When it comes to Oprah, expect the unexpected. Every day viewers tune in to see what surprise Oprah has in store for them. From gifts for everyone in her audience to her interesting guest stars, it seems like Winfrey has done it all. For years Winfrey has been stunning her fans with her unforgettable talk show. This year not only marks the show’s 25 anniversary, but also Winfrey’s farewell season. Of course, knowing Winfrey, her farewell season would be anything but boring, but what more could Oprah have in store for her fans? Even though her talk show is coming to an end in September, Winfrey is not ready to end her life behind the T.V. screen. She will have her own network which premieres New Years Day.
The Oprah Winfrey Network, OWN, is set to replace the Discovery Health channel on January 1, 2011. OWN will be a round-the-clock environment of 600 hours of original programming. “I want to take what I’ve established in daytime-inspiring people and giving them hope, and some cars – and build on that, 24-7, OWN-style,” Winfrey told reporters.
The purpose of OWN is not only an extension of her daily talk show, but producers hope to show her loyal fans and viewers who she really is. The network’s CEO, Christina Norman, stated “watch ‘Oprah‘ for one week and you will see the many different kinds of topics she covers, those are really the tenets of what this network can be.”
Her influential talk show reached a peak of 12 million viewers throughout her 25 seasons. Unfortunately, cable does not usually have as much luck with attracting large crowds as broadcasts do. Norman hopes that OWN will reach around 500,000 viewers within its first year. Without any established ratings, it is going to be even tougher for Winfrey. However, having her name attached to the network will make this less of a problem for the OWN. Norman has high hopes for the show and sees it reaching an average of one million viewers overall.
Winfrey’s reputation has helped her network gain advertisers from the start. “I can’t recall a new network launch that more clients have asked about without us taking it to them,” Todd Gordon, Senior VP-director of broadcast at Interpublic Group’s Initiative, stated about the new network.
While Oprah may be saying farewell to her inspirational talk show, she is saying hello to a new journey and judging by her past it is something no one will want to miss out on. Be sure to tune in New Years day to the premier of Oprah’s OWN network.