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Did Oprah Get Lance Armstrong to Confess???

oprahs-next-chapter-3The former Queen of Daytime Talk, one Miz Oprah Winfrey, proves she can still pull in the big names.  Today, Oprah announced her worldwide exclusive interview with disgraced cyclist Lance Armstrong.  Is Lance going to confess?  There had been rumors all week that he might come clean, no pun intended.

Oprah’s press release says, “In the interview, Winfrey speaks with Armstrong at his home in Austin, Texas in the only interview since the seven-time Tour de France winner was stripped of his titles and dropped from millions of dollars in endorsement deals after the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency released an extensive report accusing the renown cyclist of doping throughout his career.  Armstrong was given a lifetime ban on competing professionally. Late last year, Armstrong resigned as chairman of the foundation he created, Livestrong, which has raised hundreds of millions of dollars in the fight against cancer.”

I smell confession, folks!!!  The 90-minute Thursday night episode of “Oprah’s Next Chapter” will air January 17 (9:00 – 10:30 p.m. ET/PT) on OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network.

Now THAT is must-see TV!

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BREAKING NEWS: OWN Cancels ROSIE

OWN, the Oprah Winfrey Network, has just announced that it’s cancelling the talk show hosted by comedian Rosie O’Donnell, “The Rosie Show.”  The show will tape its final episode on Tuesday, March 20th.

A release issued by OWN said:  “I thank Rosie from the bottom of my heart for joining me on this journey.  She has been an incredible partner, working to deliver the best possible show every single day,” said Oprah Winfrey. “As I have learned in the last 15 months, a new network launch is always a challenge and ratings grow over time as you continue to gather an audience.  I’m grateful to Rosie and the dedicated Rosie Show team for giving it their all.”

In the release, Rosie O’Donnell went on to say:  “I loved working with Oprah in the amazing city of Chicago.”  She added,  “I was welcomed with open arms and will never forget the kindness of all I encountered. It was a great year for me – I wish the show was able to attract more viewers – but it did not.  So I am headed back to my home in New York – with gratitude.  On we go!”

Behind The Scenes with Rosie O’Donnell

Photo By: Dan Barbossa

On Windy City LIVE today, we were very lucky to have Rosie O’Donnell as our special guest for the hour.  But it didn’t start off so smoothly.  🙂  Rosie was caught in traffic.  Chicago traffic is a nightmare and Rosie learned that the hard way this morning.  As show time approached, Rosie was no where in sight.  Thankfully, she is a prolific Twitterer.  She started tweeting us updates.  “Oy in traffic – 6 mins says opera rap star driver Khary Laurent.”   Followed by, “cutting it close -fear not I am camera ready in an odd orange frock…”

So we had to formulate a back-up plan.  We had this elaborate open planned.  We put together a great skit on tape that culminated in Mark DeCarlo running into the studio and cue-ing a singer to begin.  The singer joins the chorus (The Chicago Red Line) and the song ends with Rosie walking on stage.  Well, no Rosie, no song, so we had the hosts vamp a little.  The show begins and I’m waiting in the lobby for Rosie.  Producer David Plummer is waiting outside.  News crews are gathered hoping to get a sound bite with Rosie (who just landed an exclusive sit down with Patty Blagojevitch).  There was no way that was happening.  We had to get her in studio.  We had a microphone waiting.  All we needed was Rosie…

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Oprah, My Oprah! How I Will Miss Thee!

Sigh.  Today marks the final episode of “The Oprah Winfrey Show.”  I’m used to being gruff and opinionated and brash and witchy with a “B.”  But when it comes to my O, I can be none of those.  Yes, I am an Oprah-file.  I love her show, her style, her sensibility, her honesty.  She has done so much for so many.

Forget about the trips to Australia.  Forget about the audience getting cars.  Forget about her favorite things.  At her core, Oprah Winfrey has been a teacher.  She has taught us important lessons in life.  She taught us to be true to ourselves.  She has schooled millions with her show and literally schooled more than 64,000 by paying for their educations with her Angel network.  Sitting in the audience at the United Center for Oprah’s third and second to last shows and watching video montage after video montage, I realized just what an influence she has had in the lives of millions.

