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OWN To Co-Produce Docuseries On Openly Gay NFL Player Michael Sam

By | Wednesday May 14, 2014 @ 2:42pm PDT

Oprah Winfrey’s OWNmichaelsam2 is partnering with Pilgrim Studios and filmmaker Amy Rice to produce The Untitled Michael Sam Project (working title), a multi-part original documentary series about Michael Sam, the first openly gay football player to be drafted into the NFL. The series takes a deeply personal, up-close OWN Logo Current look at the All-American defensive end and SEC Co-Defensive Player of the Year as he enters the competitive world of pro football, says OWN. Cameras will follow Sam as he works to earn his spot on the St. Louis Rams all while under the intense scrutiny of being the first openly gay player in the NFL. “We are honored that Michael is trusting us with his private journey in this moment that has not only made history but will shape it forever,” said Oprah Winfrey.
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OWN Orders New York Docu Reality Series From Core Media

By | Wednesday August 28, 2013 @ 10:03am PDT
Nellie Andreeva

OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network has given a straight to series order to Crazy.Sexy.Life., a new original docu-series about the fast-paced lives of four girlfriends living in New York City. The show is getting a high-profile sneak preview on September 3 behind the fall finale of Tyler Perry’s drama series The Haves And The Have Nots before the official series premiere in early 2014. Crazy.Sexy.Life hails from Core Media Group, marking the first series developed internally at the company since its rebrand and relaunch last year under Marc Graboff. “Set against the backdrop of America’s most vibrant and competitive city, this show details what real life is all about for a quartet of very different personalities who have embraced one another as ‘family’ for more than a decade, and who depend on one another unconditionally,” said OWN president Sheri Salata. Here’s the network’s description of the new show: Read More »

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Oprah Winfrey Lands Lindsay Lohan Interview And Reality Series

BREAKING … OWN just announced that will air an exclusive Oprah Winfrey interview with Lindsay Lohan that will tape and air in August, and that it has also sealed a deal for an eight-part documentary series starring Lohan set to air in 2014. Winfrey continues to be the go-to person for troubled celebs; this will be Lohan’s first post-rehab sit-down and comes on the heels of Winfrey’s much-publicized Lance Armstrong interviews in January. Other high-gloss subjects for OWN include Whitney Houston’s daughter on Winfrey’s signature interview show Oprah’s Next Chapter. All have been ratings magnets for the network, which is rebounding after a slow launch: OWN is coming of its best ratings quarter in the network’s history, and June marked month-to-month gains in key adult and female demos thanks in part to the new Tyler Perry scripted series The Haves And The Have Nots and Love Thy Neighbor. Lohan recently had stints on FX’s Anger Management and Fox’s Glee before heading to court-mandated rehab, and before that she starred as Elizabeth Taylor on Lifetime’s biopic Liz & Dick and in Paul Schrader’s indie drama The Canyons, which comes out August 2. EW had the details of the Oprah-Lohan tie-up first.

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Oprah Winfrey And Tyler Perry Dress The Part For OWN Promo: Video

By | Thursday April 4, 2013 @ 5:01pm PDT

For those that ever wondered what would happen if Tyler Perry‘s Madea came upon Oprah Winfrey‘s Color Purple character Sofia while driving down a country road — well, this is your lucky day. OWN unveiled this promo for Perry’s two new series during today’s upfront in NY. It begins airing on the network tonight, and features Madea asking Sofia how to find the network. “Girl child, it ain’t safe in a world of cable channels”, Sofia says. A pair of Perry series — drama The Haves And Have Nots and comedy Love Thy Neighbor — will have their series premieres on the network May 28 and May 29, respectively. Check it out:

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Related: Discovery Shows Off Star Power At Upfront Presentation

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OWN Sets Launch Plans For Tyler Perry Series, Orders 2 New Unscripted Shows

Nellie Andreeva

The May 28-29 debuts of Tyler Perry‘s new original scripted series for OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network will be preceded by an Oprah’s Next Chapter episode May 26 featuring a Winfrey interview with Perry. It will be immediately followed by Tyler Perry Comes To OWN: Behind The Scenes, a special about the making of the two series, drama The Haves And The Have Nots and comedy Love Thy Neighbor. The Haves And Have Nots premieres May 28 at 9 PM, while Love Thy Neighbor launches May 29 at 9 PM with two back-to-back episodes.

