Tag: OWN

Debbie Allen, Tracee Ellis Ross and Nina Shaw To Be Honored At ESSENCE’s Black Women in Hollywood Event

BWIH 2016
Nina Shaw, Tracee Ellis Ross and Debbie Allen (photo via essence.com)

From Essence.com:  ESSENCE is gearing up to honor and celebrate three bright talents in entertainment for our 9th annual Black Women in Hollywood event.

Black-ish star Tracee Ellis Ross will take home the Fierce & Fearless award, iconic director, producer and actress Debbie Allen is being honored with the Legend award, and entertainment attorney Nina Shaw will be presented with the Lincoln Power award.

In a climate where the conversation surrounding the roles, contributions and recognition of African-Americans in Hollywood is heavily charged, ESSENCE Editor-in-Chief Vanessa K. De Luca points out the importance of the event.

“We are delighted to continue the tradition of honoring exceptionally talented women who are making significant contributions as creators and performers in Hollywood. At a time when the conversation about diversity in Hollywood remains prevalent, recognizing the indomitable power and presence of Tracee Ellis Ross, Debbie Allen and Nina Shaw at our annual Black Women in Hollywood Luncheon embraces an inclusive and diverse Hollywood community.”

The Black star power doesn’t end with the phenomenal honorees! The event will also feature appearances by Oprah Winfrey, Shonda Rhimes, Nick Cannon, Ryan Coogler and Zendaya to name a few.

Fans can get full access to the event by tuning into the live stream on ESSENCE.com starting at 12:15 p.m. PT/3:15 p.m ET on February 25.

Black Women in Hollywood be televised as an ESSENCE and OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network special airing Saturday, February 27 at 10 p.m ET/PT on OWN.

OWN Drama Series “Queen Sugar” Casts Dawn-Lyen Gardner, Kofi Siriboe & Omar J. Dorsey In Lead Roles

Queen Sugar cast
(Courtesy of OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network)

Written, directed and executive produced by Duvernay, the contemporary series is adapted from the first-time novel by Natalie Baszile. It centers on Nova Bordelon (Wesley), a formidable journalist and activist based in New Orleans. Her life, and that of her brother and their extended family, undergoes significant change when her sister, Charley, returns to Louisiana from Los Angeles to help run the family sugarcane farm. Oprah Winfrey will have a recurring role on the show.

Gardner will play Charley Bordelon West, the charismatic and savvy manager and wife of professional basketball superstar Davis West, with whom she has a challenging, conflicted relationship. The proud mother of Micah, Charley is originally from New Orleans, but never seems to get the time to go back home in the midst of her busy, exciting and public life in Los Angeles.

Siriboe is Ralph Angel Bordelon, the youngest Bordelon sibling. Formerly incarcerated and somewhat worn out by life, Ralph Angel is trying to make a new start — and find a job — while raising his beloved 6-year-old son Blue with the help of family members, notably his aunt Violet. Dorsey will play Hollywood Desonier, a rugged, resourceful man and staunch supporter of the Bordelon family. The longtime boyfriend of Violet Bordelon (aunt to Charley, Nova and Ralph Angel), Hollywood clearly loves her — and doesn’t think anything of their 20-year age difference.

article by Denise Petski via deadline.com

Rutina Wesley Cast in Ava DuVernay’s new OWN Series “Queen Sugar”

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Retina Wesley (ETHAN MILLER/GETTY IMAGES)

It’s been almost two years since HBO’s True Blood aired its series finale, but Rutina Wesley is still a familiar face to many people, and now Wesley has been tapped to star in Ava DuVernay’s upcoming OWN series, Queen Sugar.

Adapted from the novel written by Natalie BaszileQueen Sugar tells the story of Nova Bordelon (Wesley), a journalist-activist based in New Orleans, whose life is turned upside down when her sister returns to Louisiana from Los Angeles to help run the family’s sugarcane farm. DuVernay is writing and directing the series, and Oprah Winfrey will also make a few guest appearances.

