In another shrewd move to lure more eyeballs to OWN, Oprah Winfrey has snagged an exclusive interview with the South Carolina mother who killed her two young sons and then attempted to make their deaths look like an accident.
Winfrey’s interview with Shaquan Duley, who confessed to the killings, will air during the April 1 installment of Oprah’s Next Chapter, which is currently the most-watched program on the struggling cabler. The mogul talked to Duley while she awaits her sentence at the Orangeburg-Calhoun Detention Center in South Carolina. She’s been held without bail for nearly two years.
The deaths occurred on August 16, 2010, when Duley took her 2-year-old son Devean and 18-month-old son Ja’Van from the house she shared with her mother and sister and checked into a motel, where she smothered her sons to death. Afterwards, she buckled her sons’ bodies into a car that she submerged 15 miles away, exiting the car to save herself. Duley then flagged down a motorist and claimed she and her family were involved in an accident.
On March 16 of this year, Duley pled guilty to two counts of murder. She’s facing 60 years to life.
Last month, Winfrey secured an interview with Whitney Houston’s daughter Bobbi Kristina. The high-profile gets come at a time when OWN is facing mounting financial woes while it fights to stay relevant in a crowded landscape. Last week, it announced that it is eliminating 30 positions in the network’s Los Angeles and New York Offices. Before that, OWN made the very expensive decision to cancel the low-rated Rosie O’Donnell talk show. O’Donnell will earn $15 million to walk away, according to industry estimates.
Launched in January 2011, OWN has already burned through more than $300 million, according to published reports. Analysts at SNL Kagan estimate that OWN could lose $142.9 million this year.