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Lisa Ling's new documentary series premieres to strong ratings on OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network

February 16, 2011 |  5:10 pm

Lisaling Lisa Ling says that the folks at OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network care less about ratings than content. Maybe that's so, but the numbers for Tuesday's premiere of Ling's new documentary series, "Our America," show how a recognizable name can still rope in viewers.

"Our America," which examines hot-button topics such as online bride services and sex offenses, averaged 574,000 total viewers durings its 10 p.m. time slot, according to the Nielsen Co. That's a modest total by broadcast standards, of course, but not bad at all for a cable network that's just 6 weeks old.

Ling, who developed a following years ago on "The View" and has more recently served as a field correspondent on Winfrey's syndicated show, delivered a better number than OWN did in prime time during its heavily promoted launch week last month (505,000 average). "Our America" also improved by 242% what Discovery Health — OWN's predecessor on cable systems — was doing a year ago.

The show was preceded at 9 p.m. by another premiere, a seven-episode documentary series about women in prison, "Breaking Down the Bars," which drew just 366,000 viewers.

Show Trackers, did you catch "Our America"? If so, what did you think?


With OWN's new series, 'Our America,' Lisa Ling wants people to 'think differently.' Is that enough?

— Scott Collins

Photo: Lisa Ling in Pasadena last month. Credit: Matt Sayles/Associated Press.