Posted by | Ray Cornelius

Things seem to be “on the up and up” for Oprah Winfrey and her network.

OWN announced yesterday that coming into 2013, numbers have increased in key demographics including total viewers (up 30 percent) and women ages 25-54 (up 32 percent).

The news couldn’t have come at a better time, since the network announced plans to add four original shows to its 2013 lineup including one from comedic actress Kym Whitley (more about this later). These programs will join Tyler Perry’s two new projects, “The Have and the Have Nots” and “Love Thy Neighbor” this spring.

“All of these new programs reflect the best of the human spirit. From the funny to the dramatic, we are always shooting for to-the-bone real. Whether it’s Oprah’s in-depth conversations with celebrities and newsmakers, or our new scripted programming from Tyler Perry, the people and characters in these shows share experiences and life stories in relatable and authentic ways,” says Sheri Salata, OWN president.

In addition to the new programs, Winfrey will continue her popular Oprah’s Next Chapter  with one-on-one interviews featuring rapper LL Cool J and Cissy Houston, one year after the passing of her daughter Whitney Houston.

Winfrey will also welcome more household names in the second season of Oprah’s Master Class  including Alicia Keys, Lenny Kravitz, Diahann Carroll and Berry Gordy, whose new Broadway show Motown: The Musical  debuts this spring.

Lastly, Winfrey will revisit some familiar faces in her Where Are They Now  series including reality-show vixen Omarosa, who recently lost her fiancé Michael Clarke Duncan, former basketball bad boy Dennis Rodman and rapper Bow Wow.

Here is a brief summary about the four new series premiering this year:

Blackboard Wars:

A docu-series that centers on the dramatic transformation of New Orleans’ John McDonogh High School, one of the most dangerous and under-performing high schools in the country, where more than half of its students fail to graduate.

Golden Sisters:

The real-life comedy chronicles the hilarious adventures of Mary, Josie & Teresa, three sisters who shot to fame after a web video of the women watching a celebrity sex tape went viral.

Raising Whitley:

A docu-series that centers on actress and comedienne Kym Whitley and her group of friends – whom she refers to as “The Village” – as they attempt to do something none of them have ever done before: raise a baby together.


The show revolves around James “Head” Guiliani, a former street enforcer for the mafia and one of John Gotti’s most trusted men, whose life-changing encounter with a stray dog inspired him to open Brooklyn’s top dog grooming parlor.

RC is looking forward to the awesome new lineup!