Oprah Winfrey Network is adding five new shows to its primetime slate, including a game show in which people answer personal questions to win money, a docu-series about a couple with sextuplets, another docu-series about the deployed soldiers’ wives living in Alaska, a talk show host who fixes “what is broken our lives” but is not Oprah, and a docu-series about sassy girlfriends in Staten Island who are former prosecutors and current professional mediators.
OWN, a co-venture of Oprah Winfrey’s Harpo company and Silver Spring-based Discovery Communications, also announced a third season pick up of “Oprah’s Master Class,” as well as additional episodes of “Welcome to Sweetie Pies,” which follows a former Ikette and her family at their St. Louis soul food restaurant of same name.
New series are: “Elura and Michele Take Staten Island,” “Iyania Fix My Life,” “Married to the Army: Alaska,” “Six Little McGhees,” and “Are Your Normal, America?”
-“Six Little McGhees” takes a page from Discovery’s TLC, following a married couple -- former high school sweethearts -- who rose above “impoverished roots” and have a family business as well as Columbus, Ohio’s first sextuplets. From sun up to sun down the cameras will be on the kids and their parents every day to document life with the “terrible two’s” approaching.
-TV producer Barry Poznick (“Are you Smarter Than a Fifth Grader”) and comic/actress Kim Coles (“Living Single”) will host the game show “Are You Normal, America?” based on the “Am I Normal” segment from Oprah’s now-shuttered syndicated talk show. Contestants will answer questions for a chance to win lots of cash -- questions like: “Have you ever peeked at your boyfriend’s emails?” “Have you ever done your household chores naked?” and “Do you and your spouse sleep in separate bedrooms?” Add a few “highly scientific and deeply revealing” polls, juries of “real” Americans, man-on-the-street polling, situations shot in the field, and in-studio demonstrations, and someone wins a cash prize. OWN promises the show will leave viewers comforted to learn we’re all pretty abnormal. Which apparently the network thinks is an underserved audience -- “Survivor,” Fear Factor,” “Are You Smarter Than a Fifth Grader,” everything on TLC, “What Would You Do,” “Cops,” “Extreme Makeover,” “The Bachelor,” “American Idol,” “Project Runway,” and TMZ not already serving that function.
-Stars of “Elura and Michele Take Staten Island” are two fast-talking, former prosecutor pals who “know how to tell it like it is” and now have clients willing to pay for their mediation services – and willing to have it aired on national TV.
-Author/motivational speaker Iyanla Vanzant has overcome “many personal struggles” OWN says, and will host “Iyanla Fix My Life” which “teaches us how to pull back the curtain on what is broken in our lives.”
-Also continuing Discovery’s love of all things Alaska, OWN has ordered “Married to the Army: Alaska” about wives of deployed soldiers – many sent to Afghanistan -- against the backdrop of the “rugged, demanding and extreme conditions of the last frontier.”