Upfronts 2012: OWN’s off to Alaska

A docuseries about military wives (Married to the Army: Alaska, pictured), as well as a look at an Ohio family juggling a family business with caring for sextuplets, are part of the upcoming fare slated for the U.S. cable net.
April 5, 2012

OWN: The Oprah Winfrey Network is rolling out four new unscripted primetime series in addition to a primetime game show for its upcoming slate.

The Discovery Communications/Harpo Inc. joint venture announced the series prior to Discovery Communications’ upfront event in New York City this afternoon.

The upcoming programs include the game show Are You Normal, America?, originally announced in January hosted by TV producer Barry Poznick (Are You Smarter than a Fifth Grader?) and comedian/actress Kim Coles. Contestants will find out through a mix of on-the-street polling, in-studio demonstrations and real-life situations shot “in the field” if certain behaviors (for instance, peeking at a significant other’s emails or doing household chores in the buff) are indeed “normal.” The series, slated for a summertime debut, comes from Harpo Studios and Zoo Productions.

The net will also head to U.S. factual TV hotspot Alaska via Married to the Army: Alaska (pictured), which looks at military wives stationed in America’s “last frontier.” It’s produced by 44 Blue Productions.

Elura and Michele Take Staten Island, from Picture Shack Entertainment, follows two former prosecutors who now offer mediation services.

Iyanla Fix My Life features motivational multi-hyphenate Iyanla Vanzant (author/inspirational speaker/talk show host), who will use her past experiences to help others negotiate life’s peaks and valleys. It’s produced by Harpo Studios.

Six Little McGhees follows Mia and Rozonno McGhee, the parents of Columbus, Ohio’s first set of sextuplets, as they juggle marriage, a family business, and their six toddlers. It’s produced by Candor Entertainment, in conjunction with Discovery Fit & Health and OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network.

The network has also picked up a third season of Oprah’s Master Class and 10 more episodes of Welcome to Sweetie Pie’s from Pilgrim Studios.

“We have solid momentum and are building the network with a strong mix of programs that connect and engage with our audience,” said OWN co-president Sheri Salata.  “The new series announced today are relevant shows with real stakes, real drama and a whole lot of heart. We look forward to sharing them with our viewers.”


About The Author
Andrew Tracy joined Realscreen as associate editor in 2021, following 17 years as managing editor of the award-winning international film magazine Cinema Scope. From 2010 to 2020 he also held the position of senior editor at the Toronto International Film Festival, where he oversaw the flagship publication for the organization’s year-round Cinematheque programming and edited its first original monograph in a decade, Steve Gravestock’s A History of Icelandic Film. He was a scriptwriter and consultant on the first season of the Vice TV series The Vice Guide to Film, and his writing and reporting have been featured in such outlets as Cinema Scope, Reverse Shot, Sight & Sound, Cineaste, Film Comment, MUBI Notebook, POV, and Montage.