Additionally, OWN has greenlighted two new unscripted series: Millionaire Mama’s Boy, about the dynamic relationship between WNBA star Pamela McGee and her NBA star son JaVale, and Houston Beauty, about the world of a Texas beauty school. Here are the network’s descriptions: Read More »

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OWN Greenlights 4 Unscripted Series, Sets Premiere Date For Tyler Perry Sitcoms: TCA

By | Saturday January 5, 2013 @ 9:00am PST
Nellie Andreeva

OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network this morning announced four new unscripted series for 2013, including docu-series Raising Whitley, about comedienne Kym Whitley and her friends; Dogfellas, about a mobster-turned-dog groomer; and Blackboard Wars, about the efforts to improve a troubled New Orleans high school. OWN also has given a series order to Golden Sisters, the special/backdoor pilot about three frisky octogenarian sisters that aired last month. Additionally, the network has set May 29 as a premiere date for its first scripted series from Tyler Perry, drama The Haves and the Have Nots and half-hour comedy Love Thy Neighbor. “All of these new programs reflect the best of the human spirit. From the funny to the dramatic, we are always shooting for to-the-bone real,” said Sheri Salata, president, OWN. Returning with new episodes this year are OWN’s three Oprah series, Oprah’s Master Class, Oprah: Where Are They Now? and Oprah’s Next Chapter as well as Iyanla: Fix My Life. Upcoming guests for the network’s flagship Oprah’s Next Chapter include Drew Barrymore, LL Cool J and Whitney Houston’s mother Cissy Houston on the one year anniversary of the singer’s death. Here are descriptions of OWN’s new and returning series: Read More »

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Discovery CEO Claims OWN Will Break Even In 2013 Even If Misses Distribution Goal: UBS

Although the goals were set independently, David Zaslav says that his joint venture with Oprah Winfrey is growing fast enough that it doesn’t have to expand to 85M homes — from 80M now — to fulfill his prediction that it will break even in the second half of 2013. “The ratings growth has been fantastic,” he told investors and analysts on Day 2 of the UBS Global Media and Communications Conference. The “cherry on top,” he says, is that “we’re the home for Tyler Perry on television.” On Saturdays, OWN ranks first or second with black women, attracting more of the demo than ABC, CBS, Fox, and NBC combined.

Related: Oprah’s OWN And Tyler Perry In Deal For Scripted Series

Zaslav’s comment about OWN reflects his overall optimism about the state of his company and the programming business. He acknowledged that ad sales were slow in October. Discovery was “hurt more by the Olympics than we expected” — in part due to his decision not to schedule strong shows against the games. But since the election both volume and pricing have been “quite good.” He warns that the outlook “could change a week or two from now” if there’s no compromise in Washington to avoid the so-called fiscal cliff, although “it’s getting pretty late for [the negotiations to avoid the fiscal cliff] to have an impact” in Q4. Read More »

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‘Oprah’s Next Chapter’ Plans First Global Telecast For Justin Bieber Interview

By | Wednesday October 24, 2012 @ 1:16pm PDT

OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network has announced that its Sunday night interview show Oprah’s Next Chapter will air around the world for the first time next month when Winfrey interviews pop singer Justin Bieber. The November 25 episode will roll out to more than 100 countries closely following its stateside premiere via Discovery Networks International’s female flagship channels TLC, Home & Heath, Real Time and DMAX.

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Oprah’ OWN And Tyler Perry In Deal For Scripted Series: Exclusive & Multi-Year

By | Monday October 1, 2012 @ 9:03am PDT
Nellie Andreeva

Tyler Perry and Oprah WinfreyLong-time friends (and the two richest African Americans in showbiz) Oprah Winfrey and Tyler Perry are now forging a business partnership. OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network has inked an exclusive multi-year deal with Perry. Under the pact, he will executive produce, write and direct two new scripted series for a mid-2013 premiere on OWN, marking the network’s first foray into scripted programming. “I have been looking forward to the day when we would be in the position to enter the world of scripted television. That day has come,” said Oprah Winfrey, OWN’s CEO. “We are all energized by the opportunity to collaborate with Tyler who has a proven track record for producing highly successful cable series.” Read More »

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OWN’s ‘Iyanla: Fix My Life’ Debuts Strong, ‘Welcome To Sweetie Pie’s’ Return Hits Series High

