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 / August 2012 vs. August 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 six of seven nights in August, as off-broadcast series and network originals combined to raise Households by more than 1/3 over 2011, with key demos up 40 - 50%.  With 3-hour blocks of 48 HOURS: HARD EVIDENCE and OWN's original POLICE WOMEN OF... series filling four of five weeknights. OWN's unusually consistent schedule in August paid off. With minimal schedule changes from last month, only Saturday night was down from 2011.  Key demos were up modestly overall from July.

48 HOURS: HARD EVIDENCE earned 7 of the Top 20 individual telecast slots for the survey, while POLICE WOMEN OF... accounted for two more, despite airing on low-HUT Friday.

On Monday, blocks of  UNDERCOVER BOSS from July yielded to a stronger 48 HOURS: HARD EVIDENCE at the mid-point of the survey, leading to 40%  growth over the first two weeks' average HH  rating. W18-49 declined modestly compared to last year and last month.

On Tuesday, 10pm OUR AMERICA WITH LISA LING expanded to 9-11pm from its single 10pm hour in July, and grew out of its news magazine lead-in. Demo delivery doubled  August 2011's series, while key demos grew modestly over last month.

Wednesday's block of 48 HOURS: HARD EVIDENCE remained largely intact for the fourth month in a row, with the night delivering year-to-year growth for W25-54. Overall ratings were hurt by a one week block of OPRAH BUILDS A NETWORK, which under-delivered the night's average by 67%. Demos were down in the 1/3 range from July, as a one week block of OPRAH BUILDS A NETWORK significantly under-delivered the time period .

Thursday's 48 HOURS: HARD EVIDENCE block also earned strong older demo and HH growth over last year, but was down in the 20% range from the same lineup last month.

New series POLICE WOMEN OF ..., which feature mini-arcs of episodes set in various locales, such as Memphis and Cincinnati, earned modest annual increases among  women demos in August. Demos were down 20-33% from a similar lineup last month.

With a block of SWEETIE PIES: EXTRA SLICE most weeks, Saturday's RW25-54 dropped slightly versus 2011 after five months of growth in a row. A brief foray by new series 10 KIDS 2 DADS was the top offering this night.

Sunday, by far the most watched night on the network, more than doubled last year's demo delivery. This was mainly to do with Oprah's interview with pop star Rihanna, by far the strongest August offering on OWN. An interview with Kelsey grammar was the #2 overall program, but drew only 1/3 of Rihanna's viewership. New series LOVETOWN USA debuted in Week 3, but dropped 73% of its debut RW18-49 in Week 4, with RW25-54 down 63% week-to-week.  Ratings were up dramatically over July, with RW18-49 tripling month-to-month.