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An Overview and Brief History of The Oprah Winfrey Show

By

Host:

Oprah Winfrey

Filmed:

The Oprah Winfrey Show is filmed at Harpo Studios in Chicago.

First Show:

The first nationally syndicated show aired on September 8, 1986.

Length on Air:

While The Oprah Winfrey Show has been on air for over 22 years and is renewed through 2011, Oprah has commented that she will not extend her contract again. Fans of the show need not worry, the OWN cable television network will begin airing in 2009 with the theme of Live Your Best Life.

Theme:

For the first 10 years on air, The Oprah Winfrey Show competed with the standard trash-talk show that focused on how to find a man, hang on to a man, find out if your man was cheating, break-up help, etc.

It wasn't until the late 1990s that Oprah changed the theme of her show and stood out among the crowd. Oprah still to this day deals with many of the dating, marriage, fashion, divorce, infidelity, weight issues that she did early one, but with more depth and humanity - really talking a different side to the story of helping people learn how to "live their best lives."

Rare celebrity interviews that rivaled that of Barbara Walters, philanthropic ventures such as Oprah's Angel Network, and Oprah's Book Club added variety and character to the show that made it different from any other talk show on air or in history.

In the last several years, Oprah has made spirituality a large theme of her show, which has enlightened and enraged millions. The fact that Oprah continues to support many New Age and other non-Christian beliefs angers many of her traditional Christian viewers, but Oprah maintains that she is doing her life's work teaching others.

Regular Segments/Guests:

Through the years, Oprah has had many regular segments and guests appear on the show throughout a season. These include:

  • Tuesday's with Dr. Phil
  • "America's Doctor" - Dr. Oz
  • Oprah's Book Club
  • Oprah's Favorite Things
  • Use Your Life Awards
  • Mattie Stepanek
  • The Wildest Dreams Tour

Oprah's Experts/Friends:

The experts Oprah regularly has on the show often contribute in her magazines or XM satellite radio channel Oprah & Friends. These experts include:

  • Dr. Mehmet Oz - The Oprah Winfrey Show and Oprah & Friends
  • Suze Orman - The Oprah Winfrey Show, O Magazine and O at Home
  • Nate Berkus - The Oprah Winfrey Show and Oprah & Friends
  • Dr. Phil - O Magazine
  • Martha Beck - The Oprah Winfrey Show, O Magazine and O at Home
  • Bob Greene - The Oprah Winfrey Show and Oprah & Friends
  • Jean Chatzky - Oprah & Friends
  • Peter Walsh - The Oprah Winfrey Show and Oprah & Friends
  • Dr. Robin Smith - The Oprah Winfrey Show and Oprah & Friends
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