Oprah Winfrey Network Analysis

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OWN launched by sprinkling Oprah-associated series on Tuesday, Friday and Sunday, and the schedule is evolving as new series roll out. By 2012, original series episodes aired every night except Thursday, although the schedule continues to shift significantly from week to week.

Acquisitions and broadcast-related news magazines such as UNDERCOVER BOSS and 48 HOURS: HARD EVIDENCE can fill over half the prime schedule.  Current original series include reality series about female-run enterprises self-help, and celebrity-driven reality.  OPRAH'S LIFE CLASS  and OPRAH'S NEXT CHAPTER keep the networks titular head front and center.


Live Primetime Ratings Comparison / July 2012 vs. July 2011  (% Change)




Monday 8-11pm




Tuesday 8-11pm




Wednesday 8-11pm




Thursday 8-11pm




Friday 8-11pm




Saturday 8-11pm




Sunday 8-11pm




MTWTFSS 8-11pm




Source: The Nielsen Company's National Television Audience Sample

OWN saw annual demo growth all seven nights in July, as off-broadcast series and network originals combined to raise Households by nearly 1/3 over 2011, with key demos up 20 - 25%.  With 3-hour blocks of  UNDERCOVER BOSS, 48 HOURS: HARD EVIDENCE and OWN's original POLICE WOMEN OF... series filling four of five weeknights. OWN's unusually consistent schedule in July paid off: three of those nights earned the strongest year-to-year growth of the survey. With wholesale schedule changes from last month, only Wednesday night was unchanged from June's lineup.

48 HOURS: HARD EVIDENCE earned 13 of the Top 20 individual telecast slots for the survey, while POLICE WOMEN OF... accounted for two more, despite airing on low-HUT Friday. Overall, demos were down in the mid-teen percentages compared to June.

On Monday, blocks of  UNDERCOVER BOSS equaled the prime demo average of 2011's relationship-oriented series. Overall, Monday remained OWN's lowest viewed weeknight in July, but the block's demos were up 30-40% over June's mixed bag of series episodes.

On Tuesday, 10pm OUR AMERICA WITH LISA LING grew consistently out of its news magazine lead-in. Demo delivery was up by nearly 1/2 over July 2011's series repeats and blocks of PRIMETIME ON OWN.  Key demos grew modestly over last month.

Wednesday's block of 48 HOURS: HARD EVIDENCE remained intact for the third month in a row, again delivering the strongest year-to-year growth. Demos were down slightly from June.

Possibly due to its ongoing success as a Wednesday block, use of 48 HOURS: HARD  EVIDENCE was expanded to fill all of Thursday's fifteen prime hours in July. Older women nearly doubled from the movie-centric Thursday lineup in July 2011, while RW18-49 grew more modestly. Households and demos were up sharply over June's mix of  UNDERCOVER BOSS, series repeats and specials.

New series POLICE WOMEN OF ..., which feature mini-arcs of episodes set in various locales, such as Memphis and Cincinnati,  earned the sharpest increases among younger women demos of any night in July. The block also grew 55% for RW18-49 from Week 1 to Week 5 of the survey. Demos grew 75-90% over last month's mixed bag of specials and series repeats.

Saturday's RW25-54 grew versus 2011 for the fifth month in a row, with the debut of spin-off  series SWEETIE PIES: EXTRA SLICE replacing a block of UNFAITHFUL: STORIES OF BETRAYAL in Week 3. The two series were roughly equal in delivery of older women, but younger female Saturday Prime viewers preferred UNFAITHFUL: STORIES OF BETRAYAL.  Demos were down modestly compared to June's mix of specials and series episodes.

Sunday, by far the most watched night on the network last month, suffered month-to- month losses in the 50% range.  Blocks of  OPRAH'S NEXT CHAPTER, were sprinkled with episodes of new series OPRAH BUILDS A NETWORK, as well as other Oprah-related material. While up modestly over last year's celebrity-centric series (FINDING SARAH  and RYAN & TATUM: THE O'NEALS,) OPRAH'S NEXT CHAPTER lost more than half its demos delivery from last month.