Harpo Productions

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Oprah’s OWN network picks up 6 new shows

(Frederick M. Brown/Getty)

Broadway dancers, crime victims, unfaithful spouses and soul-food chefs are coming to OWN:The Oprah Winfrey Network, the network announced during its upfront presentation on Thursday.

Six new unscripted series were added to OWN, though there was no news of the most anticipated OWN series: an Oprah Winfrey show, which is expected to launch in September after her daytime talk show ends. Get the full story>>

30-second spots on Oprah finale fetching $1M

(Frederick M. Brown/Getty)

CBS Corp.’s syndication arm is asking $1 million for 30 seconds of national commercial time for the final week of Oprah Winfrey’s TV show in May, ad buyers say.

The stratospheric rate comes close to rivaling events like the Academy Awards, for which ad buyers said they paid between $1.7 million and $1.8 million for a 30-second spot earlier this year. Get the full story »

O’Donnell to film OWN show at Harpo Studios

Rosie O’Donnell, a multiple Emmy winner for “The Rosie O’Donnell Show” and former co-host of “The View,” is going to help fill the void at Oprah Winfrey’s Harpo Studios when Winfrey retires her nationally syndicated TV program after 25 seasons in May.

Chicago Harpo employees were told Monday that O’Donnell’s new one-hour daytime talk show, set to launch this fall on cable’s OWN: The Oprah Winfrey Network, will tape on Winfrey’s soon-to-be-vacated stage in the studio space at West Washington Boulevard and North Carpenter Street.

Oprah’s cable channel expected to profit in 1st year

Discovery Communications expects Oprah Winfrey’s cable channel to achieve profitability in its first year.

Discovery and Winfrey flipped the switch on OWN, short for the Oprah Winfrey Network, on New Year’s Day. The new channel enjoyed heavy sampling among viewers over the weekend, although executives have cautioned that they expect a bumpy ratings ride in the beginning. Get the full story »

Oprah Winfrey’s OWN gets strong ratings in launch

OWN, the new cable network from Oprah Winfrey, got off to an impressive start over the weekend.

For its Saturday premiere, OWN was the No. 3 cable network among women age 25 to 54 during the 8 p.m. and 9 p.m. hours, behind only ESPN and USA.

Oprah’s network announces 10 host contestants

Oprah Winfrey’s new network has announced the 10 contestants competing on “Your OWN Show: Oprah’s Search for the Next TV Star.”

The would-be hosts include a travel guide who’s in a wheelchair, a comedian who thinks the U.S. needs a gay best friend, and a businesswoman aiming to make a show about money both informative and fun.

Oprah Winfrey’s OWN and Cablevision reach deal

With the channel’s New Year’s Day launch creeping up, OWN, the new cable network from Oprah Winfrey and Discovery Communications, has reached a deal with Cablevision Systems Inc. to carry the service.

Oprah Winfrey prepares for launch of OWN network

American talk show host Oprah Winfrey, third from right, is joined by Australian stars, from left, Nicole Kidman, Keith Urban, Hugh Jackman, Olivia Newton John and Russell Crowe in Sydney Tuesday. (AP/ Jeremy Piper)

The long-awaited OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network is gearing up for its premiere on New Year’s Day. And the bold ambition of this venture would spark doubts if there were anybody else’s name attached. Consider: a cable network repurposed from Discovery Health and all-dependent on just one person’s identity, vision and marquee power.

But that person is Winfrey, a cultural force. Now, as she moves through the final months of her daytime syndicated talk show, which will end next September after 25 years, OWN is poised to become Winfrey’s new TV home base.

Instead of a daily hour boasting Winfrey’s on-air presence as host, OWN will be a round-the-clock environment in which — her network vows — she will often be seen but, what is more important, always be felt. She will be the network’s spiritual curator, maintaining a constant presence, even from off-camera, as she offers a slate of programs all guaranteed to meet her “Live Your Best Life” mandate. Get the full story »

‘Operation Oprah’ storms Sydney

Oprah Winfrey’s visit to Sydney — or “Operation Oprah,” as they’re calling it — sounds a bit like a bio-hazard, rather than a visiting TV show from Chicago. But maybe that’s because of the way Australia’s Ten News correspondent reports it.

There is to be a maritime exclusion zone, a no-fly zone, road closures and re-routed public transport in the “operational footprint.”

Oprah’s new network searches for subscriber fees

The Oprah Winfrey cable network, set to launch in a few weeks, is still trying to line-up subscriber fees from cable and satellite operators, David Zaslav, chief executive of the network’s part-owner Discovery Communications Inc., said Monday.

The new network — which is a 50-50 joint venture between Discovery and Winfrey, is set to replace Discovery Health network in about 80 million homes on Jan 1. Discovery Health, which is not widely watched, receives no per-household subscription fee in the “majority of cases,” said Zaslav during remarks at the UBS Global Media and Communications conference in Manhattan. Get the full story »

Oprah picks Dickens novels for Book Club

Talk queen Oprah Winfrey will announce her latest book selection on her show today, and her choice, according to the Orlando Sentinel, is actually two books: “A Tale of Two Cities” and “Great Expectations” by Charles Dickens.

In September, Winfrey chose Jonathan Franzen’s book “Freedom” as the first selection for the 25th and final season of her talk show. She announced that month that despite rumors, her famed book club would continue. “I will have book selections coming all season long and when I move over to OWN, my new network, the book club is coming with me,” she told her audience.

Get the full story »

No new shows slated for Oprah’s Chicago studios

From Crain’s Chicago Business | After “The Oprah Winfrey Show” finishes taping its last season in May, the two studios at Winfrey’s Chicago-based Harpo Inc. may simply go dark while programs for her new OWN cable network are being filmed in Los Angeles and New York.

Currently, executives say behind-the-scenes production work will keep Harpo’s 400 Chicago-based workers busy and have hinted that a new program may eventually take place in Chicago. But early contenders, shows featuring Dr. Oz and designer Nate Berkus, are being filmed in New York. Get the full story>>

Oprah to announce next Book Club pick Monday

(Jason Merritt/Getty Images)

Oprah Winfrey plans another pick for her popular book club.

Harpo Productions said Tuesday that current Oprah’s Book Club author Jonathan Franzen will appear on Monday’s episode of “The Oprah Winfrey Show.” Winfrey chose Franzen’s latest book “Freedom” in September as the first selection for the 25th and final season of her talk show.

On that same episode, Winfrey will announce her next book club pick. The new selection comes about 11 weeks after Winfrey chose “Freedom.” Since 2008, she has averaged one or two selections a year. Winfrey’s book club choices have vaulted to the best-seller list and given authors instant fame. Get the full story »

Oprah said to be eyeing New York-area property

From the New York Post | Oprah Winfrey yesterday toured a $68 million mansion for sale on the grounds of the former Frick estate in Alpine, N.J. before heading north to look at another property a few miles north in Snedens Landing. Get the full story>>

United unveils its Oprah plane

United Airline's plane painted for Oprah Winfrey's final season. (United Airlines)

Look up in the sky. It’s a bird. It’s a plane. No, it’s Oprah. Actually, it’s a plane sporting Oprah Winfrey’s logo with the familiar big looping “O.”

On Thursday, United Airlines unveiled a newly painted plane at O’Hare International Airport commemorating the 25th and final season of “The Oprah Winfrey Show.” The Boeing 757’s tail is blue with Winfrey’s signature, with the words “The Farewell Season” painted on the fuselage. Get the full story »