OWN execs talk about network’s climb, Lohan series

07/27/2013 12:00 AM

07/26/2013 4:10 PM

– The upcoming Lindsay Lohan series on OWN will be more documentary than reality show.

OWN and Harpo Studios presidents Erik Logan and Sheri Salata told journalists Thursday attending the annual Television Critics Association press tour that filmmaker Amy Rice will direct the series.

Rice directed the 2009 documentary “By the People: The Election of Barack Obama.” The series will be produced by Pilgrim Studios, and Oprah Winfrey will appear on the show.

In a one-on-one interview with the Associated Press, Logan expanded on plans for the show, saying “part of what makes this opportunity very exciting (is) because I don’t think it’s going to be anything that anybody expects.”

Logan said Winfrey is currently on vacation, and with Lohan still in rehab, the direction of the series will unfold once the two begin talking.

The partnership will begin with an exclusive interview to tape and air in August, followed by an eight-part series slated to air in 2014.

As for reports of a $2million deal for Lohan to agree to do the show, Logan and Salata would not comment.

“We don’t comment on any of the deals that we have with any of our partners through any of our contracts,” said Logan. “Those are all confidential and proprietary. We have a great partner with Lindsay’s manager and her team. They’ve been very collaborative and I think they’re all aligned with potentially what we want to accomplish, so we’re excited about getting to work about it.”

The Lohan “get” is just one in a long line of big interviews that Winfrey has managed to snag since launching OWN – the biggest arguably being with Lance Armstrong in February.

“Here’s another little secret,” said Salata. “Oprah, we’re finding out, is quite the booker herself. Oprah booked Lance Armstrong. The truth is it’s such a huge advantage. It is competitive to get interviews, especially exclusive and first ones, but what a huge advantage. You’re going to sit down with Oprah Winfrey and she’s going to help you tell your story.”

Winfrey has also interviewed Beyonce, Rihanna and Whitney Houston’s daughter, Bobbi Kristina, not long after the death of her mother.

OWN is now the fastest growing cable network in America for women ages 25-54. With programming like “Welcome to Sweetie Pie’s” about former Ikette Robbie Montgomery and “Iyanla: Fix My Life,” OWN has proven to be very popular with African-American women, an audience Logan said they appreciate but want to build upon.

“One of the great blessings in the network’s growth in the last couple of years was this audience started to gravitate toward the network faster than others. … When you find an audience, you nurture that audience, but when you pull yourself away from it and you look at the Oprah brand, the African-American audience is really only a part of it and what you see is a broad brand, a very encompassing brand and so … I think Lindsay Lohan is an example of how the brand is going to continue to expand.”

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