All Articles Tagged "OWN Network"
Super Soul Sunday, Iyanla: Fix My Life, and Dr. Phil are a series of shows on the OWN network that instill a “feel-good” emotion within most viewers. These shows allow the audience to examine one’s life in an introspective way. However, according to The Hollywood Reporter, this idea of cathartic programming was allegedly robbed and used without consent.
Susan Kasi claims that it was her who came up with the idea first. According to her lawsuit, the philosophy of inspiring viewers was first brought up in 2003 by Sunset Concepts, Kasi’s company. Back then, Kasi pitched the idea called Care Free TV to Harpo and Oxygen, Oprah’s previous network. They rejected her concept. But the lawsuit is based on what happens a few years after they turned her down.
One day, Kasi allegedly had the conversation she hoped for with the executive vice president of Discovery. During their discussion, Discovery signed a contract stating that they “will not use any of the company’s Confidential Information” without permission and proper compensation to Sunset Concepts.
Unfortunately for Kasi, further discussions eventually led to another demise of the Care Free idea. But now she claims that Oprah’s network—now a fusion of Discovery and Harpo—have breached the contract and revitalized her own concepts without her permission. They stole what she calls her “experiential programming” idea.
The lawsuit details that a former colleague who helped pitch Care Free TV began working with OWN. Shows on the new network “began airing programming that resembled what Kasi had proposed,” it said.
Kasi claims to take credit for Super Soul Sunday, Breathing Space Vignettes, Good News Breaks, and even the very Oprah-esque My Favorite Things.
Discovery is not having it: “This lawsuit is completely without merit and we look forward to its resolution in court.”
Oprah was always known to have a lifestyle and catharsis-oriented show since the 80s, wasn’t she? It’s hard to see the plaintiff winning this case. Kasi is convinced that she deserves her “cut” from Oprah’s new network. What do you think?
Despite my earnest efforts to try to help Oprah save her fledgling network, she is still hell bent on doing it her way – mainly by interviewing us to death.
And who can blame her? Oprah’s signature program, “Oprah’s Next Chapter,” has produced the second highest viewership in the short lived network’s history. Yet as the viewership numbers appears to be looking up for O, Oprah might be running out of A-listers willing to appear on the show and it looks like she is scrounging through the bottom of the barrel looking for quality interviews. It has also been reported that she has even considered getting OJ Simpson on her show so that she can get him to confess to the 1992 murders of Nicole Brown Simpson and Ronald Goldman. I guess there is nothing like circling the drain of failure to force you to go back on your very public vow to never have OJ on as a guest.
Nevertheless, since Oprah insists on doing things her way, I’m still willing to help a sister out. What can I say? Oprah is my shero. Therefore, as a hard and fast stan, who wants to see her succeed, I have put on my thinking cap and came up with a list of five people Oprah should consider interviewing for her next chapter:
What Will Make Her a Good Guest: Seriously this woman is screaming for a sit down, tell all (and I mean ALL) interview. There is no more intriguing person right now in my mind than Lil Kim. Not only was she the pioneer in the smut rap genre, her rise to fame crosses all sorts of intersections between race and gender and sexuality. She even had good Christian girls walking around, talking about, I used to be scared of the d**k, now I throw lips to the s**t, handle it like a real b****h… Heck, I bet after reading this, about a dozen people went straight to YouTube to pull up her entire archive of music.
What Oprah Should Ask Her: Listen, there is no need to beat around the bush. Just go right in and ask her, “What the hell happened to your face?” Maybe not in that manner, but you get what I’m saying. Then you can talk about what’s holding her back from a comeback; her beef with Minaj; her time in prison and her relationship with Biggie Smalls. But most importantly talk about her face. Heck make it a two-part special. After Oprah gets down to exposing all the pathology behind her…er…transformation into a Puerto Rican cat, she can then hand the reigns over to Iyanla Vanzant, who can lay hands on her, do some chanting and help Kim find her inner peace. On a more serious note: body dysmorphic disorder is a very real thing, even in the African American community. And with so many folks of darker hues doing all sorts of craziness like skin bleaching to appear lighter, that interview could help lots of folks work through some of the same sort of self-esteem issues we’ve seen on full display with Kim.
So I just read that Oprah Winfrey is doing another Oprah Presents The Next Chapter special in which she will sit down with the Kardashian-Jenner family, including Lamar Odom and Scott Disick, for an interview about…well…why are the Kardashians famous again?
Oh I forgot, sex tape, then reality shows and then Kanye West. Got it.
Anyway, this interview is on the heels of another sit down she did last week with 50 Cent, who once was in a very public, and pretty much one-sided, beef with the former queen of daytime talk. Yeah, that 50 Cent, who maliciously dogged Vivica A. Fox publicly and once paid another rapper’s baby mother to make a sex tape as revenge. The same rapper that regularly calls women b*****s and ho*s and named his female dog Oprah. Yet and still he got to sit on a plush sofa and pontificate about his “next chapter” with his former nemesis. I smell desperation. And it sure is funky.
