Oprah Winfrey Network scores best ratings ever thanks to African-American women

theGRIO REPORT - The Oprah Winfrey Network scored its most-watched quarter in network history thanks to several must-see TV programs for African American women...

Luther Vandross was outed as gay after his death.

Oprah Winfrey and her TV network were once plagued by poor ratings, but now they have a reason to celebrate.

OWN, the first, and so far only, network inspired by a single individual, scored its most-watched quarter in network history, averaging 508,000 total viewers and delivering double-digit growth across all demos versus the previous quarter, making OWN the fastest-growing cable network for women 25-54.

Additionally, quarter 1 marked the network’s highest quarterly rank in women 25-54 among all ad-supported cable networks and #4 for African-American women ages 25 to 54.

OWN was the number-one cable network on Tuesday and Wednesday nights for African-American women in quarter 1 of 2014.

Tyler Perry’s hit drama series The Haves and the Have Nots boasted five episodes that attracted over three million total viewers. (The March 11 season finale was the most-watched telecast in OWN history with 3.6 million viewers.)

The Haves and the Have Nots is also the #1 original series on all of TV for African-American women on Tuesday nights.

On Wednesday nights, Love Thy Neighbor was the #1 original cable series for African-American women 25-54 and total viewers.

OWN was also Saturday night’s #2 network on all of TV for African-American women 25-54.

The network’s popular Saturday-night lineup garnered solid numbers with Raising Whitley hitting a season high with a .72 rating in women 25-54 for its season finale on March 8, up +300% versus the year-ago time period and was Saturday night’s #1 telecast for African-American women 25-54.

Lastly OWN’s new series Deion’s Family Playbook, starring Deion Sanders and Tracey Edmonds, saw a .84 rating for women 25-54 and 946,000 for its March 29 episode, its strongest performance across all key demos and #1 in the time period on all of TV for African-American women 25-54.

Last month Tyler Perry, who has an exclusive multi-year production deal at OWN, shocked his loyal movie-going audience when he said that he’s taking a break from making films to focus on creating more TV programming.

His latest TV series, Single Moms Club, based on the movie which opened in theaters March 14, is set to air on OWN in the fall.

The Oprah Winfrey Network debuted January 1, 2011 and is available in 85 million homes.

Follow Chris Witherspoon on Twitter for more Entertainment news at @WitherspoonC