Oprah Winfrey reveals she had 'anxiety' about OWN
Oprah Winfrey has shown she can conquer almost any form of media, however, the long time daytime talk show host admits that she "had a lot of anxiety" about launching OWN: The Oprah Winfrey Network.
"First it was, 'Wowee, omigosh, a network!' And then it was, 'What in the world have I done?' and, 'Can I really do this?' " she said in an interview with Parade magazine.
The network debuted on Saturday with a one-hour preview special hosted by Winfrey. OWN replaces the Discovery Health network and will be available in more than 80 million homes, according to the Associated Press. The network was first announced three years ago as a venture between Winfrey's HARPO production company and Discovery Communications.
Winfrey says she started the network because she felt television programmers were creating shows for "the lowest common denominator" and admits she's not a fan of "The Real Housewives" franchise. "I happened to be on the treadmill one night and passed one of the 'Housewives' shows -- I don't know which city -- and literally my mouth was open 'cause I thought, 'This is on television?'"
She adds, "I recognize that there's a whole group of people who find that very entertaining. I wonder for how long. I think that there are people who want to be fed just a little more."
"What I want to do is build a channel that is a respite for your mind, an oasis of stimulation, that you come away from with little pieces of light" Winfrey said about her network programming. "I'm aiming for a moment where somebody could say, 'I never thought of it that way before.' I just love that."
The talk show host also spoke candidly about the possibility of her network failing to connect with viewers. "What will be a failure is if nobody comes and watches this network. What others will perceive as failure is if some shows don't succeed," she said. "I'm concerned about the bigger overall picture: my belief that people are basically good and want to see the good in them reflected through their experiences and the shows that they watch."
Winfrey's daytime talk show is set to end in June after 25 years on air.