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OWN scores big ratings with Oprah’s Rihanna interview

Oprah Winfrey’s OWN channel has had ratings woes in the past, but it appears to be on an upswing lately, thanks to high-profile interviews such as the one Oprah conducted with Rihanna on Sunday. That episode of “Oprah’s Next Chapter” gave OWN its second-highest ratings to date.

The Rihanna interview had an audience of 2.5 million, second only to Oprah’s March interview with members of Whitney Houston’s family, including her teenage daughter, Bobbi Kristina. That interview was OWN’s highest rated program ever, with 3.5 million viewers.

Oprah traveled to Rihanna’s home in Barbados for the interview, in which the singer admitted that she and her ex-boyfriend Chris Brown are “still close” and that they “will always love each other.”

The high ratings for the Rihanna interview carried over into the premiere of the new series “Lovetown, USA,” which was OWN’s second-highest rated series debut, grabbing 758,000 viewers. The highest rated debut for OWN was the first episode of “Oprah’s Next Chapter.”

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Join Patrick Kevin Day on Google+ or Twitter. Email: patrick.day@latimes.com

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