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September 30, 2014

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'The Oprah Winfrey Show' Finale Gets Highest Ratings Since 1994

by Jean Bentley, posted May 26th 2011 2:30PM
Oprah WinfreyIt seems Oprah Winfrey's message of love and self-acceptance during the final episode of her talk show was enough to boost yesterday's goodbye to the top of the ratings.

Despite the fact that none of the multitude of celebrities present at the taping in Chicago's United Center actually appeared during the episode, during which Winfrey looked back on her 25 years on television, the last installment of 'The Oprah Winfrey Show' scored a major 13.3 household rating.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, that's the biggest audience for a single episode since 1994. For a show that's been on the air for two and a half decades, that's a pretty respectable way to go out. The previous record-holder: a Feb. 21, 1994 show called 'People Shed Their Disguises,' "during which Winfrey convinced guests to stop hiding behind questionable style and grooming choices," THR reports.

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'Oprah' Won't Say Goodbye, But 'Until We Meet Again' (VIDEO)

by Nick Zaino, posted May 25th 2011 6:20PM
The final 'Oprah Winfrey Show'After two days of the arena-rock version of 'The Oprah Winfrey Show' (weekdays, syndicated) and a parade of guest stars, Winfrey took the stage alone back at her studio today to say thank you to the fans and wrap things up. She said there were "no words to match this moment," contemplating 25 years and 4,561 days of 'The Oprah Winfrey Show.' And she refused to say goodbye.

"I thank you for being as much of a sweet inspiration for me as I've tried to be for you," she said. "I won't say goodbye. I'll just say, until we meet again."

Few would expect Winfrey to retire from television, especially now that she has OWN, her Oprah Winfrey Network. But there are no immediate plans for a new show. That might change by the time her reruns finish airing in syndication.

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Live Blogging Oprah's Final Show

by Maureen Ryan, posted May 25th 2011 10:05AM
Well, Oprah's final show is here. Depending on your level of Oprah love, it's time to either get out your tissue box or your vomit bucket.

But I'm here not to pass judgement on Oprah's 25-year daytime career, offer an assessment of her influence or offer you another list of memorable Oprah moments. The goal here is to share a comprehensive live-blog of the final episode of her daytime show.

Yep, after 283 Favorite Things, 1.3 million audience members and several dozen free cars, the Queen of Daytime is signing off. And since the show airs at 9 a.m. in Chicago, which is where your fearless correspondent lives, you can read about the whole going-away shebang here before you even have lunch! You're welcome.

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Your Favorite 'Oprah Winfrey Show' Moments

by Chris Harnick, posted May 25th 2011 6:00AM
Oprah WinfreyGet those tissues out because it's time for Oprah's big goodbye.

The daytime diva is wrapping up 'The Oprah Winfrey Show' after 25 years of laughs, tears, Favorite Things and free cars.

It's no secret that Oprah has had a profound effect on her viewers and the TV landscape as a whole -- just look at this list of wannabe Oprah talk show hosts who've come and gone during the big O's reign.

To honor Oprah and you, her loyal viewers, we asked for your favorite 'Oprah Winfrey Show' moments on Facebook and Twitter using the #OprahMoment hashtag.

From big gifts to heartbreaking tales, check out what you deemed your favorite 'Oprah' moments.

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More Stars Turn Out For the Oprah Finale Extravaganza, Part Two (VIDEO)

by Nick Zaino, posted May 24th 2011 6:30PM
'The Oprah Winfrey Show'The second part of the 'Oprah! A Farewell Spectacular' aired today, and was pretty much a repeat of yesterday's cavalcade of stars with some different faces.

It's all a part of saying goodbye to 'The Oprah Winfrey Show' (weekdays, syndicated), which will bid its final farewell with tomorrow's show, which should be much more low-key. Today, we had Usher, Stevie Wonder, Jamie Foxx, Jerry Seinfeld, Will Smith, Michael Jordan, Aretha Franklin, Maya Angelou and more.

Last week's taping forced the United Center to move a Chicago Bulls/Miami Heat NBA playoff game, which confused Seinfeld. "I went to see a Bulls game and it was packed, it was fans, it was the playoffs," he said. "And then somehow it all changed and I was on the Oprah show." Maria Shriver was a surprise guest, who thanked Winfrey for giving her "the truth."

It was a teary affair, with Stedman Graham confessing his love for his lady O and a bunch of people singing with candles, but it ended with a big happy musical number.

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OWN Halts Programming for 'Oprah Winfrey Show' Finale

by Chris Harnick, posted May 24th 2011 5:40PM
Oprah WinfreyIf you tune into OWN on Wed., May 25 between 4-5PM ET, you won't see much. The channel is going dark and pointing viewers to 'The Oprah Winfrey Show' series finale.

