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Posted at 06:15 PM ET, 01/24/2012

OWN tries to drum up ratings with two nights of ‘Oprah’s Next Chapter’


Oprah Winfrey, here with Australian author Gregory Roberts, in Mumbai to film an episode of"Oprah’s Next Chapter.” (INDRANIL MUKHERJEE - AFP/GETTY IMAGES)

Adding more evidence that what Oprah Winfrey Network viewers want is Oprah Winfrey, OWN has decided to expand “Oprah’s Next Chapter” — featuring the talk show host herself as she flies around the world to interview celebs — to two nights a week starting next month.

“Oprah’s Next Chapter” regularly airs Sundays at 9, but starting on Jan. 30, the show will expand to air a “part two” of her interviews on Mondays at 10. This upcoming Sunday and Monday episodes will feature Oprah’s trip to Haiti to visit with Sean Penn.

With February sweeps right around the corner, the move makes sense — the show has averaged approximately 924,000 total viewers for the first four original episodes, a decent number for the ratings-challenged OWN. The second episode, featuring pastor Joel Osteen, clocked 1.6 million viewers, an OWN ratings record. The debut with Steven Tyler on New Year’s Day had 1.1 million.

The show has noticably slipped in the last few weeks. Around 501,000 people watched Oprah interview Gov. Chris Christie (R-N.J.) on Jan. 15 (the same night as the Golden Globes), while 557,000 viewers tuned in last week for a chat with George Lucas.

Oprah’s other two-night episodes of “Next Chapter” include a trip to New York to explore the Hasidic Jewish community in Brooklyn, N.Y. (Feb. 12-13) and a profile of “life coach” Tony Robbins (Feb. 19-20); no word on the show’s schedule past February.

By  |  06:15 PM ET, 01/24/2012

 
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