Ratings at the channel, a joint venture with Oprah Winfrey, are “ahead of where we thought we’d be,” Discovery CEO David Zaslav told analysts this morning. The audience was up in all 12 months of 2012, and was +36% for the full year. He’s also encouraged by the two series from Tyler Perry that are scheduled to launch in May: a drama, The Haves And The Have Nots, and a comedy, Love Thy Neighbor. “I’ve seen the scripts and they look strong,” he says. Winfrey is actively involved with the projects. Perry just “sent me some pictures and Oprah was in the control room,” Zaslav says. The bottom line: Discovery is “fully on track” to see OWN‘s cash flow break even in the second half of 2013. CFO Andy Warren adds that Discovery “achieved our objective” of providing less funding for OWN in 2012 than it did in 2011. “It is a big driver of our improvement in [earnings per share]” in the financial report the company released this morning. He adds that the company will update the Street in the second half of this year when “we see debt reduction and paydown of our obligation.”
EXCLUSIVE: The Dukes Of Hazzard and Smallville alum John Schneider is set to star in Tyler Perry’s drama series for OWN, The Haves And The Have Nots, while six actors, including Jonathan Chase and Palmer Williams, have been cast in Perry’s comedy series for the cable network, Love Thy Neighbor. Both shows, written, directed and Produced by Perry through his Tyler Perry Studios, are set to premiere at the end of May.
The Haves And The Have Nots follows the dynamics of the affluent Cryer family and the impoverished family of Hanna, their housekeeper, and the obstacles and secrets that exist within both families. Innovative-repped Schneider will play Jim Cryer, the Cryer family patriarch.
In the first clip from Oprah’s Next Chapter interview with the athlete, he answers simply “yes” to her questions about his use of different performance-enhancing substances and touches on his history, specifically when he began using banned substances:
In the clip that follows, Winfrey points out that for 13 years Armstrong “brazenly and defiantly denied everything you just admitted to … why now admit it”? Armstrong says “I don’t know that I have a great answer … I will start my answer by saying this is too late.”
Oprah Winfrey’s two-part interview with Lance Armstrong is close to selling out commercial time at premium prices, Reuters reports. OWN President Erik Logan said current and new sponsors have been calling to secure ad …
Los Angeles – Oprah Winfrey’s exclusive no-holds-barred interview with Lance Armstrong, “Oprah and Lance Armstrong: The Worldwide Exclusive,” has expanded to air as a two-night event on OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network. The special episode of “Oprah’s Next Chapter” will air Thursday, January 17 from 9-10:30 p.m. ET/PT (as previously announced) and Friday, January 18 at 9 p.m. ET/PT. The interview will be simultaneously streamed LIVE worldwide both nights on Oprah.com.
Is Lance Armstrong pedaling a confession? The disgraced former seven-time Tour de France cycling champion will appear on OWN’s Oprah’s Next Chapter on January 17, the network announced today. This interview with Oprah Winfrey will be Armstrong’s first since the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency charged him with using illegal performance-enhancing drugs during a career that has made him one of America’s and the world’s most well-known athletes. The big question is whether Oprah will rip the skin off Armstrong the way she did author James Frey after he promoted his recovery memoir A Million Little Pieces, and then came back to be flayed when it was revealed he’d embellished big parts of the book.
That didn’t take long — two months after Oprah Winfrey‘s OWN announced a multi-year exclusive deal with Tyler Perry for scripted shows, the network has greenlighted two series written, directed and produced by Perry from his production company Tyler Perry Studios. Perry’s agreement with OWN called for him to write, direct and exec produce two series for a mid-2013 launch. Now the shows have been identified, drama The Haves And The Have Nots and comedy Love Thy Neighbor, the network confirmed. This marks the first drama series for the prolific Perry, who stayed strictly on the sitcom side with his TBS series, all done with Lionsgate’s Debmar-Mercury: House Of Payne, Meet The Browns and For Better Or Worse. The Tyler Perry shows mark OWN’s first scripted offerings.
