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TV Column
Posted at 07:11 PM ET, 10/11/2011

‘The Rosie Show,’ ‘Oprah’s Lifeclass’ improve OWN ratings in timeslot

Rosie and Russell Brand chatted on her series premiere. (George Burns - GEORGE BURNS)
Rosie O’Donnell’s return to talk TV nearly tripled OWN’s performance at 7 p.m. Monday.

And by “nearly tripling” we mean nearly half a million viewers compared to the 135,000 people who’d been watching OWN at 7 p.m. Monday one week earlier.

After “The Rosie Show’s” kickoff, the first episode of “Oprah’s Lifeclass” — aka reruns of Oprah’s syndicated show with added Oprah musings — clocked 333,000 viewers. One week earlier, Dr. Phil attracted 323,000 in the same Monday at 8 hour.

Discovery simulcast both shows premieres across four other Discovery networks — the biggest being its too-many-children-reality-TV channel TLC.

On TLC, Rosie’s debut logged 341,000 viewers and Oprah 336,000 viewers.

Yes, Rosie and Oprah both did better on TLC than they had on OWN.

On the other hand, TLC did better without Rosie and Oprah!

One week earlier, in Rosie’s 7 p.m. hour, two episodes of “Little People Big World” had attracted an average of 525,000 viewers. And at 8, where “Lifeclass” ran this past Monday, one week earlier TLC had enjoyed nearly 700,000 viewers.

Discovery bragged Tuesday that Rosie was sampled – that’s anyone who watched just a few minutes while migrating through the TV landscape – 1.5 million people across all five networks on which it was simulacast, while Oprah’s “Lifeclass” was sampled by 1.2 million.

Oprah's Lifeclass (George Burns - GEORGE BURNS)
OWN had a re-launch Monday night — or was it re-re-launch? — with Rosie’s new talk show, followed by “Oprah’s Lifeclass.” OWN, a co-venture of Oprah’s Harpo company and Discovery Communications, hasn’t been doing so well. From Jan. 1 to Sept. 30, it has averaged 247,000 viewers in primetime; the channel it replaced, Discovery Health, averaged 250,000 viewers over the same period of time in ’10.

But, while promoting her new show, Rosie has explained that a brand new network is practically an idiot anyway. And now that Oprah’s on the job full-time, before you know it, OWN will churn out ratings gold – like everything else Oprah touches, Rosie says.

Either way, Discovery was taking no chances, simulcasting “The Rosie Show,” which is made in the old “The Oprah Winfrey Show” studio in Chicago — not only on OWN, but also across four other Discovery networks, including TLC. Also pitching in are Investigation Discovery, Discovery Fit & Health, and Planet Green.

By  |  07:11 PM ET, 10/11/2011

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