As Ad Age described it, a “worn-out-looking Oprah Winfrey thanked advertisers for sticking with [Oprah Winfrey Network] OWN” at Discovery Communications' upfront presentation last Thursday. Winfrey went on to describe how the network won’t reach its “summit” until 2014—perhaps making the 2012-2013 slate a tough sell.
Still, OWN is introducing four primetime series, being “Elura and Michele Take Staten Island,” “Iyanla Fix My Life,” “Married to the Army: Alaska” and “Six Little McGhees.” The network has also picked up a third season of “Oprah’s Master Class,” featuring true modern masters sharing their greatest life lessons, and has ordered ten additional episodes of “Welcome to Sweetie Pie’s,” the popular family docu-series featuring the heartwarming and hilarious Montgomery family. In addition, producer Barry Poznick and comedienne Kim Coles will be joining OWN as hosts of the upcoming game show “Are You Normal, America?.”
“We have solid momentum and are building the network with a strong mix of programs that connect and engage with our audience,” said Sheri Salata, president, OWN. “The new series announced today are relevant shows with real stakes, real drama and a whole lot of heart.”
“‘Oprah’s Master Class’ and ‘Sweetie Pies’ have proven to be audience favorites, said Erik Logan, president, OWN. “We’re excited about the early success and are pleased to have more episodes coming to OWN.”
“Oprah’s Master Class” season-to-date average is up triple digits versus year ago numbers in all key demos, and is up double digits versus the season one average across all key demos. “Welcome To Sweetie Pie’s,” following Miss Robbie and her dynamic family as they run their popular St. Louis soul food restaurant, premiered last fall to such ratings success, that it returned to OWN this spring. The spring premiere (Saturday, March 31 from 9-10 P.M.) garnered the series’ highest rating ever with a .49 in the key female demo (W25-54) and 512,000 viewers, increasing its time period rating double digits in all key demos.
Veteran TV producer BarryPoznick (“Are You Smarter Than a Fifth Grader”) and comedienne/actress Kim Coles (“Living Single”) will host “Are You Normal, America?,” coming this summer from Harpo Studios and Zoo Productions. The new primetime game show is based on the popular “Oprah Winfrey Show” segment that asks the universal question “Am I Normal?” On the lively show contestants answer our most burning and sometime embarrassing questions for a chance to win big money.
Married to the Army: Alaska
Alaska is home to more than 10,000 active-duty soldiers, about 7,500 of whom are currently deployed in Afghanistan. The war in Iraq may be over, but for those families whose loved ones are still gone, life is challenging, especially in “the last frontier,” an assignment the military considers as demanding as an “overseas” post. For the women whose husbands serve in the US Army, “deployment” is not just an abstract word heard on the evening news. It’s real, it’s tough, and it turns their world upside down. Military wives find themselves in a unique sisterhood that only they can understand. The tightest of bonds are formed over fears of deployment, realities of Army life, and the emotional roller coaster of homecomings – all set against the backdrop of the rugged, demanding and extreme conditions of the last frontier. Produced by 44 Blue Productions. The executive producer is Stephanie Drachkovitch.
Are You Normal, America?
From Harpo Studios comes the new game show “Are You Normal, America?,” hosted by veteran TV producer Barry Poznick (“Are You Smarter Than a Fifth Grader”) and comedienne/actress Kim Coles (“Living Single”). Have you ever peeked at your boyfriend’s emails? Or done your household chores naked? Do you and your spouse sleep in separate bedrooms? This lively game show will answer burning questions by using a highly scientific and deeply revealing poll, in addition to a “jury” of real Americans, man-on-the-street polling, real life situations shot in the field, and in-studio demonstrations. Each episode will feature contestants who will win big money in their quest to learn if they’re normal or not. Along the way, audiences will be entertained, enlightened and ultimately comforted by the fact that we’re all pretty abnormal…but that’s what makes life fun. Produced by Harpo Studios with Zoo Productions. Executive producers are Jill Van Lokeren and Jon Sinclair fromHarpo Studios, as well as Barry Poznick and John Stevens from Zoo Productions (producers of “Are You Smarter Than a Fifth Grader?”).
Elura and Michele Take Staten Island
Meet Elura and Michele, two-fast talking best friends from Staten Island. They might look like your ordinary housewives, but they happen to be former prosecutors who know how to tell it like it is. Everyone has a problem, and it turns out, Elura and Michele are pros at telling people what to do. Whether it’s their crazy Staten Island families, or clients who pay for their mediation services, Elura andMichele are not afraid to get in the middle of things. Produced by Picture Shack Entertainment, and executive produced by George Plamondon and Betsy Schechter.
Iyanla Fix My Life
Iyanla Vanzant is an accomplished author, inspirational speaker, talk show host, and living testament to the value in life’s valleys and the power of acting on faith. Iyanla has had a unique life filled with many personal struggles that she has overcome and used to become stronger. Now Iyanla is back, fixing lives and using her past to help others’ futures. Secrets will be revealed, truths will be uncovered and emotions willcome out as Iyanla teaches us how to pull back the curtain on what is broken in our lives. Produced by Harpo Studios. Executive producers are Jon Sinclair and Jill Van Lokeren.
Six Little McGhees (working title)
“Six Little McGhees” follows the inspirational lives of Mia and Rozonno McGhee as they juggle marriage, a family business, and six adorable toddlers! High school sweethearts who banded together to rise above their impoverished roots, Mia and Ro never imagined that theywould be blessed with Columbus, Ohio’s first sextuplets. Together, with an unconventional army of volunteers, they prove that with a lot of love and a little support, anyone can beat the odds. From sun up to sun down, cameras document each busy day as the McGhees navigate life with six babies and a small Entourage of helpers. And with the terrible two’s fast approaching, the trouble has just begun. “Six Little McGhees” is produced by Candor Entertainment, in conjunction with Discovery Fit & Health and OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network.