TV Review: OWN

The Oprah Winfrey Network (OWN) launched Saturday, Jan. 1 at noon. The following are reviews of the new network’s first weekend from TV critics around the Web, compiled by B&C:

“OWN’s first slate of programming ranges from the innovative to some of the same warhorse reality programs found on other cable channels, with a new coat of bright Oprah paint.” – Jo Piazza,

“The unveiling of her 24-hour cable network, OWN, which beganat noon on New Year’s Day, was most striking for what it lacked: nowhere in that opening gush of feel-good highlight reels, self-improvement plans, spiritual quests, aha! moments, celebrity master classes, and people finding their truths and living their own best lives was there a snicker of malice or a hint of raillery.” – Alessandra Stanley, The New York Times

“At best, it’s inspirational and affecting, brain candy for people affluent enough to worry about self-actualization… And yet something feels missing from OWN — a sense of purpose sufficient to justify the ambition. After all, there’s already plenty of inspirational fare on TV.” – Joanna Weiss, The Boston Globe

“The strategy seemed that of a soft opening, aimed at whetting viewers’ appetites so they regularly come back and sample the network’s expanding menu of new shows as they roll out.” – Frazier Moore, Associated Press (viaHuffington Post)

“One of the more disquieting aspects of this OWN premiere days is the pervasive sense (inevitable, I suppose) that this cable network is not just a programming venture and a brand extension, but a living monument to its creator’s power — and a celebration of her willingness to use that power as a force for good. We won’t just watch OWN; we will gaze upon it with awe and affection, and marvel at the sweet magnificence of its founder.” – Matt Zoller Seitz,