It was one of the most talked about episodes of The Oprah Show ever. During our 19th season premiere, each and every person in Oprah's studio audience received a new 2005 Pontiac® G6™.
Senior producer Terry Goulder says the car giveaway was the biggest undertaking of his career. "One of the biggest challenges was to keep this huge secret from getting out," he says. "We basically had to put curtains around our parking lot and bring them all in the night before under the cover of darkness. You could still tell something huge was going on, but somehow the word never leaked out."
The gravity of keeping such an elaborate secret can be intimidating, especially to a new employee. "I'd only been working at The Oprah Show for a couple weeks when I was given the assignment to find people who actually needed cars and to somehow get them to the studio without giving away one of the biggest secrets we've ever had on the show," says Kirsten Williams, a senior associate producer. "It was terrifying!"
Senior field producer Gail Grasso can attest that the audience was more than a little excited. "I had no idea just how fast people would come running out of that studio," she says. "I swear to you, if you check the videotape, I was just about stampeded by people!"