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Black Women Boost Oprah’s Network To The Highest Ratings Ever

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Oprah WinfreyBy Andrew Scot Bolsinger

The Oprah Winfrey Network has shrugged off its slow start and poor ratings and established its second-best quarter ever, according to a report in The Grio.

OWN is the first, and still only, network to be established by single individual. Winfrey launched OWN after a quarter-of-a century of dominance as an inspiration day-time talk show host. But the network struggled in its early years to recapture Oprah’s former glory.

OWN debuted January 1, 2011 and is available in 85 million homes.

New numbers report that the station averaged more than half a million total viewers tuned in this past quarter, which represented double-digit growth and establishing OWN as the fastest-growing cable network for women ages 25 to 54.

African-American women ages 25 to 54 chose OWN over all other cable options on Tuesday and Wednesday night in the first quarter of 2014, The Grio reported.

Oprah’s mega-deal with movie mogul Tyler Perry certainly helped. Perry’s drama series “The Haves and the Have Nots,” produced for OWN had five different episodes that attracted more than three million viewers.

“The Haves and the Have Nots” is also the top original series on all of TV for African-American women on Tuesday nights, The Grio reported.

The network’s Saturday-night lineup also produced solid numbers with women 25 to 54, up 300 percent versus the same time period a year ago.

OWN’s new series “Deion’s Family Playbook,” starring Deion Sanders and Tracey Edmonds, hit nearly a million viewers for its March 29 episode, “its strongest performance across all key demos and  no. 1 in the time period on all of TV for African-American women 25-54,” The Grio reported.

Perry has more to offer for OWN. His latest TV series, “Single Moms Club,” based on the movie which opened in theaters March 14, is set to air on OWN in the fall.

Andrew Scot Bolsinger won more than two dozen press awards during his journalism career. He is a freelance writer, author and operates, which is focused on prison reform. He can reached at