Mark Burnett-produced chatfest was set to debut in March
The Oprah Winfrey Network has shut down an untitled in-development daytime talkshow that was to be exec produced by Mark Burnett.Decision was made by network topper Christina Norman, who gave no specific reason for the cancellation except to say the cabler was focusing more on its primetime slate. The hourlong talker was designed to have multiple hosts, similar to ABC’s “The View” and CBS’ “The Talk.” OWN was eyeing a March launch. Burnett already works with OWN as exec producer on reality competish skein “Oprah’s Search for the Next TV Star.” “We have to be really smart about what goes on our air and when,” said Norman, who added that there are about 40 shows in development. OWN’s current daytime sked includes “The Best of Trading Spaces,” “Cristina Ferrare’s Big Bowl of Love” and “The Gayle King Show,” which launched just two weeks ago. Behind a large publicity push, ratings for the net started strong following its Jan. 1 debut — 1 million viewers for the opening weekend — but have since softened. Net is planning to premiere a handful of shows in February, including “Our America With Lisa Ling,” which debuts Feb. 16. Among the new series OWN is adding to its sked in the coming months is newly greenlit skein “Home Takeover With Simon and Tomas,” an hourlong with a six-episode order. Scandinavian interior designers Simon Davies and Tomas Cederlund will front the series, scheduled to premiere March 28. OWN chief creative officer Lisa Erspamer said the pair has a “unique sense of style.” “Their over-the-top personalities also make them fun to watch as they perform their design magic and literally move into the homes they are helping,” Erspamer said. Chris Cowan, Ray Giuliani and Jean-Michel Michenaud exec produce for OWN via Angel City Factory. Also, with Winfrey’s revelation that she has a half-sister, Monday’s “The Oprah Winfrey Show” averaged a 9.6 household rating. That’s the highest rating since Feb. 28, 2005, the day following the Oscars in which she featured some of the previous night’s winners as guests.