Some of y’all may think I’m being too harsh on Oprah. After all, it is not easy building a brand and a network from the ground up. But truth be told, Oprah has always been a shero of mine since way back when she was rocking the Patti LaBelle-hair and the dresses with the extra prominent shoulder pads. I can honestly say that I consider Oprah one of my close girlfriends – in my head of course. Therefore as a good girlfriend, I’m going to tell you and her the truth: Stop interviewing people and get some damn TV shows. I know that your claim to fame has always been your ability to get exclusive interviews and get the famous and infamous to open up about their lives, but no one is trying to watch that for 24 hours straight. It’s like you took that one trick pony and beat it until it was a dead horse. Time to diversifying the lineup and actually put forward some scripted or non-scripted programming. Programming that doesn’t have the words “Oprah Presents…” or “Master Class…” or “Life Lessons…” in the titles – because if I wanted to be educated and inspired, I’d turn off the television and go read a book.
SO in an effort to keep you from scraping the bottom of the celebrity barrel again for interviews in the future, I have five programming suggestions, which I feel could go a long way not only in raising the ratings on your fledgling network but in an effort to keep people tuned in:
In the midst of the Oprah Winfrey Network’s struggling rating performance, Deadline.com reports that the company was forced to lay off 30 employees or 20 percent of its workforce. The network will restructure its Los Angeles and New York based operations with the remaining executives and employees among OWN’s owners in Discovery Communications and Harpo Studios.
From its inception OWN struggled with low ratings, gaining momentum on large events such as Winfrey’s interview with Whitney Houston’s daughter which saw a record 3.5 million viewers. Last month, the company cut temp positions as part of its major scale back. Lisa Erspamer, one of Winfrey’s most trusted and closest executives has also left her position as the EVP of production and development.
SVP Production Julie Stern is another one of the senior executives recently laid off. OWN COO John MacDonald has agreed to stay on through the transition until May but will not renew his contract. Neil Kirsch, CFO of Discovery’s US networks will take his place.
In addition to the layoffs, on Friday OWN decided to cancel the Rosie O’Donnell talk show which will also likely lead to more job displacements.
“It is difficult to make tough business decisions that affect people’s lives,” Oprah Winfrey, OWN’s CEO and chief creative officer said to Deadline. “But the economics of a start-up cable network just don’t work with the cost structure that was in place. As CEO, I have a responsibility to chart the course for long-term success for the network. To wholly achieve that long-term success, this was a necessary next step.”
Hey loves! Time for the weekend wrap-up…just a few things we didn’t get to tell you about during the week that you might find entertaining. I’m always chitchatting away on Twitter (@DrennaB) so…enjoy!
On March 11th millions will be tuned in to OWN network to watch the first exclusive interview with Whitney’s Houston’s family following her untimely and death.
“Oprah’s Next Chapter” will feature an interview with 18-year-old Bobbi Kristina, Houston’s only child. It will also include Patricia Houston, who’s the singer’s sister-in-law and manager, as well as the singer’s brother Gary.
On Feb 11th, 2012 the superstar was found dead in a bathtub at the Beverly Hilton Hotel in Beverly Hills, Calif. An exact cause of death has yet to be determined.
When you think of Black reality stars, you probably think about trash-talking, hair-pulling, materialistic “housewives” that act up for the cameras. Some have blamed reality TV shows like the Real Housewives and Basketball Wives for glorifying negative behavior and perpetuating stereotypes especially of Black women. There are, however, some Black reality stars that keep it positive and uplifting. I know what you’re thinking: positive+reality TV = boring. However, reality can be entertaining without all the excessive drama. Here are some Black reality stars that are fun to watch and keep it classy.
It’s nearly the 1 year anniversary of media mogul Oprah Winfrey’s OWN network. While the station has struggled in the ratings a bit since debuting in January 2011, Ms. Winfrey has remained committed to her brand of uplifting, enlightening and educational programming. You won’t catch any low-brow cat fights or baby mama drama on OWN, but you will learn lessons to make your life more meaningful. There’s a lot to look forward to on OWN in the new year. There are the stand-out programs that are getting a second season as well as new exciting additions to the lineup. Here are some of the shows that you can look forward to in 2012 on the OWN Network that you might want to ditch the smutty reality TV for.
It’s no secret Oprah’s OWN network has had less than stellar viewership since its launch in January, and now executives think they’ve figured out the magic answer to increasing the network’s ratings: cater to the African American Audience. Amazing right? It’s not like we watch TV more than any other segment of the population or anything.
OWN’s execs are hoping to build on the success of the show Welcome to Sweetie Pies which premiered in October. The show had an average viewership of 418,000 which is nearly double the average prime-time viewership of OWN’s network overall for the period.
“Anytime you have a program that pops like Sweetie Pies did, you start looking at what drove it,” OWN President Erik Logan told Adweek. “And we saw that the African-American audience really had a connection with that show….We’re going to look at ways to nurture and grow that.”
