The Oprah Winfrey Network has decided to no longer run episodes of their Army spouse reality show Married to the Army: Alaska on a weekly basis, and has instead pushed the final three episodes to a three-hour block on the last Saturday in December.
In the few short weeks that have followed the show's Nov. 19 premier, the network has shifted episodes to multiple time blocks during the week, leaving fans confused about when they can catch new episodes -- or schedule their DVRs to do it for them.
The news did not sit well with at least one of the show's stars - Army spouse Traci Moran. In a blunt Facebook message she left on the OWN Facebook page, she told the network that she felt used. She said that after months of abiding by the schedule of the producers and sharing her life with the camera, it was unfair for the network to air the rest of the show all in one day.
The Facebook post has since been deleted.
Some commenters on the OWN site were also not pleased with the programming change.
Here's one of the comments:
"So you have moved the show once again. No wonder it failed and the OWN network is failing. It is hard for someone to keep up with a show when you change it every week. I don't pretend to know the TV biz but I do watch TV and if one of my shows kept changing I could see how ratings would go down. I wish OWN would have given it a chance and not moved it week after week just because of ratings. To Bad OWN To Bad."
That the OWN network is struggling to find ratings has been widely reported. Both the Alaska Army wives show, and the resurrection of Oprah's Favorite Things (which, this year, were given to military spouses) were seen as a bid by the TV industry as a bid to bring up ratings.
While OWN officials did not confirm that the ratings for the show are low, they did say in a statement released Dec. 13 that the move is aimed at digging up a bigger audience.
"OWN is very proud of 'Married to the Army: Alaska' and grateful to the women who allowed us to help share their stories and the important contributions of military spouses and their families through 'Married to the Army: Alaska.' The scheduling changes to the series were made to help try and find a larger audience for the show and viewers can see the remaining three episodes which are scheduled to air on Saturday, December 29," the statement said.
Do you plan on watching the remaining episodes? What have you thought of this show as a whole? Does the fact that it at least appears to be struggling for ratings surprise you?