Though the Oprah Winfrey Network launched impressively on Saturday with an average of 1 million primetime viewers, the audience has declined on successive days, flirting with just north of 300,000 viewers at last count. Similarly, the network’s rating in its target Women 25-54 demo dropped from a 0.6 to a 0.2.
“Obviously, ratings are important. Numbers are important,” Winfrey acknowledged at the Television Critics Association winter press tour on Thursday. “They’re not as important to me right now as they might be to [reporters].”
“I know that’s what people like to write about — “Well, the numbers were here, and then they dropped off” — [but] I’m not even concerned about that,” she continued. “What I am concerned about is: Could we get people to the channel?”
Oprah though stopped short of saying that her entire slate of launch programming is getting a free pass in perpetuity. “There are a few shows that, even if they don’t respond, I’m keeping on anyway, because I can -– because I like them, and in time, [their audiences] will grow,” she said. “[But] it doesn’t mean all the shows are going to make it.”
What’s your own opinion of OWN? Have you checked it out? Which shows are keepers, and which are clunkers?