In years past, Oprah Winfrey was the golden child who could do no wrong. But her move to end her popular talk show “The Oprah Winfrey Show” last year, to purchase her very “OWN” network, does not seem to be paying off.
When she announced “The Rosie Show” was joining her new venture, spirits were high. Straight out the gate ratings were strong, with over 500,000 viewers, but dropped sharply seemingly overnight. Well, this week ‘The Rosie Show’ announced it will cut about 30 of their production staff and contract workers.
It appears Rosie may not have the juice Oprah had during her long stint. Ratings have recently been lackluster which is an issue when trying to secure advertisers. This news comes after she had already reduced her audience seating from 300 to about 70.
The spokesman for Harpo Studios Inc, Chance Patterson, released a statement saying; “With the new, more intimate studio, the show requires fewer staff to support the operation.” This seems like a polite way of saying the show is likely on life support.
Oprah Winfrey is still loved by many fans but she is probably now feeling the pressure to continue shining. With the lack of success with her new venture, she has had to make some tough decisions. Seems like she also parted ways with her longtime employee, Lisa Erspamer, who was executive vice president of production and development. This is not a good sign; usually this type of change is done when you are at the end of your rope.
It is likely Oprah did not realize what it takes to own a network and the importance of proper programming. If she does not get a solid break-out show, which creates a buzz like “The Jersey Shore”, her troubles may be far from over. And before you beat me up on this statement, this does not mean exactly like that show.
It would be great to see her succeed, but the thought of a network with only “Feel Good” shows, is not what viewers want to see. As much as it sounds like a great idea on paper, she needs to zone in on what really sells.
Shows with grit seem to have the best ratings and this is no coincidence. As much as society says they are politically correct and into health and fitness, behind closed doors, they are watching ‘Boardwalk Empire’, ‘The Good Wife’, or ‘Shameless’.