Oprah to move into nighttime TV

April 8, 2010 2:28:16 PM PDT
Oprah Winfrey is trading in her day job for the night shift next year.

On Thursday she announced a new show, Oprah's Next Chapter, is slated to air in the evenings on the cable Oprah Winfrey Network (OWN). Media insiders in New York heard Thursday about a lineup of programs that will fill the air of OWN, a joint venture between Harpo and Discovery network. It's where the daytime mainstay said she'd be heading last fall after announcing the Oprah Winfrey Show would be going off the year after the 25th season.

"What we saw is that we are pretty set in our ways in how we like to watch television and what we like to watch and when we like to watch it," said Cheryl Cook, Edelman Communications.

However, Cook said the Oprah brand -- which stands for quality programming, integrity in content, and high production values whether TV, radio, or magazines -- means she'll succeed where Jay Leno's time slot change failed.

"She' s got an audience and she has got her followers and they are loyal and that is why this brand is so powerful. You can only be as powerful as the people who support you and because her brand is so strong I think she's going to do really well against these shows," said Cook.

Outside Harpo Studios in Chicago's West Loop it is quiet and gray on Thursday. It's a scene likely to become much more the norm as the new show takes Oprah and celebrity guests around the world for more in-depth and location-centric interviews compared to her current studio-based show. A few shoppers were visiting the Oprah Store.

"I think it will go fine just because the things that she has ventured on in the past have gone so well for her that that's one big reason I think this will go well for her also," said Mandy Pavelchik, Oprah fan.

"I would never bet against Oprah," said Cook.

Oprah's Next Chapter will be produced by Harpo, but it isn't clear how many people currently working on The Oprah Winfrey Show in Chicago's West Loop will be part of it.

An organizer with the West Loop Gate Community Organization said that while the neighborhood will survive without Oprah, they'd rather not.

OWN to debut in 2011

OWN is a joint venture of Winfrey's Harpo Inc. and Discovery Communications Inc. The network signs on Jan. 1, 2011, on what is currently the Discovery Health Channel in approximately 80 million homes.

Other shows added to OWN :

  • "Visionaries: Inside the Creative Mind," on which big-name talents take viewers inside their creative process, offering an opportunity to see how they bring their art to life. Included on the roster are Academy Award-winning director James Cameron, Grammy Award-winning musician Lady Gaga and photographer Annie Leibovitz.
  • "Your Own Show: Oprah's Search for the Next TV Star," produced with reality TV giant Mark Burnett, will mount a nationwide search to discover the next big TV personality.
  • "Gayle King Live!" brings to TV the morning radio show of Oprah's best friend.
  • "Why Not? With Shania Twain" is a reality show chronicling the trials and triumphs of the top-selling country music star.
  • Previously announced shows:

  • -"Behind the Scenes: The Oprah Show Final Season," a "docuseries" that takes viewers behind the scenes of the final season of "The Oprah Winfrey Show."
  • "Breaking Down the Bars," billed as a prison show whose women inmates have a shot at rehabilitation and atonement.
  • "Enough Already" sends home-organization guru Peter Walsh on a quest to help people declutter their lives.
  • "In the Bedroom With Dr. Laura Berman" aims to help couples improve their relationships and sex lives.
  • "Inside With Lisa Ling" brings viewers reports on unexpected people from far-flung locations.
  • "Kidnapped by the Kids" sets the stage for parents caught up in a world disconnected by technology and hectic lifestyles to get a wake-up call when their kids take drastic steps to reclaim Mom and Dad.
  • "The Miracle Detectives" sets a believer and a skeptic on the trail of amazing events that couldn't possibly have happened -- or could they?
  • "Oprah Presents: Master Class" features prominent personalities hand-picked by Oprah (including Bono, Simon Cowell, Lorne Michaels and Condoleezza Rice) who share their stories, insights and lives.
  • "The Swell Life" takes a look inside the family of former competitive surfer Izzy Paskowitz, his wife, Danielle, and their three children (one of whom is autistic), as well as their surf-school business.
  • "Searching" puts search specialist and genealogist Pam Slaton on the trail of long-lost friends and family members