Entries in OWN (23)


Oprah Winfrey Tweet Promoting OWN Show Irks Nielsen

ABC, Inc.(NEW YORK) -- Oprah Winfrey crossed the line when she promoted her new interview show on Twitter Sunday night.

As a new episode of Winfrey's Next Chapter had begun on OWN, The New York Times reports Winfrey tweeted to her followers, “Every 1 who can please turn to OWN especially if u have a Neilsen [sic] box.”

The tweet was not as innocuous as it may seem.  Nielsen believes it may be a possible violation of its policy against openly lobbying Nielsen box owners to watch a specific show or network.

Winfrey tells the Times in a statement that she's removed the tweet from her feed at Nielsen's request, adding, “I intended no harm and apologize for the reference.”

Nielsen will place an asterisk next to the ratings for Winfrey's Next Chapter to reflect “possible biasing effect."

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Oprah’s New Cable Talk Show Draws 1.1 Million Viewers

ABC, Inc.(NEW YORK) -- Oprah Winfrey has her work cut out for her if she wants her new cable talk show to reach the same number of viewers who tuned into her former broadcast edition. reports Oprah Next Chapter with guest Steven Tyler debuted Sunday night on the Oprah Winfrey Network, and attracted just 1.1 million viewers. Oprah averaged 6.5 million viewers in the final season of her old daytime chat fest.

For further comparison, Piers Morgan attracted an audience of 2.1 million in his debut on CNN, when he replaced Larry King, and The History Channel’s Pawn Stars averaged more than five million viewers last month.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


'Oprah's Next Chapter' Debuts Jan. 1

ABC, Inc.(LOS ANGELES) -- She may have left the studio, but Oprah Winfrey does not plan to stop her interviews with celebrities and remarkable people.

Her network, OWN, is set to launch Oprah’s Next Chapter early next year.  The media mogul will be seen traveling around the world chatting to newsmakers, leaders and real-life families.

The premiere episode, which airs Jan. 1, will be a two-hour special on Aerosmith frontman and American Idol host Steven Tyler.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Rosie O'Donnell Talks about New Show

HARPO, INC./ GEORGE BURNS(CHICAGO) -- It's been 10 years since Rosie O'Donnell left her first enormously successful talk show -- The Rosie O'Donnell Show -- only now to be welcomed with open arms by the talk show queen herself, Oprah Winfrey.

"It's pretty exciting, I have to say it really is," O'Donnell told Nightline anchor Cynthia McFadden.

At 49, the Emmy-award winning comedian and actress is debuting her new talk show, The Rosie Show, on the Oprah Winfrey Network (OWN) on Monday at 7 p.m. ET. Her show is taped at the iconic Harpo Studios in Chicago, which was the home of The Oprah Winfrey Show for 25 years.

"I feel like was knighted by the queen...I will serve," O'Donnell said.

Her first guest will be actor Russell Brand, whom, O'Donnell jokes, has now replaced the man she used to idolize, Tom Cruise.

"Tom knows, I sent him a little text," she said. "I said, 'Tommy, I will always love ya. Move over, Russell Brand is in."

While filling Oprah's shoes may be daunting enough, Oprah herself said she isn't looking for a clone in O'Donnell.

"She is the only person in my 25-year reign as the number one talk show, the only person who came close to beating me was Rosie," Oprah said. "But it's not something I ever worried about. I am myself. Rosie is herself. I knew she had the goods. She had the goods."

Even much of Oprah's former staff has stayed on and begun adjusting to O'Donnell's way of running the show.

"I am not going to follow notes," O'Donnell said. "I read the books and I have a conversation. It's different than other talk shows. So it takes getting used to."

Bringing O'Donnell, having been known for her sometimes controversial humor, back to television on OWN was something Oprah handled personally. She flew out to meet with O'Donnell when she heard the comedian was considering a show with OWN.

