Oprah Winfrey will soon be out of daytime but she won’t stop hosting her own show. The Queen of Daytime made it official today by announcing that the Oprah Winfrey Network, launching Jan. 1, will also include Oprah’s Next Chapter, a new one-hour show that will feature Winfrey hitting the road to have “more riveting conversations with the people we all want to hear from, in some very unexpected places.” The show, from Harpo Prods., was one of five new series announced today to advertisers in New York, including Visionaries: Inside the Creative Mind; Your Own Show: Oprah’s Search for the Next TV Star; Gayle King Live!, and Why Not? With Shania Twain.
“My vision for OWN is to create a network that inspires our viewers and makes them want to be who they are on their best day,” Winfrey said. Added Christina Norman, CEO of OWN, “We want to provide our audience with the tools to awaken, become more alive, and connect to what really matters to them in a fun, engaging, and entertaining way.”
Winfrey’s decision to host a new show for OWN was a no-brainer, says Adam Hanft, a branding and marketing expert. “They don’t have a choice. How could they not have her do a talk show? But they tried not to recreate the same environment. She is going to travel around to different places and try to inject some fresh content that doesn’t feel stale and re-heated.”
As for maintaining the winning ratings she currently enjoys with her daytime yakker, Hanft says, “she’s got a tremendously loyal following, but I don’t think she’ll bring anybody new to the cable show. But I think it will do fine.”
Ultimately, OWN will make it or break based on the quality of the overall programming, Hanft said, not just whether Winfrey hosts her own show. Other programs that have already been announced for OWN’s launch in January include Breaking Down the Bars (a one-hour show that goes inside prison walls); In the Bedroom with Dr. Laura Berman (a show featuring a sex therapist); Inside with Lisa Ling (an investigative series); and Searching (a show that attempts to reunite long-lost friends and family members.)