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OWN Your Opinion

Charleston, SC(Zone 9a)

Now that the new OWN (Oprah Winfrey Network TV channel) has been on the air for a while, I'm curious to hear everyone's take on the new network. I'd like to hear from those who love it and from those who hate it (respectfully please), from those who like it ok occasionally and those who aren't too enthused, from those who watch it a lot and those who rarely watch it at all, from those who don't have it but wish they did and those who didn't even know it existed.

As a person, I like Oprah, from what I know of her that is, and I certainly respect her phenomenal success in the industry. To be honest though, I don't watch her show. Never did. I enjoy hearing her opinion on things occasionally, but not an hour's worth. I would prefer more of a Reader's Digest version and only now and then, not daily - and certainly not 24/7.

Still, I realize she has many, many fans, some of whom were likely looking forward to the new OWN network. I'm curious to hear what you think of the channel now that you've perhaps had some time to watch it. For me, as I had expected, it's a bit too much Oprah. Kind of 'all Oprah, all the time'. Except for a few fill ins here and there, most shows either feature Oprah or her friends like Gail and Dr Phil. There are shows to introduce and explain the channel, shows to provide a look backstage on the Oprah show. There's a Dr Phil series, a Gail show, a show which presents a different of Oprah's favorite people each week or episode, and a Q&A show featuring a group of Oprah's friends. Thus it seems like 24hrs of Oprah and friends, 24hrs of Oprah and people who share her views. I'm not sure I'd want quite that much of anyone, not even a best friend.

I'm curious to see if this format turns out to be a mistake for Oprah. It seems almost egotistical to me, having a station with 24hrs of one's view and one's friends. I would think it would be better to offer a bit more variety. Then again, the woman is a brilliant business person, so she probably knows what she's doing. If it is a mistake it would appear to be a 1st for her professionally. It will also be interesting to see if other stars and TV personalities follow suit so that we end up with a TV 'dial' filled with channels promoting individuals - at least, that is, those who can afford such a thing.

One, of course, probably isn't expected to watch the one channel all the time. I guess the benefit if you are an Oprah fan is that the channel provides more options for those times when you do want to watch some Oprah. Then again, that's what DVR is for.

Please, if you have the new OWN channel, let us hear your opinion. What do you like or dislike about it? Do you think it was a good decision for Oprah to buy a TV channel and to provide a format that offers mostly Oprah and her friends 24/7 - and mostly talk shows? Do you think it will ultimately succeed or fail? Do you even watch the channel at all? (I've personally only perused the listings and watched a minute or two here and there out of curiosity. On my satellite system, it's located adjacent to some of my favorite channels thus making it more visible to me.)

Now for YOUR opinion...

Albuquerque, NM(Zone 7a)

I'm not an Oprah fan. Her show was interesting years ago but
eventually (for me) became a highly manipulated opinion show
and I stopped watching a long time ago. I feel the same way
about Dr. Phil. Different strokes for different folks and I'm sure
OWN will retain loyal followers.

In our area, OWN took over the station that had been the Discovery
Channel where there are programs I enjoy. I was truly ticked off
until I found that Discovery Channel is still available on another
cable tv station.

Because of our schedules we set up season passes on TiVo for
all the programs that we watch regularly. We can then watch at our
convenience and fast forward through commercials. OWN is not
on our list of Favorite Channels.

Whether her TV network succeeds or fails I'm certain Oprah won't be
worrying about her retirement fund! ;-)

Charleston, SC(Zone 9a)

OWN took over Discovery Health. There were (and still are) a number of different Discovery channels. In addition, some of the other educational channels, many of which are co-owned, have begun showing programs from the now defunct Discovery Health channel. I rarely ever watched Discovery Health, so the change over to OWN didn't effect me. I like Science which until recently was Discovery Science. There is another Discovery channel, but I don't care for it much anymore because lately it seems almost exclusively devoted to bikers, cars, monster trucks, and such, not my thing.

I use a digital video recorder, essentially the same thing as TiVo, to record all of my favorites. Just like tivo, you tell it once to record all occurrences (or all new or whatever option you prefer) and that's it, none of the frustrations of the old recorders. Even though I rarely found anything I like on the channel, Discovery Health was on my favorites list because I'm a sucker for educational programs. When it switched over to OWN I decided to leave it on my favorites list for a short while just out of curiosity. I was curious to see what kind of programs Oprah would choose and whether everything would be about her - which for the most part it is. I'll be removing it from my favorites soon - when I have a non-lazy day.

I guess my curiosity about OWN was peaked by some of the things said about Oprah on the news channels. Her money and business successes have made her noteworthy. Now I'm curious. I do agree with your assessment that win or loose, Oprah's retirement is fully funded.

Anne Arundel,, MD(Zone 7b)

""Oprah's retirement is fully funded.""
Dream, that gave me a chuckle. She could fund about a thousand of us very nicely, couldn't she? Couple thousand of us. LOTS of us!
I haven't made any effort to watch it- I got tired of her daily show some years ago. Her book club thing, to me, was highly overblown. At least she did give people a reason to look at books! It seems like that helped revive a book club interest for many. I now see some new books with discussion points at the end.

Charleston, SC(Zone 9a)

Hi sally,

Yes, she could give retirements out under the seat at her show the way she did with Caddys.

I'm definitely not anti-Oprah. I don't watch her show simply because talk shows don't appeal to me, too slow for my taste. But I do like Oprah as a person. She seems to do a lot of good/charitable stuff. I was merely interested to know how her supporters felt about her new channel/network. For a celebrity to buy there own cable channel on which to support their causes and interests is a novel concept. No one else has done such a thing. I'm just curious how people feel about her channel and how they think it's going.

I must agree with you that she did encourage many people to read where they may not have been doing so before and to think about critically and discuss what they had read. In doing so she brought a little culture to the lives of many including some who might otherwise have been passively watching 'trash' tv. Absolutely a good thing.

I think she also encouraged an entire generation of women to value themselves in a way they had not before and to take care of themselves and ask for what they need - or go out and get it. She very definitely had a positive effect on legions of formerly forgotten and sometimes depressed and unappreciated housewives. Still, I can't help but be curious as to the effects of her new network...

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