Bossip Video

As good as the launch weekend of “Oprah Winfrey Network” was, it looks like the Queen’s ego project isn’t doing so well.

Execs at the network are already scrambling to breath life back into the two-month-old cable channel.

Network officials have quietly been telling worried advertisers that OWN, Oprah’s new channel, will begin reshuffling its lineup in the next weeks and investing millions in advertising to win back faithful viewers.

The network’s only bona fide hit — “Season 25: Oprah Behind the Scenes” — is about to become the “anchor show” for the fledgling network, according to media execs who have heard the new pitch.

“We’re doing a lot of changes to the schedule,” a spokesman for OWN confirmed yesterday.

The “reboot” — the term OWN is using with potential advertisers — will start later this month when “Behind the Scenes” is shifted to Sunday night.

The Oprah channel spent more than $10 million in advertising to get OWN started. The new ad push — most of it spent on other cable networks like TNT and TBS — will be about half that, according to reports.

“Ever since the launch, they’ve been kind of dark,” said one media exec close to OWN. “The intention is to get back out there and let people know.” Moving “Behind the Scenes” — which chronicles the final season of Winfrey’s daytime talk show — from Friday to Sunday night is the first step.

Sunday is the biggest TV-watching night of the week. Bigger numbers for Oprah’s show — the only one on OWN she appears on right now — will raise the network’s weak, weekly ratings average — and perhaps end the flood of bad publicity about its rating woes.

“You have to fish where the fish are,” as a spokesman for the network put it.

Last week, it was reported that OWN’s audience had fallen briefly below what the channel it replaced, Discovery Health, had been getting.

Whether the changes represent a serious regrouping for Oprah or just a new case of growing pains is a matter of argument.

But, barely two months after its launch, the network — after insisting that everything so far was going along as planned — is starting to move around the furniture.

The network has cut back the number of nights with original shows from four to three (Friday night was dropped) in the new reboot.

Celebrity reality shows — beginning with a six-week series starring the battling mother-daughter singing duo Naomi and Wynonna Judd and followed this summer by shows starring singer Shania Twain and the Dutchess of York Sarah Ferguson — are getting the next hard push in the ad campaigns.

Wait, we’re pinning hopes of success on The Judds, Shania Twain and the original Furgie Ferg??? Oh boy.



Bossip Comment Policy
Please read our Comment Policy before commenting.