Oprah to Relaunch Struggling Network

A rejuvenated fall lineup begins Monday on OWN. Will you watch?

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Oprah Winfrey (Getty Images)

The struggling Oprah Winfrey Network is getting a do-over.

Forbes is reporting that Oprah Winfrey and Discovery are throwing their efforts behind a new fall programming lineup. It will feature two of the network's biggest stars: Rosie O'Donnell and Oprah. 

Rosie O'Donnell will host The Rosie Show, which will lead into Oprah's first major contribution to the network, Oprah's Lifeclass. Lifeclass will feature episodes from Oprah and new footage of Oprah sharing personal revelations and life lessons, reports Jenna Goudreau at Forbes.

According to today's New York Post, Discovery is expected to spend $15 million on an ad push -- 50% more than it spent on the Jan. 1 launch of the network -- on top of the over $200 million it's already pumped in since conception. The two new prime-time shows will also be simulcast on four other Discovery channels, including TLC, Planet Green, Investigation Discovery, and Discovery Fit + Health. Ads will appear in print, across Discovery properties and on competitor networks.

Adding to a laundry list of problems the channel has faced -- too high on the channel guide, unclear brand, not enough programming or Oprah -- Winfrey herself admitted that she and her team had been too distracted by wrapping up her marquee show that not enough attention was paid to OWN's launch. O'Donnell agreed that was a major issue on a conference call yesterday but resolved that ratings would turn around now that OWN leaders are focused.

Oprah admits that she was too busy with the final season of Oprah to focus attention the network at its inception. It's unclear now what it will take to turn it around. But if anyone's up to the task, it's Oprah. 

Read more at Forbes.

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