Whitney Houston had to pass away and Oprah had to do the interview with her daughter in order to finally grab an audience number that wasn’t embarrassing:
LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – Oprah Winfrey’s interview with the teenage daughter of late singer Whitney Houston was watched by some 3.5 million U.S. viewers on Sunday, the largest audience ever for Winfrey’s fledgling OWN TV channel.
On network television, though, the number of viewers would’ve likely been many times this. Even a more established cable channel would’ve delivered more eyeballs.
The problem for Oprah is that this was a very unique situation and even when that occurred on her channel, the numbers were weak.