By | Tuesday September 18, 2012 @ 11:57am PDT

OWN had a good weekend and it wasn’t all thanks to Oprah Winfrey. The two-night series premiere of Iyanla: Fix My Life was OWN’s top debut since the network went on air in January 2011. The Season 2 premiere of Welcome To Sweetie Pie’s on Saturday at 9 PM brought that reality show a series high. Meanwhile, the Winfrey-starring shows Super Soul Sunday and Oprah’s Next Chapter also saw big gains during the weekend. Read More »

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OWN Sets Summer Primetime Schedule

By | Friday April 27, 2012 @ 10:30am PDT

OWN Schedule Summer 2012OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network today unveiled its summer primetime lineup that includes six new series – Are You Normal, America?, Lives On Fire, Lovetown, USA, Million Dollar Neighborhood, Real Life: The Musical and Super Saver Showdown. The new Friday-Monday schedule includes fresh episodes of Oprah’s Next Chapter are on tap as well as the return of the documentary series Our America With Lisa Ling, which comes back June 10. Here’s the complete schedule: Read More »

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OWN Orders 4 New Series, Renews ‘Oprah’s Master Class’ & ‘Welcome to Sweetie Pie’s’

By | Thursday April 5, 2012 @ 7:12am PDT
Nellie Andreeva

Ahead of Discovery Communications’ upfront presentation in New York this afternoon, OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network announced the green light for four primetime unscripted series, Elura and Michele Take Staten Island, about 2 Staten Island best friends who are former prosecutors,  Iyanla Fix My Life, starring inspirational speaker Iyanla Vanzant, Married to the Army: Alaska, about army wives in Alaska, and Six Little McGhees, about a family with sextuplets. Additionally, the network has renewed Oprah’s Master Class, which has posted ratings increases in Season 2, for a third season and has ordered 10 additional episodes of one of the fledgling network’s most popular shows, docu-series Welcome to Sweetie Pie’s, about the family behind the popular St. Louis soul food restaurant. OWN also announced that producer Barry Poznick (Are You Smarter Than a Fifth Grader?) and comedienne Kim Coles (Living Single) have been tapped as hosts of the upcoming game show Are You Normal, America?, which premieres this summer. It is based on the Am I Normal segment on the Oprah Winfrey Show. Read More »

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Oprah’s Interview With Whitney Houston’s Daughter Delivers Ratings Record For OWN

By | Monday March 12, 2012 @ 11:57am PDT
Nellie Andreeva

Oprah Interviews Whitney Houston's DaughterOprah Winfrey successfully returned to the type of exclusive celebrity interviews that were the bread and butter of her syndicated daytime talk show. Last night’s special 90-minute edition of Winfrey’s new OWN primetime series Oprah’s Next Chapter, which featured her exclusive interview with Whitney Houston’s daughter Bobbi Kristina and her family, drew 3.5 million viewers, the largest audience ever in OWN’s 14-month history. In women 25-54, the special posted a 3.1 rating and was up triple digits vs. Oprah’s Next Chapter‘s season average.

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Oprah Winfrey Starts Oscar Special Franchise On OWN

By | Thursday February 9, 2012 @ 1:01pm PST
Nellie Andreeva

Oprah Winfrey, whose post-Academy Award specials were among the highest-rated episodes of her syndicated daytime talk show, is launching what likely will be an Oscar primetime special franchise on OWN. Oprah’s Oscar Special will air on February 15. This is the first time Winfrey has done an Oscar special on OWN. In addition to the special post-Oscar editions of her talk show, Winfrey did a couple of primetime Oscar specials on ABC, most recently in 2010. On them, movie stars interviewed other movie stars in a format that set the specials apart from ABC’s staple, Barbara Walters’ annual Academy Award specials. Winfrey’s OWN interview program resembles Walters’ specials, which ended their run in 2010 after 29 years. The two-hour OWN special, produced by Winfrey’s Harpo Studios, will feature Winfrey interviewing three of this year’s Academy Award-nominated actors: The Help‘s Viola Davis and Octavia Spencer and Moneyball‘s Jonah Hill.