Cowen and Co analyst Doug Creutz makes a plausible case, although not completely persuasive one, for his prediction this morning that Tyler Perry’s decision to make OWN his TV platform will work out for everybody. Creutz acknowledges that details haven’t been announced for the two new scripted series that Perry will introduce in mid-2013 on Oprah Winfrey’s joint venture with Discovery. Also, ”we’re not sure Perry’s sitcoms are a great match for Oprah’s aspirational female-targeted brand,” Creutz says. Still, he forecasts that the entertainer’s deal “could potentially bring a meaningful ratings boost to OWN, helping that network climb to profitability in FY13.” Discovery CEO David Zaslav has already promised the Street that OWN will at least break even. Indeed, Creutz says that Perry could increase the prime time audience at OWN by 10% or more even with smaller ratings than he generates at TBS.
Tyler Perry’s exclusive TV production deal with OWN shouldn’t turn the self-improvement channel into just another general entertainment network, Discovery CEO David Zaslav told analysts this morning. “This is something Oprah really wants,” he says. “We were …
New York, New York – November 1, 2012 – The Huffington Post Media Group and OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network today launched HuffPost OWN a new section on The Huffington Post website providing practical advice and ideas to help users find motivation, inspiration and fulfillment.
HuffPost OWN will include selections from this year’s list of Oprah’s Favorite Things from O, The Oprah Magazine’s Holiday O List, featured in the December issue, one of the most popular and recognized traditions of the Oprah Winfrey brand. The site will also exclusively feature Favorite Things trivia, a video montage of the best Favorite Things moments from “The Oprah Winfrey Show” and an inside look at celebrity gifts that Oprah added to her Favorite short list.
Discovery CFO Andy Warren says that the goal is for his company to spend less this year than it did in 2011 on the joint venture with Oprah Winfrey, and for the channel to become cash flow neutral in the second …
Ray Richmond contributes to Deadline’s TV coverage.
The Oprah Winfrey Network today announced in advance of TCA its fall programming lineup, ordering three new series for fall and three more for 2013 including a new reality show with …
Discovery CEO David Zaslav’s optimistic forecast to analysts this morning is a slight improvement from three months ago when he said that his joint venture with Oprah Winfrey would merely begin to break even by late next year. He’s impressed by recent audience growth at OWN — including the 20% ratings improvement in Q2 among women 25-to-54. “Candidly we’re significantly ahead of where we thought we would be,” Zaslav said in a conference call to discuss Discovery’s Q2 earnings. While Discovery doesn’t break out revenue and profit numbers for OWN, execs said that the channel spilled less red ink in Q2 than in did in the previous quarter which included the cost of shuttering Rosie O’Donnell’s talk show. The company warned that OWN’s losses could grow in Q3: It plans to spend more on marketing as well as programming. That’s “investing into momentum,” CFO Andrew Warren says. The recent audience growth is not a blip, according to Zaslav. “We’re quite confident that we’ve begun to find the recipe for a strong women’s network” that is “starting to be what Oprah and I talked about.” He calls OWN “one of the best brands in media, and for women it may be the best brand in media.” Winfrey is “more engaged” and the channel has a “good leadership team,” Zaslav says. He adds that Oprah.com has become an important part of the mix because it helps to provide direct contact with OWN’s viewers. He notes that all eight of its initial advertising partners continue to work with the channel.
There’s encouraging news for just about everyone except the broadcast networks — and the usual suspects among fading traditional media — in the latest ad forecast out this morning from Zenith Optimedia. The economy “is in a much better place than it was three years ago,” the ad firm says. As a result, overall ad spending growth in the U.S. will accelerate from 3.6% this year to 3.8% in 2013 and then to 4.7% in 2014. But the broadcast networks are headed in the other direction with sales going from -1% in 2012 to -2.5% in 2013 and -3.0% in 2014. The report says that NBC will have a tougher time with the Summer Olympics in London than it had for the Winter Olympics in Vancouver in 2010. With the time difference, “more viewers are expected to tune in online to watch their favourite events rather than wait to watch prerecorded versions.” The shift to cable of college sports including BCS football bowl games and NCAA men’s basketball also has led some advertisers — including pharmaceutical, financial, and consumer products companies — to shift their spending. Those dollars “do not look to be coming back to network TV.” That will contribute to ad growth in cable of 10% this year, then 10.5% and 11% in 2014. ZenithOptimedia still sees pockets of trouble, including at Discovery and Oprah Winfrey’s OWN. The network “has underperformed expectations, and projections of losses for the company are in the region of $330 million…While OWN still has time to recover, the prospects are looking murkier for the cable network.”