Everyone knows Oprah is a billionaire.  Everyone knows she is the most powerful woman in media.  But when you watch her show, Oprah is your neighbor, your teacher, your mentor, your shrink, your friend.  My friend is moving.  Instead of seeing her everyday, I will only see her once a week and on a channel that I have to look up b/c I have no clue where to find it on my cable (Channel 220, I think).

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Oprah: I Can’t Save The Soaps

The Queen of Daytime Talk, Oprah Winfrey, has taken to YouTube after being inundated by ABC soap fans who want her to move ALL MY CHILDREN and ONE LIFE TO LIVE to OWN after ABC canceled them.  Oprah, oh so eloquently, explains what I have said all along:  If there was money to be made in soap operas, they would still be on.  It’s a dying art form and the days of the daytime serials are coming to a close.  But like I said, Oprah says it much better than I do.  And now, a word from Oprah…

Rosie O’Donnell Moving Into Oprah’s Studio

The Chicago Sun Times reports (and I have heard independently from sources) that Rosie O’Donnell will be bringing her new fall talk show for Oprah’s OWN cable network to Chicago.  O’Donnell will tape the show at Harpo Studios and in the same studio that has been used for decades for “The Oprah Winfrey Show.”  Harpo shared that news with staffers yesterday.

O’Donnell’s talk show is scheduled to debut in the fall.  She will produce 130 hours of a single topic show, very much like Oprah.  In a message to Harpo employees, Rosie said the show will be less celebrity focused and more issues driven.  This is also great news to many Oprah show staffers who were about to find themselves out of a job!

There had been rumors that Oprah might move Nate Berkus to Chicago from New York to use her sound stage that was going to sit empty.  Looks like Nate is staying put and Harpo has a new tenant.

Wanna Email Oprah? Now You Can…

As Oprah Winfrey tweaks her new network, OWN, she wants to know what her fans think, so the  billionaire talk-show queen has opened a new email account to read what viewers have to say.  Now you can email Winfrey at oprah@oprah.com.

I’m sure Oprah has her minions reading each and every email, so don’t expect Oprah to be on her iPad all day replying to everyone, but I truly believe Oprah will listen to her viewers and you never know, you just might get an email reply one day signed by the big O.

“O” Yeah! Piers Morgan Pulls Out The Big Gun For His Debut

Piers Morgan debuts his new prime time talker on CNN on January 17th and his first guest is a powerhouse – Oprah Winfrey.

Winfrey will, of course, be promoting her new cable network and her last season as the queen of daytime talk.  Morgan replaces Larry King who “retired” after 25 years at CNN.  Morgan is considered one of the UK’s top interviewers, but we’ll see how American audiences take to him.  I, for one, can’t wait to check him out.

“Piers Morgan Tonight” debuts January 17 on CNN.

Why You Should Be Watching OWN!

I admit it.  I love Oprah!  I watch her every day and have for years.  I know she’s uber-powerful and a billionaire, but she doesn’t come across that way.  She always comes across as the best friend who only wants the best for you and who wants you to succeed no matter what.  To me, that’s what OWN, Oprah’s new cable network, is all about:  succeeding and living the life you want to live.

Season 25: Oprah Behind The Scenes is about the phenominal success of her daytime talk show and the powerful machine it takes to make it happen.  As a TV Producer, I find it fascinating to watch.  As a lover of Oprah, it’s another extension of her brand.

In The Bedroom with Dr. Laura Berman.  Sex doc Laura Berman is one of the nicest people you could ever meet or work with.  I’ve done both.  She’s a class act and she treats the sensitive subject of sexual issues in the bedroom with ease and grace.  It’s fascinating to watch people open up about their sex lives.  I know she is helping a ton of people who are too shy to discuss their own sexual problems.

Then there is Miracle Detectives which I haven’t watched yet, but it’s on the DVR.  Science and spiritual meet to discuss miracles.  Looks like a fascinating show.  And OWN just announced that Suze Orman will host “Money Class” come this fall to help people with their money issues.

And that just scratches the surface.  In a TV world where housewives are bitchy and backstabbing and people are out to outwit their peers in some insane bullshit competition, it’s nice to just turn on the TV and watch ordinary people trying to make their lives better.  Don’t just watch it.  OWN it!