It’s been talked about for a while, but at the Discovery advertising upfront presentation today more details came to light about the new Oprah Winfrey Network — OWN (a pretty symbolic acronym relating to this one-woman entertainment empire with self-promotional holdings in most media) — set to launch in early 2010 and replacing what is currently Discovery Health Channel. Man, I’m going to miss shows with titles like I Made Myself Pregnant or something of that nature.
Some of the shows that we will be seeing instead were talked about at the presentation. They are built around “three big ideas”: Best Life All Stars, Best Life Experiences and Best Life Inspiration. Projects in development (most of which are working titles) include:
BEST LIFE ALL STARS
The Peter Walsh Project — the “de-clutter expert” and a team of experts help people see what is really going on in their lives behind their messes.
Dr. Laura Berman — The sex therapist and relationship expert leads a one-hour talk show based in Chicago.
BEST LIFE EXPERIENCES
Excellent Adventure — No, Bill and Ted aren’t here. This show follows a celebrity and their best friend as they embark on an adventure they have always dreamed of taking together. And caveat emptor: The show is produced by Ashton Kutcher’s company.
Inside: Lisa Ling Investigates — Reporter Ling hosts this one-hour program in which she files in-depth news pieces about hard-hitting issues, much as she does with her reports on Oprah’s daytime talk show.
BEST LIFE INSPIRATION
Master Class — Oprah Winfrey hand-picks the most extraordinary people for this series, in which they then share with us who they really are, their stories, their passions and life lessons. I’m still waiting for the call, Oprah.
Surfer’s Healing — A “docusoap” about former competitive surfer Izzy Paskowtiz, his wife Danielle, their three children — one of whom is autistic — and their surf business. Izzy and Danielle manage a business and a foundation for autistic children.
The full network launch schedule will be announced later this year, to include a mix of original and acquired programs, with plans also underway for specials and acquired movies.
“This is just the beginning for OWN,” warns Oprah, “and what we envision will be a new entertainment experience for our audiences.”
The digital component of OWN, MyOwn.com, kicks off today with an interactive experience for audiences to play with and create their own version of the network’s logo. Perhaps the best one will be hand-picked by Oprah, who is listed as OWN’s Chief Creative Officer … and inspiration. Though that last one may be an unofficial title.
© Discovery Communications, Inc.