In its first night of primetime on Jan.1, OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network averaged 1 million viewers, a respectable number, especially on a holiday Saturday night. On Day 2, the co-venture between Oprah’s Harpo and Discovery Communications, drew a primetime average of 822,000 viewers, a 18% drop from premiere night. That was still a dramatic improvement over the channel OWN replaced, Discovery Health, which averaged 252,000 viewers in primetime last year. (But with a price tag of $200 million, OWN had been under pressure to perform right out of the gate.) What is the biggest draw on the new network so far? Oprah’s old syndicated show. The two-hour debut of Season 25: Oprah Behind the Scenes, which chronicles the final season of Oprah’s daytime talk show, was the most watched OWN program in the first 2 days, posting a 1.2 million viewers at 8 PM on Jan.1 and propelling OWN to third place in the time period among all cable networks in women 25-54. Surprisingly, the most hyped new OWN series, Oprah Presents Master Class, in which the talk show host profiles successful artists, journalists and entrepreneurs, was the lowest-rated program so far by a wide margin, averaging 602,000 viewers for the premiere episode featuring Jay-Z on Jan.2. OWN is available in 67% of U.S. homes and 80% of cable homes.
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