Jenny McCarthy jumped ship from Oprah's network a few weeks ago, ditching Winfrey for NBC, which generated more bad publicity for Oprah's cable channel. There are many reasons why the Oprah Winfrey Network has been a massive failure, a predicament unforeseen by Lady O and her staff. To simplify, maybe Oprah shouldn't have named a television channel after herself only to feature a roster of shows that don't involve her. The only show on OWN that Oprah appears on is "Oprah Season 25: Behind the Scenes," which is now no longer airing new episodes.
A few months ago I met an OWN employee in Hollywood who told me that "Behind the Scenes" is the highest rated show on the network. Maybe that has something to do with Oprah's fans wanting to watch her on TV, they've been doing so for 25 years afterall, so why would she assume that things would suddenly be different?!
Besides the lack of Oprah's presence on her network, OWN's shows are dated. Ryan & Tatum O'Neal have a show, so does Shania Twain, The Judds, and Sarah Ferguson. We don't care about them! We wonder why the former Queen of Daytime TV would launch various shows about has beens? We have VH1 for that.
Each OWN reality show is as boring as Scott Pelley on the CBS Evening News. We want fun and entertainment!
Oprah has peppered nearly each episode of her talk show with humor, but her network is filled with preachy or heavy content that may teach us how to become better people, but we're too busy falling asleep during these valuable life lessons to take notice of their value.
Oprah is out of touch, sadly, and her OWN debut has been rushed. She should have used her talk show as a launching pad for her network, for at least two seasons instead of one, before leaving the #1 rated talk show on television.
Whenever Lady O is giving away free swag, fans are very interested in her preferences; but when she attempts to fill hour after hour of our time with shows that feel like dated after school specials, we're going to tune out and we won't return.
It will take years for OWN to become successful, and I think it will take many hours of Oprah in front of the camera on her network to help the cable channel reach its goals. There were rumors that Oprah was going to be joining the late night TV circuit with a late night show that would air on OWN. No evidence has supported this rumor, but a late night show could single-handedly revive the network.
In summary, if you have a network named after you, designed to appeal to your fans, you shouldn't be afraid to show your friggin' face on it. Just a tip.