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Cable Notes: Nick At Nite Orders 80-Episode Telenovela, OWN Expands ‘Oprah’s Next Chapter’ To 2 Nights

By | Tuesday January 24, 2012 @ 12:20pm PST
Nellie Andreeva

Six years after MyNetwork TV’s failed attempt to launch U.S. versions of Spanish-language telenovelas as daily primetime soaps, Nickelodeon is giving it a shot. The cable network, in partnership with Mexican TV giant Televisa, has ordered 80 episodes of a daily, one-hour U.S. adaptation of the popular Mexican telenovela Reach For A Star (Alcanzar una Estrella) for Nick at Nite. Reach For A Star, which follows a teenage girl whose life changes completely when she becomes a star and wins the love of her teen idol, will be produced in association with Sony Pictures TV, with filming slated to begin in March for a premiere later this year on Nickelodeon’s nighttime block. Nickelodeon has already had success with an imported primetime soap, Canadian teen drama Degrassi. Reach For A Star will be co-executive produced by Emmy-winner Jill Farren Phelps (General Hospital) and Hisham Abed (The Hills). Josh Griffith (Young And The Restless) will serve as head writer.

Oprah Winfrey’s new weekly primetime show for OWN, Oprah’s Next Chapter, will expand to 2 nights a week — Sundays and Mondays — in February. The show, featuring Winfrey’s interviews with celebrities and newsmakers in their natural environment, got off to a strong start, posting OWN’s highest ratings since its launch last January with its first 2 episodes, but its ratings have subsequently declined.

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OWN Greenlights 3 New Unscripted Series

By | Friday January 13, 2012 @ 10:11am PST
Nellie Andreeva

OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network has picked up 3 new original series to premiere later this year, Lovetown, USA; Lives On Fire; and Are You Normal, America? “Each of our new shows is right on brand and aligned with Oprah’s intention to bring our audience meaningful, entertaining programming,” said Sheri Salata, president, OWN.  Added Erik Logan, president, OWN, “We feel really good about the direction the network is heading in 2012 and we’re just getting started.” Here are descriptions of the series: Read More »

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Discovery Urges Investors To Be Patient With Oprah Winfrey: Citigroup Confab

Discovery CFO Bradley Singer couldn’t have been surprised to be asked at Citigroup’s Global Media, Entertainment and Telecommunications Conference about what’s up with OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network. Bankers and investors are still waiting to see significant progress at Discovery’s struggling, high-profile joint venture with the talk show host and entrepreneur. But his answer was also familiar: Wait. Now that Oprah’s running the operation “we feel real good about the direction the network is headed in. It’s just building block after building block.” The channel’s financial prospects, he added, depend on how well it can build its viewing audience.

Most of the other questions were a lot easier considering that Discovery has one of the highest profit margins in cable programming. Singer says the ad market continues to improve. “We have not been impacted yet by anything you might read” about weakness in the overall economy. Meanwhile channels that have taken off over the last year, led by ID: Investigation Discovery, have “that much room to grow in terms of advertising.” He’s also optimistic about The Hub, the joint venture with Hasbro. “Long term, that could be Read More »

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Tom Shadyac’s ‘I Am’ Documentary To Debut Jan. 1 On Oprah Winfrey Network

By | Saturday December 10, 2011 @ 5:37pm PST

Tom Shadyac’s documentary I Am will kick off OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network’s Super Soul Sunday programming block on January 1, 2012. Onetime hit feature director Shadyac’s life took quite a turn after he suffered a concussion in a cycling accident that left him unable to work for months. The director of Liar Liar, The Nutty Professor and Ace Ventura: Pet Detective underwent a profound transformation that he chronicles in the movie. I Am follows Shadyac’s quest to answer two questions: “What’s wrong with the world” and “What can we do about it?”. He interviews notable men and women from the worlds of science, philosophy, academia and faith — including Archbishop Desmond Tutu, David Suzuki, Noam Chomsky, Howard Zinn, Lynne McTaggart, Ray Anderson, John Francis, Coleman Barks and Marc Ian Barasch. Oprah Winfrey’s separate interview with Shadyac introduces the documentary. Super Soul Sunday airs 8-11 AM with an encore beginning at noon. I Am will be available January 3 on DVD. Watch the trailer previously posted on Deadline here.

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New OWN Series ‘Beverly’s Full House’ Set For February

By | Wednesday November 16, 2011 @ 1:25pm PST

OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network announced today that the new docu-series Beverly’s Full House, featuring supermodel Beverly Johnson, will premiere in February. It will be a “humorous and heartfelt” look at what happens when three generations of Johnson’s family — her daughter, son-in-law and their newborn daughter — comes together under one roof in her Palm Springs home. The series is produced for OWN by Good Clean Fun; Jason Carbone, Nick Lee and Johnson executive produce.

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