Oprah profit-free network said to hemorrhage $330 million

Oprah Winfrey embraces Bobbi Kristina, daughter of the late singer Whitney Houston, during an interview in Atlanta for “Oprah’s Next Chapter” on the OWN network. Harpo Inc.
Oprah Winfrey embraces Bobbi Kristina, daughter of the late singer Whitney Houston, during an interview in Atlanta for “Oprah’s Next Chapter” on the OWN network. Harpo Inc.
Posted: May 09, 2012

How hurtin’ is Oprah Winfrey’s network, OWN? Massively. Last week, an article in Bloomberg Businessweek guessed that the cable joint, born 2008, may have lost upward of $330 million. Not Oprah’s money; she has no personal financial stake in the venture. Still, her name is on it, OWN has seen flagging viewership, and there have been a few high-profile duds (this means you, Rosie O’Donnell!). O’s show, Oprah’s Next Chapter, has been getting pretty good numbers, with savvily chosen guests, such as Whitney Houston’s family. Oprah remains indomitable: She says that while you could call the network “101 Mistakes” so far, she is in it for the long haul. A sentiment, by the way, you very seldom hear in TV-world.

Hurray for PhillyWood!

Dead Man Down, starring Lafayette Hill’s own Terrence Howard, is now filming in town. It’s playing stand-in for New York. Wednesday, they filmed a gun battle at 17th and Walnut. Next day, TH was there, hanging out with Philly folk. TH also shot a scene with Armand Assante at the Latham Hotel. Colin Farrell has been scampering around rooftops with a gun. On CBS3, coproducer Joseph Zolfo said Philly shooting was skedded for 35 days, with an old Navy Yard hangar as a sound stage. He correctly said that Philly is film-friendly and cheaper than N.Y.C.

Summer lunch concerts scheduled

The city has announced its Wednesday lunchtime summer concert series. They’ll hold forth from noon to 1:30 Wednesdays from June 6 to the end of August. Locations vary. If it rains, they’ll move to either Reading Terminal (12th and Filbert) or the Gallery (Ninth and Market). It’s a nicely eclectic lineup, starting June 6 with the goodtime Cajun allons-danser of Alligator Zydeco at 1601 Market (rain location: Reading Terminal); on June 13 it’s rockabilly with Gas Money at Centre Square, 1500 Market (Gallery rain); on June 20 it’s Brazilian niceness with Minas at Café Cret, that cute coffeeplace/restaurant at 16th and Parkway (Reading if rain). Nice. For the whole schedule, check out Philly.com at http://bit.ly/J8X5zC.

Dictator attacks ‘Today’ show

Raise your foot if you think that what Sacha Baron Cohen does to promote his movies is even funnier than the films. As the world can’t avoid knowing, SBC (Da Ali G Show, Brüno, Borat) has a new film out May 16 called The Dictator. He hit NBC’s Today Monday morn, where, as dictator Admiral General Shabazz Aladeen, with hilariously exaggerated Castroesque beard and Gadhafiesque military hat (the hair not on host Matt Lauer’s head seemed to sprout from the Dictator’s beard), he said unacceptable things in all directions. He told a mildly frantic Lauer that he (Dictator) had infecundated Oprah Winfrey, taken Megan Fox on a date, and kidnapped Lauer’s wife. Then he accused Lauer and his Today coanchor, the lovely and perfect Ann Curry, of backstage illicitness. All funny lies.

Why if you’re French, you’re more fun

France is more fun than us and here’s why: You can have a president whose wife is a pop star and model known to have been nude, and it’s no big. Take Nicolas Sarkozy, just fired as head French guy. His wife is the lovely and talented singer/model/actress Carla Bruni. Well, the new guy, François Hollande, can beat that. He’s not even married to his womanperson! In the United These Here States, that’d be enough to electrocute your goat politically, but over there, ç’est né pas grave (that’s French, for either “it’s no big deal” or “how many cattle wear hats in your hotel, yet?”). (Of course, being a socialist, as François is, would also sink your dinghy.) Her name? Valerie Trierweiler, and she wants you to call her his “companion.” She’s twice-divorced, is mother to three kids, and … she’s a journalist!!! Kiss of death! Why can’t we play like that??? Such fun we’d have!

Huge Twitter news, yo!

We interrupt this “SideShow” to let you know that Demi Moore, now in mid-dislocation from Ashton Kutcher, has made her new status official: She has changed her Twitter handle. Used to be @mrskutcher; now it’s @justdemi She has 5 million followers.

Infinitesimally small tiny items

The Parents Television Council, aghast that Howard Stern is about to start being a judge with Sharon Osbourne and Howie Mandel on NBC’s America’s Got Talent, is trying to pressure advertisers to ditch the show. Betcha Howard is just brokenhearted. … Lindsay Lohan has settled out of court with Dawn Holland, a worker at Betty Ford rehab clinic who claims LiLo hurt her in 2010 when Holland tried to administer a Breathalyzer test when, says Holland, LiLo entered in diminished capacity. … Justin Bieber, 18, has graduated from high school, not that he needed to, but his mom asked. His sweetikins Selena Gomez did it in 2010. Plenty of stars, such as Beyoncé, LiLo, and Britney Spears, have not. Not that they need to. … Stuart Dunn, given 36 months’ probation earlier this year for unauthorized entry of Mila Kunis’ home, was detained Friday, allegedly for stalking her in front of her gym. … Nadya “Octomom” Suleman began filming her first porn film, a solo work, shall we say?, last week in the San Fernando Valley. Good to see stars branching out. … Don’t Be a Star and Drive, Pt. MCMXIII: Matthew Fox (Lost) was busted on a DUI Friday in Oregon. “So what?” says accomplished crazy driver Amanda Bynes, who, after last month’s DUI and assorted mishaps, sideswiped a truck and got pulled over. Hand over those keys! … Country guy Jake Owen had a police moment Saturday down in Vero Beach, Fla., for excessive Cinco de Mayo observance. But by Monday at dawn, he was having a barefoot beach wedding with model Lacey Buchanan. Monday morning, he tweeted: “My face hurts from smiling. What a wonderful way to start the rest of my life.”


Contact “SideShow” at sideshow@phillynews.com. This article contains information from Inquirer wire services and websites.

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