The lone hit on Oprah‘s OWN network has been Welcome to Sweetie Pie’s, a reality show starring an African-American family that runs a soul food restaurant in
Alabama St. Louis, MO. If you have the OWN channel and do a lot of channel surfing, it would seem that Sweetie Pie’s is on almost continuously.
The show debuted in October and has gained an average audience of 418,000 versus the usual 216,000 for the network. The Hollywood Reporter says that network execs will be taking that into consideration for future programming and advertising pitches. (Discovery Communications launched OWN.)
An S&P analyst, Tuna Amobi, tells the magazine this would be a change from the Oprah brand, which has been built on diversity. “I don’t know that it would be a good thing for OWN to so narrowly define its target,” she says. OWN president Erik Logan says they will be “nurturing” the success of the program rather than doing a 180. Other OWN programs include The Rosie Show, hosted by Rosie O’Donnell, and Our America with Lisa Ling. Discovery has funded the network with about $254 million.