Oprah Winfrey’s OWN Shifts Focus to ‘Lighter Fare’
(NEW YORK) — After stalling initially, Oprah Winfrey’s OWN Network appears to have made a turn around in ratings and in dollars for advertisers. Still, the TV honcho is shifting her network’s programming even more to include less soul searching and more laughing.
“I have a tendency to look at everything from the point of view of: What is going to be meaningful, and uplift people? That can become too stoic and too serious — which is the same issue I suffered with at the [O, The Oprah] magazine in the beginning. It needed more humor,” she explained to Vulture. “So we [began] looking for lighter fare.”
OWN’s biggest acquisition of humor came thanks to Winfrey’s friend, Tyler Perry, who brought with him, Love Thy Neighbor and Tyler Perry’s For Better or Worse along with the drama series The Haves and the Have Nots.
OWN has also greenlit two reality shows that fit in with Winfrey’s vision: Crazy.Sexy.Life., which centers on four women living in New York City’s Harlem neighborhood and will premiere in early 2014; and the reality show Houston Beauty, which focuses on one of the oldest cosmetology schools in the U.S. It premieres Nov. 2.
Winfrey credits the popular OWN series, Welcome to Sweetie Pie’s and Iyanla: Fix My Life as the “turning point” to her shift in programming ideology.
“I’m interested in doing no harm. Before, it was always, I’ve got to uplift as well as entertain. And now I can look at a thing and say, ‘What harm does it do?’” she continued. “You can see somebody’s sorrows, but also their triumphs, and be lifted by that.”
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