This Week’s Podcast: Oprah OWN’s Canada

The familiar Hawaii FIVE-0 theme blares off the top of this week’s chat with CHML’s Scott Thompson. You can listen in here.
I confirm that the producers did briefly consider changing the theme with a rock guitar update, but thankfully sanity prevailed and the new show went with the classic orchestral version.
Scott also asks if Stephen Colbert had any effect in his House Committee appearance earlier this week; I complain that it just wasn’t funny enough.
Corus owns Scott’s radio station and wanted my take on the media company’s pick up of the Oprah Winfrey Network (OWN). That’s the U.S. cable channel that will be the only place to get your daily Oprah fix once she ends her syndicated series at the end of this season.
TVFMF insiders suggest OWN carried a hefty price tag as it was shopped in Canada. The word is CTV and Canwest both passed on the deal. Winfrey is a strong brand no doubt, but her series has sputtered as it closes in on a 25 year run. Both Dr. Phil and Dr. Oz topped her in the Canadian ratings last Friday, for example.

Depending where Corus places OWN will also determine how much CanCon they’ll have to add to the mix. If they choose to rebrand one of their specialty channels like W as OWN, for example, they’ll be required to generate quite a few hours of Canadian programming. Dini Petty, call your agent!
OWN is scheduled to launch Jan. 1, 2011 in the States. When Oprah does slide over to the new service in about a year, she will launch a new, three-times-a-week series called Oprah’s Next Chapter. The station will also feature shows hosted by Shania Twain (qualifies for Canadian content?), Rosie O’Donnell, Gayle King, Lisa Ling and the former Duchess of York, Fergie (“Let’s Make a Deal to Meet Her Majesty!”).
Scott also asks about the return of Battle of the Blades. I say naming Jeremy Roenick as one of the new judges is a genius move. All Canada hates him which gives this show the Simon factor, a big mouth villain to hiss at every week. The first Blades performance show of the new season airs Sunday at 8 on CBC.

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