It may seem like more of a duh moment than an aha moment for the network to cater to African Americans, but when you think about Oprah’s typical approach, her strategy has always been to appeal to a broad audience.
“Oprah is a brand that goes far beyond the African-American market” Tuna Amobi, Senior Media and Entertainment Analyst in Standard & Poor’s U.S. Equity Research Services, says. “I don’t know that it would be a good thing for OWN to so narrowly define its target. The advertisers they would attract are different. It will be a narrower base.”
So far, we know OWN is planing to air a reality show featuring Beverly Johnson and her family in February. It will be interesting to see what other programs they think will appeal to a black audience.
What do you think about OWN’s new strategy? Should the try to cater to the black audience with their programming? Do you have any interest in watching the network?
Brande Victorian is a blogger and culture writer in New York City. Follower her on Twitter at @be_vic.
More on Madame Noire!
For instance, politicians always list education as one of the most important issues of our day, however, education funding is always the first program to get cut from budgets. And we say we want healthier food items on restaurant menus but the most popular items on any fast food restaurant remains the fat greasy stuff that will probably make us fat and ultimately kill us all. And while we say that we want to see more positive images on television, the reality is that upbeat television programming are rating killers as they never really seem to capture our attention the way that trash-TV does.
And that is the big fat elephant in the room when it comes to the OWN channel.
According to published reports, the Discovery Channel, which had partnered with Oprah Winfrey for her new cable network is going to spend $15 million more to promote the Oprah Winfrey Network in hopes of exposing the fledging network to new viewership. That’s right, after a cosmic (1-1-11) introduction and support from America’s favorite best friend Gayle King; the channel has been struggling to maintain a devoted audience. Even after firing a bunch of people including the former CEO Christina Norman and appointing herself as the head honchtress in charge, Oprah and her network continue to struggle not only for for viewers but also for content as at least one of the original shows have decided to take a walk. According to the published reports, OWN will use the extra cash to promote the relaunch of the network, which officially began on Monday night.
Among the new shows, which have premiered includes the “The Rosie Show,” a messy variety-esque talk show featuring Rosie O’Donnell. Also, Oprah has once again taken to the stage with Oprah Presents’ “Lifeclass,” which is basically the Queen of Talk sitting in a chair, rehashing “pivotal” personal moments in her life as well as offering viewers a look back at the “The Oprah Winfrey Show.” On Monday’s premier episode, Oprah discussed, again for the thousand time, her weight issues, including the infamous “fat wagon” and her relationship with long-time boyfriend Stedman Graham. Last night, she followed up with a discussion on letting go of anger and a look back at the Terry McMillan and her gay ex-husband and …
Seriously, I can appreciate a good life lesson every now and then, especially when it comes from one of the most successful black women of our generation. But I don’t really want to hear this self-help Isht 24 hours a day, seven days a week. I’m just not that depressed. If I wanted to watch old clips from the Oprah Winfrey Show, well than I’ll just buy the box set of the Oprah Winfrey Show. And If I wanted to be lectured to about the direction my life was/is taking, well I would go see my grandma more often. Judging by the weak ratings, many folks feel the same as I do.
For those, who believe that I am being too hard on Oprah, just think for a second about the popularity of reality and trash-talk shows. After having watched hundreds of hours of these programs, for research purposes of course, I have found that the denizen of trailer park and ghettos, crying and screaming about who stole who’s boyfriend and who said what behind whose backs typically speaks more of the real, day-to-day appetite of the average Joes and Janes than the cult of the professional experts, who usually appear on the OWN network. And you can debate with me if you must but we all know that people didn’t tune in to The Oprah Show just because she had the “secret” to a more balanced life or tips to better manage our money. No, most of us tuned in to see Terry McMillan go at it with her gay husband, or to see the world exclusive interview with the woman, whose face got bitten off by the monkey and to watch Tom Cruise lose his damn mind and stomp around on the couch for 5 minutes.
Why? Well, because the key to any and every good story is conflict and the problem with the OWN channel is that it has no divergence to help illicit the maximum emotional impact, which is needed to connect with the audience. In other words, if there is nothing to solve at the end of a 30 to 60 minutes show and everything is all rose petals, what really is keeping people from using their remotes and watching a family of racist midgets strippers argue over who left the toilet seat up? Worse yet, if I were truly interested in being educated about money-matter issues or spirituality, why would I be watching television? Why wouldn’t I be reading a book?
Listen there is no other non-family/close friend person I love more than the mighty O. And I truly want her channel to succeed just because her name is attached to it. But if she is expecting this channel to rise above the ratings basement of CSPAN 3 and the Golf Network, than she is going to have to hype it up more. I’m not saying go all-Bad Girls Club or Jerry Springer or even B.E.T on us. But at the very least, try to entertain us. Because after a long day slaving away at a job that we sometimes care about, the last thing any of us want to do is come home and be lectured by the likes of Ryan & Tatum O’Neal, Shania Twain, The Judds, and Sarah Ferguson. I mean, what “I Love The 80s” did this lineup fall out of?
Charing Ball is the author of the blog People, Places & Things.