The cable network, a joint venture between the big O herself and Discovery Communications, will replace the Discovery Health Channel in more than 70 million homes across the U.S. To fill that gaping void, OWN will focus on three programming ideas: Best Life All Stars, Best Life Experiences and Best Life Inspiration. Christina Norman, OWN's CEO, teased members of the advertising and media industries at a press conference at New York's Lincoln Center yesterday, telling the titilated crowd: "Our goal is to create television that appeals to a broad audience of people whose lives really matter to them. Regardless of who you are, we intend to have something for you. The shows we have in development prove that we are serving up an experience that's engaging, exciting and fun."
Whoa. That's a tall order. But then, we've heard of people who live their lives based on what Oprah tells them to do, so think of OWN as 24/7 Oprah advice. Among the offerings are projects from long-time Oprah associates and frequent guests of the "Oprah Winfrey Show," such as an investigative news program with Lisa Ling, a home and life improvement series with Peter Walsh and a talk show with sex and relationship expert Dr. Laura Berman. Other programming will include "Master Class," featuring the inspirational stories of people handpicked by Oprah, "Surfer's Healing," a "docusoap" detailing the family life of former professional surfer Izzy Paskowitz and "Excellent Adventure," a riff on Oprah and best friend Gayle's much-buzzed-about 2006 road trip that has celebrities and their best friends setting off on journeys together.
The full network launch schedule, which will feature both original and acquired programming, will be announced later this year. Stay tuned, America.