Oprah Winfrey plans nighttime show on her network
What will those great intentions look like? Speaking to media buyers Thursday at a presentation by partner Discovery Communications, Winfrey filled in a few of the gaps that have left people wondering just what her round-the-clock network will be since she announced it in January 2008.
She took her audience through a dozen or so new shows planned for OWN after its launch next Jan. 1, and offered reassurance that she would be appearing on the 24-hour network she'll also be guiding from behind the scenes.
After reigning in daytime for a quarter-century, she moves to nights to host a show called "Oprah's Next Chapter" that will release her from the confines of a studio and talk-show format for conversations and travel around the world.
"I'll do it anywhere, I'll do it anytime, with anybody I want," she summed up saucily. Expected to air two or three nights a week, "Oprah's Next Chapter" is scheduled to premiere in late 2011. That will be shortly after Winfrey lays to rest her weekday syndicated talk show at the close of its 25th season, a milestone she had said "feels right in my bones" when she made her plans official on the air last November.
A joint venture of Winfrey's Harpo Inc. and Discovery Communications Inc., OWN: The Oprah Winfrey Network will replace the Discovery Health Channel and be available in approximately 80 million homes.
Winfrey, 56, said her network is "a dream that I've been carrying around for years," explaining that with OWN she meant to "take what I've established in daytime -- inspiring people and giving them hope and new cars -- and build on that, 24-7."
The network will also show her in "Behind the Scenes: The Oprah Show Final Season," a "docuseries" that gives viewers an intimate look at the final season of "The Oprah Winfrey Show." Judging from the sample clip, this show will let it all hang out. Winfrey is seen with her staff preparing for a show dressed down, sans makeup, her hair in rollers.
She had other shows to tout:
-- "Visionaries: Inside the Creative Mind," on which the world's top talent take viewers inside their creative process, offering an opportunity to see how they bring their art to life. Included on the roster are Academy Award-winning director James Cameron, photographer Annie Leibovitz and performer will.i.am, founding member of the Black Eyed Peas, whom she welcomed to the stage.
-- "Your Own Show: Oprah's Search for the Next TV Star," which, co-produced with reality TV giant Mark Burnett, will mount a nationwide search to discover the next big TV personality.
-- "Gayle King Live!" will bring to TV the radio show of Oprah's best friend.
-- "Why Not? With Shania Twain" is a reality show chronicling the trials and triumphs of the hot-selling country music star. (Joining Winfrey on stage, Twain summarized her late-gained philosophy of life: "If I can't find three reasons not to do it, I say, 'Why not?'").
These new series join a slate of previously announced shows including:
-- "Breaking Down the Bars," billed as a prison show whose women inmates have a shot at rehabilitation and atonement.
-- "Enough Already" will send home-organization guru Peter Walsh on a quest to help people declutter their lives.
-- "In the Bedroom with Dr. Laura Berman" aims to help couples with their relationships and sex lives.
-- "Inside with Lisa Ling" reports on unexpected people from far-flung locations.
-- "Kidnapped by the Kids" enables kids to take drastic steps to reclaim Mom and Dad from a routine of too much work and not enough attention for their youngsters.
-- "The Miracle Detectives" sets a believer and a skeptic on the trail of amazing events that couldn't possibly have happened -- or could they?
-- "Oprah Presents: Master Class" spotlights intriguing personalities hand-picked by Oprah (including Bono, Simon Cowell, Lorne Michaels and Condoleezza Rice) who share their stories, insights and lives.
-- "The Swell Life" takes a look inside the family of former competitive surfer Izzy Paskowitz, his wife Danielle and their three children (one of whom is autistic), as well as their surf school business.
-- "Searching" puts search specialist and genealogist Pam Slaton on the trail of the person who can complete another person's "life story."
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