Oprah Winfrey’s cable network, tinkering with its programming in a quest to boost viewership, may have found its solution: more Oprah.
OWN is adding an extra hour of Winfrey to the weekly schedule starting this week, the Futon Critic reports. "Oprah’s Lifeclass," Winfrey’s new weeknight program, will expand by one hour on Friday nights beginning Oct. 21, 2011.
Following the usual 8 p.m. ET hour of “Lifeclass,” Winfrey will remain live on-air and online to interact with the audience and answer questions during “Oprah’s Lifeclass: LIVE.” The programming emulates special after-show telecasts with Oprah that ran during the premiere week of “Lifeclass.”
OWN President Sheri Salata said in a statement: "Our first week of online discussions for ‘Lifeclass’ generated an overwhelming response. Now, Oprah fans from around the world will be able to continue these powerful conversations every Friday night."
In other OWN news, Ken Tucker, the TV critic of Entertainment Weekly, made a plea in his column on Monday, Oct. 17, 2011 for more viewers to watch Rosie O’Donnell’s new talk show on OWN.
After giving Rosie’s new talk show a rave review, Tucker writes, " ‘The Rosie Show’ is exactly the program OWN needs to break through, but it needs time to build an audience. Last week, daily ratings master Marc Berman of Media Insights was pretty brutal, noting: ‘Day three ratings took another tumble for the struggling talker The Rosie Show… Based on the Live Plus Same Day ratings for Wednesday, Oct. 12, The Rosie Show at 7 p.m. dipped to 254,000 viewers — down a staggering 49 percent from its debut on Monday (497,000) … The Rosie Show three days in is a blatant failure.’ "
Tucker then continues, "Ouch. Well, ‘The Rosie Show’ is a blatant success in terms of quality. Let’s hope the relatively small audience thus far doesn’t throw O’Donnell into a tailspin of dark moodiness."