CHICAGO — On today's live episode of The Oprah Winfrey Show, Winfrey announced that she plans to end her show in September 2011 after 25 years on the air. The Oprah Show will end its run as its 25th season draws to a close on September 9, 2011.
Launched nationally in 1986, The Oprah Winfrey Show is viewed by an estimated 42 million viewers each week in the United States.* Oprah and The Oprah Winfrey Show have received 48 Daytime Emmy Awards®, including the Lifetime Achievement Award in 1998. The Oprah Winfrey Show has remained the number one talk show for 23 consecutive seasons, winning every sweep since its debut in 1986.** It is produced in Chicago by Harpo Productions, Inc. and syndicated to 215 domestic stations by CBS Television Distribution and to 145 countries by CBS Studios International.
Said Winfrey: "I love this show. This show has been my life. And I love it enough to know when it's time to say goodbye. Twenty-five years feels right in my bones, and it feels right in my spirit. It's the perfect number—the exact right time. So I hope that you will take this 18-month ride with me right through to the final show."
Winfrey continued, "So, the countdown to the end of The Oprah Winfrey Show starts now, and until that day in 2011 when it ends, I intend to soak up every meaningful, joy-filled moment with you."
After production wraps on The Oprah Winfrey Show, Winfrey plans to appear and participate in new programming for OWN: The Oprah Winfrey Network, a 24-hour cable network that reflects her vision, values and interests. The launch date for OWN, a joint venture with Discovery Communications, is now set for January 2011.
Harpo Productions, Inc. produces the number one–rated, award-winning The Oprah Winfrey Show; creates and develops original TV programming for primetime, syndication and cable television; and operates Oprah.com (www.oprah.com), a premier lifestyle website. ZoCo Productions, LLC, an affiliate of Harpo Productions, Inc., and Sony Pictures Television co-produceThe Dr. Oz Show.Harpo Print, LLC and Hearst Magazines publish the monthlyO, The Oprah Magazine publication.Harpo Filmsproduces feature films and, through an exclusive deal with HBO, scripted television programming. Harpo Radio, Inc. producesOprah Radio(XM channel 156, Sirius channel 195 as part of its "Best of XM" package) on Sirius XM Radio.A joint venture between Oprah Winfrey and Discovery Communications,OWN: The Oprah Winfrey Network, a multiplatform company, will debut in January 2011 in more than 70 million homes on what is currently the Discovery Health Channel.
After much prayer and months of careful thought, I have decided that next season, Season 25, will be the last season of The Oprah Winfrey Show.
Over the next couple of days, you may hear a lot of speculation in the press about why I am making this decision now...and that will mostly be conjecture.
So I wanted you to hear this directly from me. Twenty-four years ago, on September 8, 1986, I went live from Chicago to launch the first national Oprah Winfrey Show. I was beyond excited...and as you all might expect, a little nervous. I knew then what a miraculous opportunity I had been given, but I certainly never could have imagined the "yellow brick road" of blessings that have led me to this moment with you.
These years with you, our viewers, have enriched my life beyond all measure. And you all have graciously invited me into your living rooms, into your kitchens and into your lives. And for some of you longtime Oprah viewers, you have literally "grown up" with me—we've grown together. You had your families, and you raised your children and you left a spot for me in your morning or your afternoon, depending on when The Oprah Show airs in your town.
So I just wanted to say that whether you've been here with me from the beginning or you came on board last week, I want you all to know that my relationship with you is one that I hold very dear. And your trust in me, the sharing of your precious time every day with me has brought me the greatest joy I have ever known.
So here we are, halfway through the season, 24, and it still means as much to me to spend an hour every day with you as it did back in 1986. So why walk away and make next season the last?
Here is the real reason: I love this show. This show has been my life. And I love it enough to know when it's time to say good-bye.
Twenty-five years feels right in my bones and it feels right in my spirit. It's the perfect number—the exact right time. So I hope that you will take this 18-month ride with me right through to the final show.
Over this holiday break, my team and I will be brainstorming new ways that we can entertain you and inform you and uplift you when we return here in January. And then Season 25—we are going to knock your socks off.
So, the countdown to the end of The Oprah Winfrey Show starts now and until that day in 2011 when it ends, I intend to soak up every meaningful, joy-filled moment with you.
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