What's gotten into Oprah?
by Allison Waldman, posted Sep 17th 2009 4:35PM
Does it seem like somebody lit a fire under Oprah Winfrey? It seems like it to me. Her new season commenced this week with the Whitney Houston two-parter, she's off to Central Park for tomorrow show which will relaunch Oprah's Book Club, and on Monday Oprah's doing a flashback to the 1960's with Mad Men's Jon Hamm and January Jones as guests.
I've never been into the book club, but you better believe I'm tuning it to see Don and Betty Draper! Seriously, I'm anxious to hear what January and Jon have to say, because there's no doubt that when it comes to Mad Men, everybody's talking about it. The morning after an episode, I'm talking with friends and family trying to figure out what happened and what it meant. And why did Gene put salt on the ice cream?
Anyway, back to Oprah: There have been stories of late about her ratings on the decline and pressure on her to do something about it. Some suggested that her getting into politics in 2008 affected her popularity, but others point to the fact that syndication is getting soft and many long-run successes are losing market share.
Whatever the case, Oprah's renewed interest in her talk show is -- to quote Martha Stewart -- a good thing. It's all well and good that she's the big "O" with the magazine and the celebrity and all, but the foundation of everything is the talk show. Unless and until she's ready to end the run, she owes it to herself -- and her audience -- to keep the show interesting, entertaining and relevant.
I prefer the entertainment most, like Barbra Streisand visiting at the end September to talk about her new CD, Love Is the Answer. Barbra is actually going to sing, which is a rarity. So, thank you, Oprah for making that happen!