Sunday, January 2, 2011

Oprah Winfrey's big moment arrives! Her new network debuts to mostly positive reviews


Long awaited moment! The Oprah Winfrey Network launched yesterday after being delayed twice while its cost ballooned to a reported $189 million

The ratings are not huge, but Oprah Winfrey's new round-the-clock cable network seems to be a hit with the viewers who are tuning in.

After years of planning and months of hype, the Oprah Winfrey Network (OWN) launched yesterday across the U.S.

Buried in the middle of a holiday weekend, though airing on the numerically catchy date 1-1-11, OWN arrived free of glitz with a one-hour preview special hosted
by the talk show queen.

She offered a hearty overview of the live-your-best-life fare which she will curate across the network's schedule in the days ahead and further down the line.

'I wanted to take the ideals of great television that we've established on the Oprah show and bring them to you through a variety of new shows 24/7', Winfrey said.

Every minute of this network has been hand-selected by me for you, the viewers.'
Many viewers seem to like what they see.

'I watched a few of the OWN shows yesterday and was quite pleased with what I saw', GC from New Jersey wrote on the New York Times arts beat blog.

As for the professional reviewers, Matt Zoller Seitz of said: 'We will gaze upon it with awe and affection, and marvel at the sweet magnificence of its founder.'

Oprah's introduction: The talk show queen introduces her new network

Caryn James of wrote: 'Beneath the inspirational advice that often sounds like hot air... Oprah has a bedrock belief in reason, intelligence and education. That’s what makes her so valuable and OWN so promising.'

This spring, Winfrey ends her wildly successful weekday syndicated daytime TV talk show after 25 years.

But premièring Saturday night on OWN, "Behind the Scenes: The Oprah Show Final Season" is a 25-episode reality series that will give viewers an intimate look at the Oprah show as it draws to a close.

In her OWN preview special, Winfrey also touted Master Class as a series that will spotlight prominent people who include Diane Sawyer, Simon Cowell, Jay-Z and Condoleezza Rice.

Not only is Oprah the pinnacle of TV fame, she is also a formidable businesswoman, ranking last year as the highest-paid US celebrity with an income of $315m.

Sarah Ferguson stars in the six-part documentary Finding Sarah on OWN, which will follow her as she tries to bounce back from her cash-for-favours scandal

New project: Oprah looked happy and relaxed as she presented her show

But there are no guarantees that her mix of emotional empathy and homespun wisdom can sustain 24-hour, 365-day programming.

Executives at the channel say the goal is to exploit Winfrey’s popularity but it won’t be all Oprah, all the time.

‘What if I could take every hero who inspired me, every lesson that motivated me, every opportunity that was ever given to me and give it to you,’ says Oprah, who will be the OWN chairman.

There is little reason to think OWN, which is co-owned by Discovery Communications, will not succeed in the crowded cable TV field.

Her last start-up, the magazine ‘O’ sells 2.4m copies a month. In addition, she has a satellite radio company and 4.6m Twitter followers.

OWN initially will be available in more than 80 million homes.

source: dailymail

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