Earlier this year, Winfrey and DuVernay discussed how the series came to be.

“I loved this book and immediately saw it as a series for OWN,” said Winfrey. “The story’s themes of reinventing your life, parenting alone, family connections and conflicts, and building new relationships are what I believe will connect our viewers to this show.”

“From the moment I was introduced to the book, I was captivated by the idea of a modern woman wrestling with identity, family, culture and the echoes of history,” DuVernay added. “To bring this kind of storytelling to life alongside Oprah for her network is wildly wonderful. I’m excited about what’s in store.”

article by Yesha Callahan via theroot.com

Oprah Winfrey’s OWN Delivers Its Most-Watched Year in the Network’s History

oprah & own logo

OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network closed out 2015 as its most-watched year in the network’s history, achieving its fourth consecutive year of double-digit prime growth in total viewers (up +13% with 487,000 total viewers).

2015 was also the network’s best year ever and fourth year of growth in the key 25-54 demographic for women (W25-54, up +10% vs. 2014).  OWN’s W25-54 prime average ranked #25 among ad-supported cable networks, up +4 spots vs. 2014.

OWN is the fastest-growing top 25 ad-supported cable network in prime among W25-54 and is one of only two ad-supported cable networks to have achieved double-digit prime growth in total viewers in each of the past four years.  Additionally, OWN was the #2 cable network in prime among African-American women.

For 2015, OWN was the #1 cable network for women and the #1 network on all of TV among African-American women and total viewers on Tuesday nights.  Popular Tuesday night series “The Haves and the Have Nots” and “If Loving You is Wrong,” from Tyler Perry, both ranked among the top seven original scripted series on ad-supported cable for W25-54 and were primetime’s top two original cable series among African-American women.

Both series ranked among Tuesday night’s top three original cable series for W25-54 and W18+ and were Tuesday night’s top two original series on all of TV among African-American women and total viewers.

OWN was Saturday night’s #2 network on all of TV among African-American women.  Saturdays on OWN yielded the top nine original series on ad-supported cable (non-sports) among all African-American women.

These popular series included: “Iyanla: Fix My Life,” “Welcome to Sweetie Pie’s,” “Legends: OWN at the Apollo,” “Livin’ Lozada,” “Raising Whitley,” “Flex & Shanice,” “2 Fat 2 Fly,” “Deion’s Family Playbook” and “Oprah: Where Are They Now?”

Additionally, on Friday nights, OWN was the #2 cable network among African-American women.  Comedy series “For Better or Worse” and “Love Thy Neighbor,” both from Tyler Perry, ranked among Friday night’s top three original cable series for African-American women.

Source: The Nielsen Company

Read more at http://www.eurweb.com/2016/01/own-delivers-its-most-watched-year-in-network-history/#m4qu5jyL3i8xhIh4.99

OWN Promotes Jill Dickerson to Senior Vice President of Programming and Development

Jill Dickerson OWN
OWN Senior Vice President Jill Dickerson (Photo: COURTESY OF OWN)

OWN has promoted Jill Dickerson to senior vice president of programming and development, the cable channel announced Friday.

Dickerson has been serving as vice president of programming and marketing since 2009 and has worked on the OWN series “Welcome to Sweetie Pie’s,” “Flex & Shanice,” Deion’s Family Playbook” as well as Holly Robinson Peete and Rodney Peete’s upcoming “For Peete’s Sake” and the new primetime show featuring Rev Run and Tyrese Gibson. In her new role, she will continue to collaborate with producers in the development of nonfiction programming for OWN and supervise editorial management of outside production.

“We are thrilled to announce Jill Dickerson’s move up to the next level in her career as she has been integral to OWN’s success,” said OWN prexy Sheri Salata. “Jill is an exceptional team player and a seasoned pro who brings a wealth of experience in non-scripted television to our programming efforts.”