Programming will be halted and a message will ask viewers to turn their attention to the finale. Fitting, since it's Oprah Winfrey's network.

In addition to the special stop in programming, OWN is planning six days of Oprah-themed programs to honor Winfrey and her TV legacy.

"We couldn't think of a more appropriate way to honor Oprah than for OWN to celebrate her ongoing legacy and enormous contribution to daytime television," Peter Liguori, interim CEO of OWN, said in a statement. "We will all be watching this truly historic event."

The full schedule is below.

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The Parade of Guest Stars Continues on 'Oprah' (VIDEO)

by Nick Zaino, posted May 23rd 2011 7:15PM
Oprah WinfreyThe Op-rapture continued Monday on 'The Oprah Winfrey Show' (weekdays, syndicated), as more and more stars lined up to say goodbye to Oprah Winfrey and her show. The final episodes air Monday and Wednesday: A special two-part "Farewell Spectacular" taped live at the United Center in Chicago. A parade of guests, including Tom Hanks, Tom Cruise, Josh Groban, Patti LaBelle, Madonna, Diane Sawyer and more, appeared on stage to honor Winfrey.

Beyonce also showed up to sing her new song, 'Run the World,' introduced by a young girl who said, "Because of 'The Oprah Winfrey Show,' we believe girls can run the world." Winfrey responded by yelling "girls, girls, girls" from the audience.

Winfrey ended up addressing the crowd. "Thank you for being part of this," she said, "this great night, this celebration of what you have done for 'The Oprah Winfrey Show.' " Who's left for Wednesday?

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Oprah Gives Her Favorite Guest of All Time a Very Big Helping Hand (VIDEO)

by Nick Zaino, posted May 20th 2011 9:00PM
Dr. Trent on 'The Oprah Winfrey Show'Friday's theme on 'The Oprah Winfrey Show' (weekdays, syndicated) was "Memorable Guests," and the guest in question was Dr. Tererai Trent, a woman from Zimbabwe who grew up unable to get an education. She was married when she was 11 years old and by the time she was 18 had three kids. Tererai moved to the U.S., got her education, and pledged to help other young girls get theirs. Winfrey said Dr. Trent was her "favorite guest ever," and decided to give her a little help.

"Your story is at the core of everything I believe," Winfrey said, "... in the possibility of a human life on Earth. And for that reason, I'm going to help you build your school. I'm donating a million and a half dollars."

According to Winfrey, the school will help educate 4,000 children.

"We are going to build a school together!" Oprah exclaimed. "We are going to build a school."

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Jennifer Aniston and Hugh Jackman Say Goodbye to 'Oprah' (VIDEO)

by Nick Zaino, posted May 19th 2011 7:30PM
Hugh Jackman on 'The Oprah Winfrey Show'It's getting down to the final days of 'The Oprah Winfrey Show' (weekdays, syndicated), and the stars are starting to line up to pay their tribute. The final show airs May 25, and big names like Tom Cruise, Tom Hanks and Beyonce have shown up at tapings for the finale. Today, it was Hugh Jackman and Jennifer Aniston who appeared in pre-taped clips saying an emotional goodbye to Winfrey and the show.

"It really makes me very sad," Aniston said, "cause it's something that I think we've all grown up with." Aniston praised Winfrey for her inspirational words, honesty and joy, and said she'll miss her deeply. Wolverine (a.k.a. Jackman) was also surprisingly tender. "At some point, when you get to look back, I know you're going to be incredibly proud of how you've given fully of yourself to everybody and done it with love," he said. "And that is rare."

Jackman did point out that the talk show may be going away, but Winfrey is still going to be around. That's something to remember as this starts to look more and more like a memorial. More than likely, she will resurface on the Oprah Winfrey Network.

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Oprah's Scientology Ties: Big Show Moments With the Church's Hollywood Elite

by Maggie Furlong, posted May 19th 2011 9:00AM
Oprah WinfreyIs Oprah a Scientologist? Just Googling that question returns 127,000 results, so we know we're not alone in asking.

On the heels of the announcement that Will and Jada Pinkett Smith would be guests on one of Oprah's final shows, three things popped into my head: 1) random! 2) are they getting a reality series on OWN? and 3) man, she's shared a lot of big, memorable moments with famous (alleged) Scientologists.

I mean, I've been convinced for months now that Oprah's last show would be a tribute to her loyal viewers. (That's thanks in large part to mainlining marathons of OWN's 'Oprah Behind the Scenes,' on which Oprah is always saying it's "for the fans.") A walk down memory lane, a parting gift, in the spiritual sense, reminding them to pay it forward ... not another chat with some fancy Hollywood A-listers!

