The Oprah Winfrey Network recently acquired “RUNNING FROM CRAZY,” an interesting looking film about mental illness and the Hemingway family, but the network has also signaled that it would have less airtime set aside for documentaries, according to realscreen.
The OWN Doc Club had been a monthly national showcase for new documentaries, but the club’s most recent original doc “FAMILY AFFAIR,” a 2010 pic about the effect of child abuse on a family, dates all the way back to March. OWN also severed its ties with Ro*co Films, the distribution company it hired to help select docs for the club, in May.
Winfrey is not alone in her decision to spend less money promoting documentaries despite the growing popularity of the genre. In December, Participant Media announced its plans to close Documentary Channel, which has nearly 27 million viewers, and replace it with its own new yet-to-named television network to be launched in August. And Current TV, a network that has docs in heavy rotation, along with its well-know “Vanguard” documentary series, was recently purchased by the news organization Al Jazeera.
OWN’s pool of documentaries, in addition to “RUNNING FROM CRAZY,” a film directed by Academy Award-winner Barbara Kopple, includes: “BECOMING CHAZ,” “SONS OF PERDITION,” “NO WOMAN NO CRY,” “SERVING LIFE,” “LIFE 2.0,” “MOST VALUABLE PLAYERS,” “MISS REPRESENTATION,” “CRIME AFTER CRIME,” “ONE LUCKY ELEPHANT,” “LOUDER THAN A BOMB,” “LOVE ETC.” “TENT CITY USA,” “65_RED ROSES,” and “FAMILY AFFAIR.”