Dickerson has a strong background in the reality TV world and her previous credits include serving as consulting producer and head writer for the Sydney, Hollywood and Brooklyn seasons of MTV’s “The Real World.” She also was a series producer for TLC’s “Miami Ink,” supervising producer for the VH1 series “My Fair Brady,” and co-executive producer on “Venus & Serena: For Real.”

article by Whitney Frielander via variety.com

OWN Picks Up Reality TV Show Starring Flex Alexander and Shanice Wilson That Showcases Black Love And Family

OWN-has-ordered-eight-more-episodes-of-Flex-and-Shanices-reality-show.-www.naturallymoi.com_-300x200Oprah Winfrey’s OWN Network has picked up a new reality series coming this fall titled, “Flex and Shanice.”

The show— which features the dynamic family life of “One on One” actor Flex Alexander and his wife, R&B singer Shanice Wilson — aired a test-episode on May 31st and garnered great audience numbers. According to Multichannel News, almost 500,000 people tuned in, which was a 25 percent increase in viewers in the 10PM time-slot compared to last year. The special was the night’s number one program for African-American women between ages 25-54 and 18-49, reported Eurweb.

“Saturday nights on OWN have become the place to be for viewers seeking great family entertainment, and we are pleased to share the newest members of our family with our audience,” said Sheri Salata, OWN co-president. “Flex, Shanice and their big, loud, loving brood are not unlike many families today who have combined resources in order to get through some tough times. Seeing how their love, laughter, and enduring faith in one another makes even the most challenging of days worthwhile is both entertaining and inspiring. We think our viewers are really going to connect with them.”

The reality show will not only focus on family, but will also delve into the financial issues that Flex and Shanice have experienced over the years. Flex sat down with Yahoo Music and said that the series will display some of the ‘ups and downs of the [entertainment] business.’ “You’re making money. You think it’s just going to continue to go on…and then reality hits, and you’re looking like, ‘Wow, there’s nothing in the account,” said Flex.

OWN’s Saturday nights will also include “Iyanla: Fix My Life,” “Six Little McGhees,” “Deion’s Family Playbook,” “Life With La Toya,” “Welcome To Sweetie Pie’s” and “Raising Whitley.”

article by Kacie Whaley via naturallymoi.com

Oprah Winfrey’s OWN Solidifies Profits with Higher Ratings and Ad Revenues

(Photo by Evan Agostini/Invision/AP, File)
(Photo by Evan Agostini/Invision/AP, File)

LOS ANGELES (AP) — The Oprah Winfrey Network (OWN) is in the black for the first time since its rocky start two-and-a-half years ago. More than 30 new advertisers are joining original heavyweight sponsors Procter & Gamble and General Electric, and are paying higher rates as the channel has found its programming and distribution footing.  Headlines about profitability and audience growth have replaced the drumbeat of speculation that her ambitious venture with Discovery Communications might end up a costly flop and an uncharacteristic failure for Winfrey.

Now, Winfrey says, “rewarding” is the word for her experience at OWN, both as the chairwoman and CEO shaping the channel and as a viewer lodestone who hosts several series including “Oprah’s Next Chapter” and “Oprah’s Lifeclass.”

“I no longer have such fear and anxiety about it. I really have more confidence in my decisions,” Winfrey said. “In the beginning, I was in a lot of meetings where people said, ‘You don’t understand cable.’ … I’d say, ‘But I do understand the audience. Aren’t people the same?’”

The answer is yes, says Winfrey, who’s enjoying a career renaissance with OWN’s turnaround and her return to big-screen acting in “Lee Daniels’ The Butler,” No. 1 at the box office for two weeks with more than $50 million in tickets sales.

Her confidence in OWN also is backed up by numbers.  For the year to date, viewership is up 22 percent among the target audience of adult women and 23 percent among all viewers compared to last year, according to Nielsen Co. In the third quarter, prime-time viewership among women 25 to 54 and total viewers each are up more than 60 percent compared to 2012.  For August, OWN drew a channel-high 536,000 prime-time viewers, a fraction of the millions that watched Winfrey’s talk show but respectable for a developing cable channel.

