U.S. popular Oprah Winfrey Show to fade to black in 2011

November 22, 2009

The popular U.S. talk show, the Oprah Winfrey Show, will fade to black in 2011, said the talk show host on TV Friday morning.

Oprah Winfrey is shown in this handout photo on the set of her television program in Chicago, Nov. 20, 2009. Winfrey stated today that she will end her popular TV show in 2011 because it “feels right in her bones” after 25 years, and urged her viewers not to believe rumors of why she’s quitting. (Xinhua/Reuters Photo)

“After much prayer and months of careful thought, I’ve decided the next season, season 25, will be the last season of ’The Oprah Winfrey Show,’” said Winfrey, with tears in her eyes.

The Oprah Winfrey Show is a United States syndicated talk show, hosted and produced by its namesake Oprah Winfrey, and is the highest-rated talk show in American television history.

Winfrey confirmed what she told her staff members on Thursday afternoon that she is ending her successful daytime talk show in September 2011.

She is reportedly expected to concentrate on OWN: The Oprah Winfrey Network, a cable channel that will bear her name and will have its premiere in January 2011.

“So why walk away and make next season the last? Here is the real reason,” she said. “I love this show. This show has been my life. And I love it enough to know when it’s time to say goodbye. Twenty-five years feels right in my bones and it feels right in my spirit. It’s the perfect number, the exact right time.”

Fans said they’ll be sad to see Oprah go.

“I’m really surprised just because right now there aren’t that many great daytime TV shows, or nighttime ones. TV now is so much reality shows and Oprah’s one of the last few, you know, good talk show hosts out there, I feel like that’s non-comedy,” said one Oprah fan.

Winfrey’s departure will surely be a blow to the fortunes of broadcast television. says a report available on The New York Times website Friday. Discovery Communications, which will co-own the new channel, announced the creation of OWN 20 months ago. Now Discovery will parlay Winfrey’s anticipated exit from broadcast into higher per-subscriber fees and will also seek more lucrative commitments from advertisers.

Winfrey started hosting the show in 1984 when it was known as “A.M. Chicago.” A year later it was renamed “The Oprah Winfrey Show.”

A year after that, it went into syndication and would go on to become one of the most popular and influential TV talk shows of all time.

It is currently the longest-running daytime television talk show in the United States, having run nationally since September 8,1986, for over 22 seasons and 3,724 episodes November 21, 2008. The show is renewed through 2011, but in a 2007 interview with Larry King, Oprah said that in 2011, she will not renew her contract, thus ending the show.

Oprah has been included in Time magazine’s shortlist of the best television series of the 20th century in 1998, and it made the top 50 of TV Guide’s countdown of the greatest American shows of all time “dead link” in 2002.

VietNamNet/Xinhuanet

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