The ratings are in for the relaunch of the Oprah Winfrey Network (OWN) on Monday, Oct. 10, 2011, and "the ratings for the first night reaffirm just how hard it’s going to be to draw in viewers," writes Brian Stelter of The New York Times’ Media Decoder blog.
The article continues, " ‘The Rosie Show’ on OWN had an average of 497,000 viewers on Monday, far fewer than the millions she reached as a daytime talk show host a decade ago. ‘Oprah’s Lifeclass,’ which was supposed to benefit from the “Rosie” lead-in, had an average of 333,000 viewers. Among the female viewers ages 25 to 54 that OWN is trying to reach, ‘Rosie’ averaged a 0.44 rating while ‘Oprah’s Lifeclass" averaged a 0.40 rating."
The story notes that OWN said the ratings were "…more than twice as high as the averages for Discovery Health, the channel that OWN replaced in January. But for OWN to achieve the profits that Ms. Winfrey and her partner, Discovery Communications, hope for, both programs will have to show growth."
OWN, is co-owned by Winfrey and Discovery Communications. On Monday, to increase sampling, Discovery also aired the two shows on four other networks it owns: Discovery Fit & Health; Investigation Discovery; Planet Green; and TLC. When one combines the ratings of the two shows on those 4 channels, plus OWN, "Rosie" reached an average of 1.5 million viewers, and “Oprah’s Lifeclass” reached about 1.2 million viewers, the Times said.
Before "Lifeclass" aired about a million people had signed up to follow the show and various online extensions of it on Oprah.com.
On a separate note, if you would like to read a very provocative essay by TVWeek Open Mic blogger Chuck Ross about what should happen next at OWN, please click here.