Continue reading “Oprah Winfrey’s OWN Solidifies Profits with Higher Ratings and Ad Revenues”

Oprah’s OWN Orders More of Tyler Perry’s “Haves and Have Nots”, Picks Up “All My Children”

the-haves-and-have-nots

It looks the Oprah Winfrey Network has finally found its stride. After the success of “The Haves and Have Nots,” which enjoyed OWN’s highest-rated debut with 1.8 million viewers, the network is making a play to appeal to the soap opera-loving crowd by picking up “All My Children” and “One Life To Live.”

OWN has acquired the first 40 episodes of both soaps and will air them for a 10-week run this summer. Erik Logan, one of OWN’s presidents, told The Hollywood Reporter:

“These shows have proven to be very popular with a significant, loyal fan base, not to mention Oprah herself is a big fan. Many of our viewers across numerous platforms have expressed their passion for the soaps so we are especially excited to air this limited engagement on OWN.”

OWN will continue to cater to the same passionate niche audience with “The Haves and Have Nots.” The network ordered 16 more episodes of the drama, which brings the episode tally to 32. The first run of 16 will end on September 3rd, and the second half will premiere early next year.

article via clutchmagonline.com

Bill Duke’s ‘Dark Girls’ Headed to OWN; More Films in the Making

ddark girlsBill Duke’s thought-provoking film, “Dark Girls” is headed to Oprah Winfrey’s OWN Network this June.

The documentary first emerged in 2011 at the Toronto International Film Festival and had great promise of becoming something bigger and better. But it never turned up as a national theater release and continued to tour across the country.

Duke announced in 2012 at the Pan African Film Festival in Los Angeles, that he was in the middle of developing two feature documentaries as follow ups to “Dark Girls.”

“Yellow Brick Road” will look at the ‘colorism’ issue from the perspective of light-skinned Black women. The other documentary, “What Is A Man?” will explore masculinity and manhood as it has transformed from the beginning of time to present day. Filming for the project has already begun and it turns out Duke has been interviewing people from all around the world.

Watch the trailer for “Dark Girls” below:

article by Brittney M. Walker via eurweb.com

Oprah Winfrey Named Harvard College Commencement Speaker for 2013

Oprah WInfrey
Courtesy of Harpo, Inc. (Photograph by Cliff Watts/Oprah Winfrey)

OPRAH WINFREY, the first African-American woman to become a billionaire, has built an empire with her oratorical gifts and ability to engage with people of all ranks and backgrounds. Now she will share words of wisdom with the Class of 2013 and other Harvard graduates, their families, and alumni by serving as principal speaker at Harvard’s 362nd Commencement, the University announced today.

“I was taught to read at an early age,” Winfrey told the Academy of Achievement in 2011. “By the time I was three, I was reciting speeches in the church. They’d put me up on the program, and say, ‘Little Mistress Winfrey will render a recitation.’”

In what was called “a transformative moment for the television business” by The New York Times, Winfrey made history in May 2011 by ending the Emmy Award-winning Oprah Winfrey Show to start her own cable channel (OWN, short for the Oprah Winfrey Network)—the first time a talk-show host has created an entire channel. “I’m not going away, I’m just changing,” she said to the Times. “I’m just creating another platform for myself, which eventually will be wider and broader than what I have now.” In January 2013, for example, OWN received widespread attention when Lance Armstrong chose Winfrey as his confidant for a confessional interview about his long-denied use of performance-enhancing drugs. (Winfrey’s original, nationally syndicated show ran for 24 seasons, tackling topics such as divorce, sexual abuse, and philanthropic issues, and featuring exclusive interviews with celebrities and world leaders alike. It drew an audience of more than 40 million viewers a week in the United States and reached 150 countries around the world.)

Continue reading “Oprah Winfrey Named Harvard College Commencement Speaker for 2013”

The Good Things Black People Do, Give and Receive All Over The World
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