OPRAH: GIVE ME THE NIGHT
The Queen of Daytime Is Becoming Nocturnal; (The Wall Street Journal, April 8, 2010) (PDF of original; link to full story on wsj.com; outtakes from Oprah interview on WSJ's Speakeasy blog: Oprah Winfrey Talks and Oprah Winfrey Talks, Part Two
A Big Bet for Her Network
Watch the WSJ “News Hub” segment on the story:
By SAM SCHECHNER
America's daytime talk-show queen is heading out at night.
Oprah Winfrey plans to announce Thursday that she will host an evening show on her new cable network. The aptly named "Oprah's Next Chapter," an hourlong show, will probably debut late next year.
Ms. Winfrey's new show, which could air as many as two or three times a week, will take Ms. Winfrey out of the studio setting that has been her home for nearly 25 years and follow her around the globe for conversations in places such as Egypt and China. "I'm going to take viewers with me, going to take celebrities I want to interview with me" around the world, Ms. Winfrey said in an interview.
The larger task will be taking advertisers and viewers along to the new Oprah Winfrey Network, or OWN. Ms. Winfrey right now has a vast audience, many women at home during the day, who follow by the millions her every tip on what to read, eat, wear, and buy. But the new network will be programming 24 hours a day. And Ms. Winfrey herself will face a formidable lineup of evening reality shows. Some, like NBC's "The Biggest Loser," CBS's "Undercover Boss," or Fox's "American Idol," include the inspirational and instructional tales that Ms. Winfrey excels at.
The new show is one of more than a dozen programs that OWN has lined up as it moves toward its scheduled debut on Jan. 1. A 50-50 joint venture between Ms. Winfrey's Harpo Inc. and cable programmer Discovery Communications Inc., the new network plans to give a detailed look at its shows in a presentation to advertisers Thursday.
"Oprah's Next Chapter" is a crucial ingredient for the new network. Ms. Winfrey, 56 years old, has until now said little publicly about her on-air role at OWN after "The Oprah Winfrey Show" ends in 2011…