OWN launched by sprinkling Oprah-associated series on Tuesday, Friday and Sunday, and the schedule is evolving as new series roll out. By 2nd Quarter 2011, original series episodes aired every night except Saturday, although the schedule continues to shift significantly from week to week.
Current series include medical mysteries, self-help, and celebrity-driven reality. Specials and series from Discovery Health have diminished as new original series launched, with some renewed for subsequent seasons.
The Prime scheduling strategy shifted in October, when the re-purposed "best-of-25-year-of-OPRAH" strip OPRAH'S LIFE CLASS premieres weeknights at 8pm, following a 7pm strip of the new Rosie O'Donnell chat skein. This leaves two hours per night for series, specials and movies, while providing Oprah's on-screen presence each night from 8-9pm to lead-in.
NOVEMBER 2011 PRIMETIME RATINGS ANALYSIS:
Live Primetime Ratings Comparison / November 2011 vs. DSC Health November 2010 (% Change)
Source: The Nielsen Company's National Television Audience Sample
OWN launched 1/1/2011 to great media fanfare. For annual comparison purposes, we will look to the ratings of Discovery Health, which previously occupied OWN's channel position.
November represents the second month driven by OWN's title personality - with Oprah herself front and center in Prime time, rather than the occasional series or special. Joined by an expanded footprint for fellow-freshman WELCOME TO SWEETIE PIES, the two series filled 12 of the 21 Prime hours in the November lineup, with SWEETIE PIES #1 overall. Women demos dropped slightly from October 2011, while HH and younger women dropped nearly 20% from sharply November 2011, when Discovery Health was winding down in anticipation of the transition to OWN.
Each night suffered significant losses compared to November 2010
While Discovery Health was also driven by Female viewers, OWN has been skewing significantly older since its launch. This trend continued in November 2011, with the Median Age having risen 9% over November 2010.
The 8pm strip of OPRAH'S LIFE CLASS, which repackages episodes of the syndicated OPRAH WINFREY SHOW with new material, declined sharply from its launch in mid-October down 35-40% in HH and key demo delivery. In other November developments:
-THE ROSIE SHOW, which strips at 7pm, ceased repeating at 10pm as well part-way through the survey. While delivery was consistent from month to month, the series remained at the bottom rank of OWN's series for the survey. in week three of the survey, growing female demos by 75% over DR. PHIL'S average for October.
-WELCOME TO SWEETIE PIES: Expanding to Mondays at 9pm and Saturdays at 10pm in addition to its current time periods of Wednesday at 9pm and Saturday at 8 and 9pm, SWEETIE PIES remained as the #1 original series on OWN for W25-54, and surpassed OPRAH'S LIFE CLASS for #1 W18-49. Saturday was the only night to show significant growth in demos from October, thanks to the consistent high delivery for the 9pm premiere episodes. Overall HH Ratings for the series dropped nearly 1/3 from October, though, with demos down in the 25-20% range.
-DON'T TELL THE BRIDE: After losing more than half its demo lead-in from SWEETIE PIES
at 10pm on Saturday in its October debut, BRIDE moved to Thursday at 9pm for only two telecasts.
November's top-rated offering was a Sunday Prime run of top special BEING CHAZZ at 8pm, with a run of OUR AMERICA WITH LISA LING also scoring well above average for the night.