Oprah - The Queen Of Daytime TVOctober 18th, 2010 - 4:46 pm ICT by Sampurn Wire
October 18, 2010 (Sampurn Wire): Oprah Winfrey, the queen of day time TV reigns supreme in the hearts of her viewers despite many odds. Winfrey dons many hats and those of an American TV host, actress, movie producer and philanthropist are just a few that befit her. She is also credited for propelling her talk show to dizzy heights of success. The multi award winning ‘Oprah Winfrey Show’ is now on its last legs having seen tremendous popularity and its absence on the ABC owned channels across the United States of America is likely to be felt next year onwards.
Oprah’s own life is no less than a fairy tale having begun one wintry January of 1954 when she was born to an unwed housemaid and experienced abject poverty and disdain from all she considered to be her near and dear. Learning to read and write early on, thanks to her farsighted grandmother, equipped young Oprah with a tool to fight especially later in life. The gift of gab came handy as well as she embarked on a career in media when she went on a local all black radio station as its part time news caster. She found her niche in television after having to wait for a few years and there has been no looking back since then. The ‘idiot box’ and Oprah gelled well together earning her the epithet of the queen of day time TV and she soon became the first African American billionaire and remained the only one for quite some years. Despite being criticized for promoting several fads related to self help as well as unleashing a spate of confessions which touched on unconventional and often uncomfortable topics, she has been hailed for overcoming her obstacles and helping other people do the same. Such is her influence today, that her name is instantly recognizable from the citadel of power, the White House to the slums of the third world.
Beginnings On Television- Oprah relocated to Chicago from Tennessee in 1983. She joined the lowly rated AM Chicago, a half hour talk show telecast on WLS-TV. The network witnessed a miracle the very next year as the show went from strength to strength soon replacing ‘Donahue’ as the most popular talk show in Chicago. The film critic, Roger Ebert advised her to sign a syndication deal with ‘King World’. True to his prophecy the newly formed talk show named after the talk show hostess went on to become a phenomenon by displacing ‘Donahue’ as the number one talk show on daytime TV drawing in more than a double of its audiences nationwide. And the rest, like they say, is history.
Famous Personalities- A number of celebrities belonging to all walks of life, graced Winfrey’s couch during the spate of the last twenty years or so. However, she herself admits that getting Elizabeth Taylor to talk had been a problem as the high profile actress had simply clamped up refusing to reveal personal information. Tom Cruise proved to be a handful too, especially when he jumped all around the set and got down on one knee professing his love for Katie Holmes, his girlfriend then. A number of guests who were extraordinary without being celebrities themselves also had a chance to air their problems and search for solutions via The Oprah Winfrey Show’. Although, no polished society lady oozing sophistication, Oprah comes across as a simple and god fearing woman who is not afraid of speaking her mind. Her robust sense of humor, brashness and child like curiosity makes up for her lack of journalistic acumen more than enough.
Criticism- A lot of her critics has accused her of having a liberal slant as she was seen championing such causes in her show. Open discussions on sexual acts ignited the ire of FCC in 2005 and her declining to invite the vice presidential candidate, Sarah Palin to her show during the election cycle of 2008 did not go down well with the Republicans. However, Oprah had her way by refusing to invite the Democratic candidate Joe Biden as well and simply refused to have any of the Presidential candidates on her show until after the elections got over. President Barak Obama was however a man after her own heart and she succeeded in getting him to feature on her show twice but all this was much before he had announced his intention of running for the President. A classic case of foot in the mouth occurred in the late 90s when Oprah publicly voiced her apprehension about eating a burger on account of the mad cow disease. The result was not very happy as the cattle ranchers of Texas promptly sued her for libel.
Final Season- September 13, 2010 saw the final season premiere on TV where Oprah opened it jointly with John Travolta. With flashbacks galore, mostly from the last 25 years and special guests adorning the show, the queen soon had her 300 member strong audience hanging onto her every word. The show culminated with Oprah announcing her departure for Australia with all 300 audience members and Travolta who was at the helm of the aircraft controls.
Aftermath- This is not the end of the road for Oprah’s show though! The hugely popular Winfrey is all set to come on her own with her channel aptly named “OWN’. ‘The Oprah Winfrey Show’ will simply move on after a brief recess of four months when Oprah will again be seen holding center stage but with a difference. The show will hit the road this time and we expect billions to be entertained once again as the juggernaut rolls on…
– Kornika Ganguly / Sampurn Wire
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- Discover India with Oprah Winfrey in two-part series - Jul 11, 2012
- Oprah Winfrey to send her audience members to an Australian trip - Sep 14, 2010
- Oprah Winfrey Reveals She Has A Half-Sister On Her Show - Jan 25, 2011
- Oprah Winfrey Surprises Her Audience By Announcing A Trip To Australia - Sep 14, 2010
- Oprah gets special farewell from Tom Cruise, Beyonce - May 18, 2011
- Gaga takes Oprah to her childhood home - Mar 13, 2012
- Holly Hunter, Sissy Spacek And Susan Sarandon On "Oprah Winfrey Show" - Feb 01, 2011
- Oprah Winfrey sells Chicago apartment - Jul 19, 2012
- Australia To Pay For Oprah - Sep 14, 2010
- Oprah to host show that will take her to India - Apr 09, 2010
- Oprah issues apology for TV remark - Feb 14, 2012
- Oprah Winfrey plans to be a high school teacher - Jul 07, 2011
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