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Oprah returning to talk TV

Opraholics, who four months ago flung themselves on their sofas and began to chew the cushions in an ecstasy of grief upon hearing Oprah Winfrey announce the end of her daytime talk show, were feeling like perfect fools Thursday when Oprah announced she's going to do a talk show for her new Oprah Winfrey Network that will start right around the time her syndicated talker signs off.

"After 25 year and 28,000 guests, Oprah is saying goodbye to 'The Oprah Winfrey Show' but NOT goodbye to what she loves to do," OWN announced to advertisers in New York City.

"Oprah's Next Chapter" will debut in the fall of 2011, Winfrey announced during Discovery Communications orgy of network new-schedule unveiling, at Manhattan's Lincoln Center on Thursday (Oprah Winfrey Network is a 50-50 joint venture between Winfrey and Silver Spring, Md-based Discovery Communications).

"The Oprah Winfrey Show" is scheduled to say "so long" Sept. 9, 2011.

The new show will be different from the old in several major ways.

First, it will run about three times a week. That is, we're guessing, until something on the network fails and they have to fill a timeslot hole.

Second, it will not be telecast from Winfrey's Chicago-based studios. Because Oprah has figured out a way to gallivant around the world and get to write it off as a business expense. Sweet.

"Oprah's getting untethered from the chairs, opening up her world and taking you with her," OWN gushed.

But, OWN promised in Thursday's announcement, from those far-flung places, Oprah will continue to have the "riveting conversations with the people we all want to hear from." Imagine Tom Cruise bouncing off the cushions at the Taj Mahal, or Jay Leno doing his mea culpa for having outlasted Conan at NBC from the Great Wall in China.

"It's a whole new kind of Oprah show," OWN boasted.

And, if that's not enough Oprah for your taste, the network had already announced a show called "Behind the Scenes: Oprah's 25th Season" - a weekly one-hour documentary series chronicling the final months of "The Oprah Winfrey Show."

Another show on the new network, "Visionaries: Inside the Creative Mind," will expose Opraholics to the creative genius of underexposed visionaries like director James Cameron, Lady Gaga, Annie Leibovitz, Tom Ford, and will.i.am.

But wait - there's more! "Oprah Presents: Master Class" will share the stories of Oprah's handpicked "most intriguing people of our time" including Jay-Z, Bono, Simon Cowell, Lorne Michaels, Toni Morrison, and former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice.

OWN will replace Discovery Health on Jan. 1, 2011, with a circulation of about 74 million U.S. homes.


By Lisa de Moraes  |  April 8, 2010; 3:02 PM ET
Categories:  TV News  
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