"When I heard that Rosie actually might be interested in signing on with me and with OWN, I really couldn't believe it," Oprah said. "I was like, 'really? She would do that?' And you know, got on a plane to see her face to face to hear from her from her own lips that this is true because I didn't want agents speaking to lawyers and all of that stuff."

O'Donnell had a slightly different take on why Oprah wanted to come talk to her about launching her show.

"When I hugged her after I said I was all in, I said, 'so did you come here to see if I was insane?'" O'Donnell said. "She said, 'a little bit.' I said, 'I don't blame you.' I passed the crazy check. I'm not sure how, but I did."

For many fans, the last public sighting of O'Donnell was in 2007, when she and The View co-host Elizabeth Hasselbeck had a painful falling out on camera.

"I learned that for me, if I can't be the boss of a show, I shouldn't be on the show," O'Donnell said.

Even though O'Donnell stands by her actions, she admitted to feeling uncomfortable with her behavior that day. She said she recently watched the video of that exchange on YouTube, and was "not OK with the level of anger." She continued, "When I watched it back, I felt the betrayal and the sadness. I had worked very hard to sort of befriend Elizabeth."

O'Donnell says she does feel less angry these days, a tribute to discovering she needed to take hormones.

"I had zero levels of estrogen," she said, a discovery that was prompted by her friend Suzanne Somers, who urged her to get her levels checked.

"I started on bio-identical estrogen cream and I think it made a huge difference in my life," O'Donnell said.

While a visit to her new show reveals O'Donnell is upbeat, even zany in her opening monologue, she is also reflective and personal in an interview with Carrie Fisher about her weight loss and depression to this day. Two topics close to O'Donnell's heart.

"That was a challenge my whole life," she said. "I was so grateful that I had gotten on medication after Columbine. I don't know how I would have gotten through 9/11. They say it's PTSD, I don't know, but it's a very big issue. In fact, when I took this job, I did say to Oprah, 'I'm pretty stable.' I'm doing really well, but I have to tell you, a world catastrophe, [I’m] probably gonna need a week off."

With therapy and medication, the comedian says she is now feeling the best she has felt in a long time. And for O'Donnell, there is more to life than worrying about being a celebrity. Raising her four kids, Parker, 16, Chelsea, 14, Blake, 12, who were adopted, and Vivienne Rose, 9, who was conceived through artificial insemination, has been the most important thing to her.

"It is the best thing I ever did," O'Donnell said. "People sometimes say to me, 'oh, it was great of you to adopt,' and I say, 'No it was greedy.' I want to look into the eyes of that woman and that man who created those children and say, 'Thank you, because you made my life worth living.'"

O'Donnell first married Kelli Carpenter, a former Nickelodeon marketing executive, in 2004. The couple divorced three years ago, and O'Donnell said she tried to date, but it wasn't easy.

By happenstance, she met her current girlfriend Michelle Rounds while standing in line at a Starbucks.

"I thought she was a 28-year-old heterosexual girl because that's what she looked like to me, and she's a 40-year-old gay woman," O'Donnell said. "My gaydar was way off."

One thing is for sure about the talk show host, she is not afraid of making a strong comeback. For O'Donnell, success means finding "a beautiful mix" of balance and happiness.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Ryan O’Neal Blames Family Drama on Oprah

OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network(LOS ANGELES) -- Ryan O’Neal says he and daughter Tatum are more estranged than ever, and Oprah Winfrey is to blame.

“We only reconciled on the show, not in life,” the actor told TV Guide, referring to the eight part docu-series he and Tatum starred in on Winfrey’s newly-launced ”Oprah Winfrey Network” (OWN) earlier this summer.

“In fact we’re further apart now than when we started the show,” he said.  “So thanks, Oprah, for all your help.”

Father and daughter, who appeared together in the 1973 film Paper Moon, for which the then-10-year-old Tatum won an Oscar, endured a 25-year estrangement, much of it displayed in the public eye.

“In one word, pride,” Ryan told Good Morning America in June of what drove him and his daughter apart.  “I thought I had all the pride.  It turned out, no, there’s someone with more than me.”

