The long haul of Oprah's farewell over the next year won't be much of a farewell, after all. She'll be leaving network television, sure, but her role on cable's new Oprah Winfrey Network won't just be behind the scenes. She announced today she's planning a new show -- at night.
That's just part of today's announcement of new programming planned for the cable venture, which finally goes live next January.
"Oprah's Next Chapter" will liberate Oprah from a sofa and a studio. The show will spotlight her in conversation and exploration around the world. "From the Taj Mahal to her beloved oak tree, the Great Wall to her own teahouse, it's a whole new kind of Oprah show," according to the network. "If she can dream it, she'll do it!"
"Oprah's Next Chapter" is scheduled to premiere in late 2011 -- not long after she shutters her syndicated network talk show at the close of its 25th season.
A joint venture of Winfrey's Harpo Inc. and Discovery Communications Inc., OWN: The Oprah Winfrey Network is now set to sign on Jan. 1 after missing two earlier deadlines. It will be available in approximately 80 million homes, replacing the Discovery Health Channel.
Other shows announced Thursday for OWN include:
- "Visionaries: Inside the Creative Mind" -- on which big-name talents take viewers inside their creative process, offering an opportunity to see how they bring their art to life. Included on the roster are Academy Award-winning director James Cameron, Grammy Award-winning musician Lady Gaga and photographer Annie Leibovitz.
- "Your Own Show: Oprah's Search for the Next TV Star" -- produced with reality TV giant Mark Burnett, will mount a nationwide search to discover the next big TV personality.
- "Gayle King Live!" -- brings to TV the morning radio show of Oprah's best friend.
- "Why Not? With Shania Twain" -- a reality show chronicling the trials and triumphs of the top-selling country music star.
These new series join a slate of previously announced shows including:
- "Behind the Scenes: The Oprah Show Final Season," a "docuseries" that takes viewers behind the scenes of the final season of "The Oprah Winfrey Show."
- "Breaking Down the Bars," billed as a prison show whose women inmates have a shot at rehabilitation and atonement.
- "Enough Already" sends home-organization guru Peter Walsh on a quest to help people declutter their lives.
- "In the Bedroom With Dr. Laura Berman" aims to help couples improve their relationships and sex lives.
- "Inside With Lisa Ling" brings viewers reports on unexpected people from far-flung locations.
- "Kidnapped by the Kids" sets the stage for parents caught up in a world disconnected by technology and hectic lifestyles to get a wake-up call when their kids take drastic steps to reclaim Mom and Dad.
- "The Miracle Detectives" sets a believer and a skeptic on the trail of amazing events that couldn't possibly have happened -- or could they?
- "Oprah Presents: Master Class" features prominent personalities hand-picked by Oprah (including Bono, Simon Cowell, Lorne Michaels and Condoleezza Rice) who share their stories, insights and lives.
- "The Swell Life" takes a look inside the family of former competitive surfer Izzy Paskowitz, his wife Danielle and their three children (one of whom is autistic), as well as their surf-school business.
- "Searching" puts search specialist and genealogist Pam Slaton on the trail of long-lost friends and family members.