I don’t know about you, but I have been curious about the launch of Oprah’s new network, OWN, since the announcement a few years ago and have been following it’s history and birth quite closely. Having worked at two other networks for women, Lifetime Television and Oxygen Media, I was really curious to see how her vision would play out and what types of programming would be offered. In my mind, The Oprah Winfrey Show has been an important part of my life, particularly since I had kids. Her show has inspired and educated me, and not only now, but when I was growing up. I have heard her say how at Oxygen, her vision was not met, and I felt that myself during my time working there. I knew she had bigger and better hopes for a network that she was going to invest in and be a part of. OWN is that network.
So, when the network officially launched at noon this past Saturday, I watched the preview special in which Oprah introduced the following shows: Master Class, In the Bedroom with Dr. Laura Berman, Your OWN Show: Oprah’s Search for the Next TV Star, Miracle Detectives, The Gayle King Show, Season 25: Oprah Behind the Scenes, a reality show with Sarah Ferguson, another show with Lisa Ling, a talk show with Rosie O’Donnell, a reality show featuring Shania Twain, a reality show with the Judds and another reality show with Ryan O’Neal and estranged daughter Tatum O’Neal, as well as other specials.
On Sunday, during different parts of the day, I looked forward to watching the channel’s debut, but for some reason Verizon Fios was not picking up the audio and I couldn’t hear which was really frustrating. I did read people’s comments on Twitter and knew that other people were able to watch the network, and their comments were mainly positive.
Tonight, after watching Oprah’s All Stars (where she has taken Dr. Oz, Dr. Phil, Suzie Orman and put them on the same show) and Master Class, Oprah’s interview with Diane Sawyer, I feel confident that Oprah will take see her vision blossom on OWN. She has taken pieces of everything she loves – primarily helping and inspiring people to be the best people possible – and she is producing only the type of shows she herself would want to watch. She is also working with the people she has loved and watched thrive on her own show and is giving them their own shows, so that they can have the kind of opportunity she had 25 years ago.
I am not sure yet how much of a viewer I will be of OWN, but I am certainly going to give the channel a serious try. Are you?