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Oprah, OWN’s Big Comeback Brings ‘Next Chapter’ and Questions Oprah’s Health

Well it’s about time.  Isn’t this what was supposed to happen once Oprah Winfrey began integrating her personal brand in to the network that bears her name?

Yes.  No question.  But one question and concern that will haunt everyone at OWN for the entire time they work for Oprah Winfrey’s Network.  That question…how healthy is Oprah?

Oprah’s Next Chapter launched on OWN with the highest ratings ever on the network that has failed to find its footing.  A slip on the ice for every minute and every hour of programming until this new show.  Speaking with American Idol’s Steven Tyler about his life and loves, over 1.1 million viewers tuned in tot he premiere episode of the show.

Yaaaay for Oprah.

Now don’t get too excited.  Most network’s can get 1.1 million viewers at midnight on a Saturday night rather than in prime-time on a Sunday night on OWN.  But with Rosie O’Donnell’s show a complete and massive bust, getting the numbers that Oprah brought in this past Sunday is a huge success.

Is Oprah healthy?  Why do I ask that question?  Because OWN will need quality programming content beyond just Oprah Winfrey to make themselves a real, true network.  Yes building a network around such an amazing person seemed like a good idea at the time but that went out the window when the network had as many viewers as passengers on a subway car.

That’s not a lot of people.  And that’s a problem.

But now that Oprah is creating content for her network can she carry it all alone?  Maybe but then comes the health of anyone who will build a TV network around that one person.  What happens when they get run over by a truck?

No matter what this is a huge win for OWN.  They needed it.  But Oprah will have to be the “girl in the plastic bubble” because “danger Will Robinson” will be the phrase of the day if OWN can’t hold its own without “all Oprah all the time” as we used to say in the radio business.

Fans just love themselves some Oprah don’ they?

More content to come on OWN in the new year.  Let’s hope OWN can hold its own in the new year.

Rick Thomas

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