Oprah Winfrey Network Is Same Old 'Reality TV Dreck'

The talk show queen missed a real opportunity
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 1, 2011 6:04 PM CST
In this May 3, 2010 file photo, Oprah Winfrey arrives at the Metropolitan Museum of Art Costume Institute gala in New York.   (AP Photo/Evan Agostini, File)

(Newser) – Oprah Winfrey is legendary—and considering she “literally changed the face of daytime television,” it’s really too bad that her new network serves up a bunch of “voyeuristic dreck,” writes Jennifer E. Mabry on The Root. Instead of “ambitious, adventurous, and creative” programming, we have shows about Rosie O’Donnell, the Duchess of York, Naomi and Wynonna Judd, and Ryan and Tatum O’Neal. Even the programs not centered around celebrities just mine the already over-exposed areas of “cooking, makeovers parenting, medicine, and self-improvement.”

Why didn’t Oprah choose to air “original scripted programming aimed primarily at upwardly mobile, upper-middle-class black folk”? Mabry wonders. Through Harpo Films, Winfrey has already produced quite a bit of “high-quality, black-themed fare.” And with Black Entertainment Television having devolved into mostly “cheaply produced, bosom-bearing music videos,” there’s a dearth of programming for one long-ignored demographic: “upwardly mobile black professionals.” Click for more on today's Oprah Winfrey Network launch.

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