When the Oxygen channel hit the air in 2000, its intent was to take advantage of the interactive nature of the internet by allowing viewers to take part in the viewing experience by visiting the channel's website. Soon, though, the channel left its interactive origins behind and became a conventional basic cable channel featuring some original programming augmented with reruns of series and movies originally produced for other networks. Oxygen's target audience has always been young females, and its programming schedule consists mostly of syndicated comedies and dramas, talk shows and reality series.
The channel was originally an independent venture founded by Oprah Winfrey, producers Marcy Carsey and Tom Werner, and TV exec Geraldine Laybourne. Years later, Oxygen shifted around under various corporate umbrellas. The channel was acquired by NBC Universal in 2007, and after the purchase, NBC gave the channel a rebranding and a new logo. In 2011, Oxygen became part of Comcast when the cable giant acquired NBC Universal from General Electric. In 2013, Oxygen picked up some programming from the NBC Universal's Style Network; that channel had undergone a male-centric rebranding, becoming the Esquire Network, and shed some of its female-focused programming to Oxygen.