The Hollywood Reporter brings us news of Oprah Winfrey’s latest television venture–and it’s not for her gradually improving cable network OWN. Her Harpo Films banner is producing an untitled drama about a black college president who attracts controversy on a national level.
As she prepares to work with a new network entirely, Ms. Winfrey has seen Read More
Jason Russell, the director whose “Kony 2012″ video went viral this spring prior to Mr. Russell’s arrest for alleged public masturbation and vandalism, is to re-emerge with an interview on the October 7 episode of OWN’s Oprah’s Next Chapter. It’s a next chapter for Mr. Russell, too, whose alleged that he had a Read More
Book publishers got a pleasant surprise this weekend when Oprah Winfrey announced she has relaunched her influential book club—the imprimatur of debatable literary value (Jonathan Franzen famously sniffed at it) that can drive enough sales to put an obscure author on the map or keep an imprint in the black. (Mr. Franzen came crawling back for his next novel.)
As Ms. Winfrey tells it, she had to bring back the club because she loved Cheryl Strayed‘s hiking memoir Wild so much.
Bloomberg Businessweek digs into Oprah Winfrey’s difficulties with kick-starting her OWN cable network–a struggle she herself has described as “climbing Kilimanjaro.” OWN’s losses may be as much as $330 million, potentially forcing its parent company, Discovery, to take a write-off.
OWN has suffered what might be more significant than growing pains–its initial ratings were a Read More
Woe betide our republic of letters! The shadowy culture arbiters who serve on the Pulitzer Prize board have withheld their favor from the field of American novels published in 2011. Booksellers, writers and critics have been up in arms ever since news of the non-award broke in mid-April. In a cri de coeur published in the New York Times’s op-ed pages, novelist Ann Patchett—who also runs an independent bookstore in Nashville—decried the committee’s abstention as a cause for “indignation” and, indeed, “rage.”
“I can’t imagine there was ever a year when we were so in need of the excitement the [fiction Pulitzer] creates in readers,” Ms. Patchett wrote.
It’s easy to miss, amid Ms. Patchett’s vehemence, the patent condescension that prize-dependent marketing visits upon American readers. In her distinctly arid account of readerly engagement, news of a prestigious laurel is what’s needed to generate “the buzz,” as she puts it, “that is so often lacking.” But the question is far better turned on its head: If an entire industry must rely on aloof prize boards to gin up sustained interest, then the trouble would seem to be the industry itself, rather than the prize boards or the consumers.
tonight in dvr
In a rare moment of web savvy, Conde Nast fashion flagship Vogue posted its March cover story about Adele this morning at midnight, just a few hours after the British singer swept the six Grammy awards for which she was nominated.
We’re here to tell you just how to set your DVR before heading out for drinks or dinner–or just watching something better on TV!
We haven’t watched Rosie O’Donnell’s nightly show on the Oprah Winfrey Network–her humor, predicated always on a lot of Hollywood references, seems to have devolved into just saying the names Read More
Just Go With It
Oprah Winfrey’s OWN project received $46 million from its parent company, Discovery, in the last quarter of 2010 and will get $50 million over 2011–on top of their initial $189 million investment. Oprah’s network has suffered from a great number of reruns–and lack of original programming–that have kept its earnings relatively depressed. As Read More
In the promotional churn for her new film with Adam Sandler, Jennifer Aniston let slip to Oprah that she’d once weighed taking a role on Saturday Night Live instead of the Friends pilot. Makes sense that she joined the Friends cast–she’s a Los Angeles actress through and through. But was the offer ever Read More
In September, Oprah Winfrey chose Freedom, the near-universally praised new novel by Jonathan Franzen, as a selection for her book club. This was significant for reasons apart from the fact that every Franzen-related tidbit — from stolen glasses to leaked copies to typos in the British edition — became headline news. Read More