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What We Know About The Oprah Winfrey Network So Far

You’ve got to have a stone-cold heart to not love Shania Twain. And maybe that’s why Oprah gave the country singer her OWN (Oprah Winfrey Network) show called “Why Not?” A statement from the network said, “The show will follow Twain as she begins her climb back to the top, a personal journey filled with risk, revelations and unexpected adventures.” After her bestie snagged her husband, Twain fell in love with her bestie’s ex-husband Frédéric Thiébaud and has been traveling the world with him and her son, posting videos on her website of them sky-diving in Florida, riding camels in Egypt, and bike riding in London. I’m still reeling from her gorgeousness in the “That Don’t Impress Me Much” video, so I don’t know if I can handle my jealousy for a half-hour show. [People]

But really, I’m actually legitimately excited for Oprah’s network—sounds like there are some pretty awesome things going down. Here’s what we know so far.In January 2011, Oprah will be taking over Discovery Health with her own channel, but the idea has been in the works for years. But way back in 1992, Oprah scribbled “OWN, The Oprah Winfrey Network” into her journal, knowing that one day it would happen. When she made her announcement that she would partner with Discovery, Oprah said, “All the years of doing ‘The Oprah Winfrey Show’ have led me to this very moment.” Oprah has named Christina Norman the CEO of OWN. Norman was formerly a president at MTV. [NY Mag]

But enough with the boring details. We’re just excited for new television, since we’ve run out of things to watch. Heaven forbid we have to leave the couch! So far, the new TV shows on OWN will include:

  • “Oprah’s Next Chapter.” For this nighttime show, Oprah will ditch the in-studio audience in favor of traveling the world to have intimate conversations with her subjects. Which sounds like waaay more fun. It’s like Oprah’s global road trip fun time!
  • “Visionaries: Inside the Creative Mind.” This show will bring you huge stars, giving you insight into their creative process and showing how they master their crafts. So far, confirmed artists include Lady Gaga, James Cameron, Tom Ford and Annie Leibovitz.
  • “Your Own Show: Oprah’s Search for the Next TV Star.” This show will be produced by Mark Burnett (the one to blame for introducing competition-based reality television to America) and will be a nationwide search for the “next big TV personality.” Which will, of course, lead to more awesome TV shows.
  • “Gayle King Live!” Oprah’s bestie’s morning radio show will become a TV series. I’ve never listened to the show, but would love to see Gayle and Oprah running amuck.
  • “Behind the Scenes: The Oprah Show Final Season.” A documentary series showing viewers the behind-the-scenes of the making of the final “Oprah Winfrey Show” season. Sad face.
  • “Breaking Down the Bars.” This show will give female inmates a chance for rehabilitation and atonement while serving time. I wish they had made this while Martha Stewart was locked up—that would have made for great programming.
  • “Enough Already.” Home-organization mastermind Peter Walsh conquers other people’s clutter. They’re not getting into my hoarders room.
  • “In the Bedroom With Dr. Laura Berman.” This show will help couples improve their relationships and their dysfunctional sex lives. But sexy sex therapists make me nervous. I like Dr. Ruth better, but don’t tell Oprah!
  • “Inside With Lisa Ling.” Our favorite reporter will bring news stories on “unexpected people from far-flung locations,” which apparently include mail-order brides and American militias. As long as she stays out of North Korea, we should be okay.
  • “Kidnapped by the Kids.” This show will force families and communities to connect in real life instead of depending on technology and hectic schedules to propel us into the next day. Kids unplug their parents from their crackberries and force them back into reality.
  • “The Miracle Detectives.” A believer and a skeptic are juxtaposed in this detective show that follows unbelievable events to figure them out. Sounds just a tad like “The X Files,” maybe?
  • “Oprah Presents: Master Class.” Important public figures—like Bono, Simon Cowell, Lorne Michaels and Condoleezza Rice—share their stories and insights. Meh, I’d much rather watch “Creative Minds.”
  • “The Swell Life.” A reality show about former competitive surfer Izzy Paskowitz. Izzy now runs a surf-school with his wife and three children. Seems kind of random, but I’m just glad there are only three kids instead of 20.
  • “Searching.” Brings search specialist and genealogist Pam Slaton together with people searching for long-lost friends and family, which has been done before. But knowing Oprah, it will probably be much more dramatic. [Yahoo]

On top of the shows, Oprah has also bought the television rights to “Precious” (duh) and “Family Affair,” which kicked butt at the 2010 Sundance Festival and will be a part of OWN’s Documentary Film Club. Which, as you might imagine, will be like Oprah’s book club for documentaries. [Business Insider, The Futon Critic]

So what do you think? How many hours a week do you think you will spend watching OWN?

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