Oprah Winfrey Network (OWN) Saturday, January 1
The talk show queen has dabbled in launching cable networks before, as she had a big stake in Oxygen when it launched in 2000 (and made a bundle when it was sold to NBC in 2007). But with OWN - which will be replacing Discovery Health in the Discovery stable of channels - she's literally putting her name on the network, and is giving up her syndicated talk show later in the year so OWN will have her exclusively. In the early going, OWN will feature an assortment of lifestyle and/or inspirational shows, many featuring familiar faces from Oprah's world - like "Ask Oprah's All-Stars," a four-part special where audience members seek advice from Dr. Phil, Suze Orman, and Dr. Mehmet Oz, all in one setting; or Gayle King taking her radio show to TV. Will the Oprah name brand and halo effect be enough to bring in viewers until she starts doing a new version of her talk show on OWN? We'll see.