air Monday at 10 p.m.
OWN execs realize that one of the biggest problems with ratings in recent weeks is that the show competed with NFL playoffs and the Golden Globes. Another thing that execs need to consider is who is being interviewed. The more popular the guest is, the more people are going to tune into watch.