Oprah Winfrey kicked off the second year of her beleaguered OWN: The Oprah Winfrey Network with a ratings hit.
The Jan. 1 premiere of its new primetime series Oprah's Next Chapter drew 1.1 million viewers, the biggest premiere for the network since the Jan. 1 2011 debut of Oprah Behind The Scenes, which drew 1.2 million viewers, according to network officials.
The two-hour series premiere for Oprah's Next Chapter -- in which Winfrey interviewed Aerosmith frontman and American Idol judge Steven Tyler -- posted a 1.1 rating in the network's key demo during its 9 p.m. to 11 p.m. airing, up 463% over the December 2011 time period average. The series also garnered double digit growth across all key demos versus year ago network launch numbers, said the network.
That's good news for the network, which struggled to meet lofty ratings expectations during its first year on air. OWN, which took over Discovery Health's feed, averaged 89,000 viewers in its key female 25-54 demo, barely topping Discovery Health's 84,000 viewers in the demo a year prior, according to Nielsen.
Overall, OWN averaged 255,000 total viewers in 2011, compared to Discovery Health's 252,000 viewers in 2010, said Nielsen.