So I was pleasantly surprised when the A-list-o-rama turned out to be for a two-show goodbye to air Monday, May 23, and Tuesday, May 24, before her actual finale on Wednesday, May 25.

Will and Jada were there in full force to play a 'This Is Your Life'-style game with Oprah, along with an army of other celebs. Literally everyone was there -- but the only other person hogging more O time was Tom Cruise, another famous Scientologist.

Take a look at our list of big Oprah show moments shared with members, admitted and suspected, of the mysterious church -- an Oprah Scientology Yearbook of sorts.

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Ralph Lauren Compares His Design Work to Making Movies on 'Oprah' (VIDEO)

by Nick Zaino, posted May 18th 2011 8:00PM
Ralph Lauren on 'The Oprah Winfrey Show'Oprah Winfrey knows a few things about starting trends. But she met a master on Wednesday's 'The Oprah Winfrey Show' (weekdays, syndicated) when she interviewed Ralph Lauren at his Colorado ranch. Lauren is the fashion designer who popularized the Polo shirt, which is now a wardrobe staple, and his clothes have been fashionable for decades. His approach is to design as if he were creating little movies, he said.

If you asked him to design a dress for a woman, Lauren said he couldn't do it. "But if you say she lives in a mansion or she lives in SoHo and she's an artist," he said, "I could design exactly how she should look and how her hair should be, what she should be wearing, and I'd create a world around her."

Winfrey called it storytelling. Lauren called it "a consistency of vision" that envelopes his life and work, and that includes being married to the same woman for 46 years. That's an impressive feat

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Celebs Offer Thoughts on Oprah Winfrey's Final Shows (VIDEO)

by Donald Deane, posted May 18th 2011 2:00PM
Celebs Offer Thoughts on Oprah Winfrey's Final ShowsAt the taping of Oprah Winfrey's final episodes of 'The Oprah Winfrey Show,' celebs came out in force and gushed over the media mogul on 'Access Hollywood Live' (weekdays, syndicated).

"She has set the watermark for quality in television, daytime and nighttime, and it's going to be my desire, my goal and my hope to reach that level, or somewhere close to it, to make her happy and proud," said Rosie O'Donnell, who is set to debut a new talk show on Winfrey's OWN network.

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'Early Show' Previews Oprah Winfrey's Final Shows (VIDEO)

by Donald Deane, posted May 18th 2011 12:30PM
'Early Show' Previews Oprah Winfrey's Final ShowsOn 'The Early Show' (weekdays, 7AM ET on CBS), viewers were treated to a glimpse of the final episodes of 'The Oprah Winfrey Show,' as celebrities paid tribute to Oprah Winfrey onstage at the United Center in Chicago.

Winfrey taped two of her three final episodes yesterday with 20,000 fans in attendance. Celebs such as Tom Hanks, Will Smith, Tom Cruise and Madonna showed up to mark the end of Winfrey's 25-year-run on daytime television.

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Oprah's Final Shows: A Play-by-Play of Her Over-the-Top Goodbye

by Maggie Furlong, posted May 17th 2011 9:00PM
Oprah WinfreyWe still don't know what's happening for Oprah's big finale, but we've got a play-by-play of her penultimate episodes thanks to Lindsay Powers, Deputy Editor of THR.com.

They taped two huge extravaganza episodes today at Chicago's United Center, to air May 23 and 24 before the show's finale on Wed., May 25.

While these episode turned out to be huge productions, what will happen on her May 25 finale is still unknown.

Diehard Oprah fans, please know that MAJOR SPOILERS are after the jump. Not to say that it'll ruin the joy of watching this insanely celeb-packed episode, but just ... beware.

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Oprah Winfrey Apologizes to James Frey (VIDEO)

by Nick Zaino, posted May 17th 2011 7:45PM
Oprah Winfrey continued her interview with author James Frey on Tuesday's 'The Oprah Winfrey Show' (weekdays, syndicated). In yesterday's edition, Frey talked about being caught lying in his bestselling book, 'A Million Little Pieces,' and said he had no respect for the memoir genre since, he said, memoir writers exaggerate and stretch the truth to make for good storytelling.

Today, Winfrey apologized to Frey for being too harsh with him in her follow-up interview -- after she had been attacked for promoting a book that turned out to be a fake.

At the time, Winfrey was understandably pissed off. "My position and my intention was, 'How dare you. How dare you. How dare you lie to me. How dare you lie to the viewers.' It was not a position of, 'Let me hear your story. Let me hear your side.' And for that, I apologize.

Frey thanked Winfrey for the apology, and the two embraced. For his part, Frey also apologized for putting Winfrey in that situation. "If anything, I should offer the apology to you," he said. "This mess was my mess, you know? You've done nothing but be really generous and cool with me."

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