Oprah with the hosts and contestants of Your OWN Show
Photo: George Burns/Harpo Studios
January 1, 2011, is the start of a new year—and new journey—for Oprah. "At high noon, my OWN network is officially on the air," Oprah says. "Every single minute of our 24-hour cable network, OWN [Oprah Winfrey Network], is being created with you in mind."

With programming intended to inform, inspire and entertain, Oprah's network is also giving one lucky person his or her big break. In Your OWN Show: Oprah's Search for the Next TV Star, 10 contestants are plucked from a group of more than 15,000 who auditioned to compete for their very own television program on the network. "Over the years on The Oprah Show, the things that have brought me the greatest joy is when I can give to other people," Oprah says. "I love being able to do great things for people."

Meet the contestants.

Through it all, hosts Nancy O'Dell and Carson Kressley help guide these hopefuls through intense challenges. "I was really surprised by the talent. From all the audition tapes that came in, I was like: 'Really? These people are this good with no experience? I hate them,'" Nancy jokes. "One of the things that amazed me, though, is how it progressed from just a little bit of coaching and telling them things [to] how great they became really quickly."

Carson—who has his own makeover show, Carson-Nation premiering on OWN later in 2011—says the best advice he can give the contestants is to stay true to themselves. "I think you all have an amazing opportunity here," he says. "You're all already winners, and if you don't win this competition, then keep following your dream, because don't change yourself to fit the job. Change the job to fit you." 

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Cristina Ferrare
Cristina Ferrare's Big Bowl of Love

Calling home cooks! Pairing laughter with a pinch of fun, frequent Oprah Show guest Cristina Ferrare is stirring up pure joy with her new cooking show, Cristina Ferrare's Big Bowl of Love. "She puts so much heart and soul in her food I had to share some of her secrets on our new network," Oprah says.

With friends and family by her side, Cristina welcomes viewers into her cozy kitchen. "That's what cooking's about," Cristina says. "It's just about love and instinct and knowing exactly what to put in there because you just feel it in your soul."

Watch a glimpse of Cristina's new show

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Miracle Detectives
Miracle Detectives

Miracle, science or sham? That's the question at the heart of the new OWN series, Miracle Detectives. Two investigators— believer Randall Sullivan and skeptic Dr. Indre Viskontas—cross the country to determine whether facts or faith can explain mysterious phenomena. "It's a fascinating investigation into what can be proven and what simply cannot," Oprah says.

Randall, a former Rolling Stone journalist and author of The Miracle Detective, was raised without religion. In 1995, Randall says an experience in Medjugorje, Bosnia, left him a believer in God and miracles. "Since that day, I've been determined to prove that miracles really do happen," he says.

Watch Randall recall his miracle

Dr. Viskontas is a well-respected neuroscientist who needs facts and scientific proof in order to believe. "I think that if you're going to say something definitely is evidence for divine intervention or the supernatural, then that requires pretty extraordinary evidence," she says.

Though Dr. Viskontas works to disprove alleged miracles, she's open to finding one. "I want to be the scientist that discovers the thing that no one else has discovered," she says. "That would change my life."

Watch a clip of Miracle Detectives

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Kidnapped by the Kids
Kidnapped by the Kids

The ability of technology to keep us connected 24 hours a day can be a blessing—and a curse. As the line between work and home becomes blurred, some children want only one thing—more time with mom and dad. 

"Even though we're supposed to be more connected, we're really more disconnected from our families," Oprah says. "Desperate times call for desperate measures."

Enter Kidnapped by the Kids. In each episode, children of workaholic parents force the adults in their lives to disconnect from work and spend time with family. "This is, I think, such a great show for families to watch together," Oprah says.

Watch a preview of this show

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Oprah Presents Master Class with Condoleeza Rice
Oprah Presents Master Class

Oprah says it's hard for her to pick a favorite show on the channel, but she says she is really excited about Oprah Presents Master Class. "I handpicked a really spectacular group of actors, musicians, writers, journalists, entertainers and what I call 'thought leaders,'" she says. "I think every life has a story and there's something to learn. So we do their life stories as a class. They're life teachers."

Thought leaders such as Sidney Poitier, Lorne Michaels, Condoleezza Rice, Simon Cowell, Maya Angelou, Diane Sawyer and Jay-Z share their hard-earned lessons from victories and defeats. "I guarantee it will open your eyes and you will really be inspired," Oprah says. "That's the whole idea of this entire network."

Watch a preview of this show

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In the coming months, OWN: The Oprah Winfrey Network will also be premiering shows following some of the biggest stars in movies, music and entertainment as they face major crossroads in their lives. "Forgiveness, redemption, a second chance," Oprah says. "Watch every step of the way for them."

Shows include:

• Shania Twain's life after divorce will be chronicled in Why Not? With Shania Train
• Country legends Naomi and Wynonna Judd let cameras in on their complicated mother-daughter relationship
• Sarah Ferguson, the Duchess of York, comes back from the brink in Finding Sarah
• Actors Ryan and Tatum O'Neal, the father and daughter who have been estranged for 25 years, try to reconnect

Oprah like you've never seen her before


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