The Oprah Winfrey Show

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The Oprah Winfrey Show (often simply referred to as Oprah or just O) is an American syndicated talk show, hosted and produced by its namesake Oprah Winfrey, and is the highest-rated talk show in American television history.[1] The show airs on most ABC-owned stations in the United States (as well as various other stations through CBS Television Distribution, successor to King World).

The show is highly influential, and many of its topics penetrate into American pop-cultural consciousness. While early episodes of the show followed a Phil Donahue-style exploration of sensationalistic social issues, Oprah eventually transformed her series into one with an image of a more positive, spiritually uplifting experience by featuring book clubs, celebrity interviews, self-improvement segments, and philanthropic forays into world events. The show has been criticized for frequently being an hour-long daytime infomercial, as product placement plays a major role in the show's revenue. Her promotion of books belonging to her book club has also been targeted by critics as these sales are an important source of revenue for Oprah Winfrey.

As of 2010, it is one of the longest-running daytime television talk shows in the United States, having run nationally since September 8, 1986, for over 24 seasons and nearly 5,000 episodes. On November 19, 2009, Oprah Winfrey's production company announced that the show will be ending on September 9, 2011.[2][3]

Contents

History

The show has its roots in AM Chicago, a half-hour morning talk show airing on WLS-TV in Chicago, Illinois.[citation needed] Winfrey took over as host in 1983, and within a year took it from last place to first place in the ratings. On September 8, 1986, it was relaunched under its current title and was picked up nationally.[4] The show began broadcasting in high definition in its 2008–09 season, becoming one of the first nationally-syndicated daytime talk shows to do so.[5]

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