In the final season of The Oprah Winfrey Show, producers are taking Oprah and Gayle somewhere they've never been before—camping at Yosemite National Park in California. "Oprah hated the road trip. However, it rated through the roof," executive producer Sheri says. "When we approached her with Yosemite, I thought, 'I'm kind of torn. On one hand, it's my job to fulfill Oprah's vision. On the other hand, we need some numbers, people!'"
Heading up the expedition is supervising senior producer Lisa and her team. Lisa says the show was inspired to head west after receiving a letter from park ranger Shelton Johnson, who wrote to Oprah because he's concerned by the low number of African-Americans who visit the national parks each year. Out of the 280 million tourists who come, just 1 percent are African-American. "He would like to up that number and he needs her help," Lisa says.
Still, not even the magic of television can disguise one key aspect of this shoot. "Oprah and Gayle are really not campers," Lisa says. "Don't be fooled one second thinking it's like any ordinary camper trip."
Watch Oprah call to invite Gayle on the trip