Oprah Winfrey Network Analysis - September 2011


* Bold denotes programming change


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, 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 are also utilized.

The Prime scheduling strategy is set to shift in October, when the re-purposed "best-of-25-year-of-OPRAH" strip OPRAH'S LIFECLASS  premieres weeknights at 8pm, following a 7pm strip of the new Rosie O'Donnell chat skein. This will leave only two hours per night for series, specials and movies, while providing Oprah's on-screen presence each night from 8-9pm to lead-in.


Live Primetime Ratings Comparison / September 2011 vs. DSC Health September 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.

While Discovery Health was also driven by Female viewers, OWN  has been skewing significantly older since its launch. This trend continued in September 2011, with the Median Age having risen 11% over August 2010.  HH and demo ratings declined sharply from September 2010, when Discovery Health was awaiting the shift to OWN in January. Delivery was also down modestly compared with last month.

DR PHIL remained the go-to series  in September, holding down most of an 8pm strip until OPRAH'S LIFECLASS premieres in October. DR. PHIL episodes filled  Saturday nights for most of the survey, accounting for nearly 1/3 of all Prime hours for the second month in a row. The series was essentially flat with its performance from last month.

Top specials again featured sex and human oddities - similar topics to those which used to score well for Discovery Health.

August  saw the premiere of off-CBS series UNDERCOVER BOSS, which easily led the pack as the number one OWN offering last month. The series was not scheduled in September, as five Movie presentations filled  the schedule, compared to only one last month. WHEN HARRY MET SALLY was the top Movie offering in September.

On Monday, new series SUPERSIZE VS. SKINNY declined from its weak debut numbers in August, down in the 1/3 range in demos from last month as well as last year.

For the remainder of the week, the only stand-out was an episode of TURNING POINT on Tuesday, with companion series KATIE MY BEAUTIFUL FRIEND  flat with last month's below-average numbers. None of the 9pm offerings consistently held, much less improved, the 8pm  DR. PHIL lead-in on any weeknights.

Saturday's slight growth was due to a block of  DR. PHIL episodes on two weeks, in addition to the another telecast of the special 600 LB MOM, which always scores well on OWN.

Sundays were completely revamped, with the return of 9pm OUR AMERICA WITH LISA LING and 10pm MASTER CLASS leading out of the short-lived HOME TAKEOVER WITH SIMON & TOMAS. Demos were down by nearly half from Discovery Health last year, and by more than half from last month.