The duo began talking again after the death of Ryan’s longtime girlfriend, actress Farrah Fawcett, in 2009, and agreed to star in the reality series for OWN that documented their attempts to work through the estrangement and improve their relationship.

Ryan & Tatum: The O’Neals, which premiered June 19, showed the pair in therapy sessions, celebrating Tatum’s birthday and traveling together to the Palm Springs Film Festival for a screening of Paper Moon.

“It was a way back when there weren’t many paths,” Ryan told GMA in June, of why he and Tatum turned to a reality show to repair their strained father-daughter bond.

It turns out the reality of those hopeful moments on the reality show were not so real, after all.

In clips from the show’s final episode in August, the two remain conflicted towards each other, even while agreeing to continue therapy.

Both Ryan and Tatum agreed on GMA, after filming for the show had wrapped, that their relationship remained “tenuous.”

“It’s a work in progress,” Tatum said on GMA. “Relationships are tricky.”

This is not the first time O’Neal has hit back against Oprah for her involvement, or lack thereof, in the show.

“I thought that was the thing -- that Oprah would be there and use her magic on us,” he told xfinityTV in June. “I thought she’d bless us and that would help. We spent New Year’s Eve with her, and she was very encouraging. Then we never saw her again. And haven’t heard from her. When she finished her show, I supposed she’d come by and talk to us, but they said no, she’s going on holiday.  So Tatum and I were left to deal with each other on our own.”

A spokesman for OWN had no comment.

Ryan O’Neal’s camp is now furiously backpedaling on the TV Guide quote.

“That is a very old statement that the magazine just published,” O’Neal’s spokesman, Arnold Robinson, told GMA.  “They are of course still working on strengthening their relationship, which is an on-going process.”

Robinson also noted that Tatum O’Neal joined her father in court a few weeks ago to offer support as her half-brother, Redmond, Ryan’s son with Fawcett, faced another drug charge.

Whatever the truth, life is more complicated than reality TV.  Perhaps there’s room for a sequel.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Rosie O'Donnell Dishes on OWN Talk Show

PRNewsFoto/Discovery Communications(LOS ANGELES) -- Rosie O'Donnell is officially returning to television. The former "View" star will host a new evening chat show on OWN starting in October.

O'Donnell talked about the decision to return at the Television Critics Association tour in Beverly Hills Friday. One characteristic that makes "The Rosie Show" stand out is its evening time-slot.

The 49-year-old said the program will open with a comic monologue, then probably feature an interview, and the hour will end with audience participation in games. Comparisons are likely to be drawn to competitive late-night network shows.

Oprah Winfrey made an appearance on Friday to pump her network and support O'Donnell. She said O'Donnell has been hard at work on the new show.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Oprah Winfrey Wants O.J. Simpson to Confess to Her

Barry Brecheisen/WireImage(CHICAGO) -- Oprah Winfrey recently ended her long-running TV talk show, and on Thursday, she revealed the one guest she wished she could have interviewed.

Speaking at the industry expo The Cable Show 2011 in Chicago, Winfrey said, "I have a dream of O.J. Simpson confessing to me," a statement that was greeted with cheers at the Q&A session.

Oprah hasn't given up on the idea, either.

"And I am going to make that happen people," she declared.  "I don't just want the interview.  I want the interview on the condition that you are ready, Mr. Simpson."

Simpson was acquitted of murdering his wife Nicole Brown Simpson and her friend Ronald Goldman in 1995.  The former NFL star is currently behind bars in Las Vegas, sentenced in 2008 to nine to 33 years in prison for unrelated robbery, weapons, and kidnapping charges.

Winfrey also addressed concerns about her ratings-challenged OWN: The Oprah Winfrey Network, explaining that with The Oprah Winfrey Show now finished, she now has "the ability to commit my full energy, feet first, body immersed" into OWN.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Celine Dion Gets One-Hour Special on Oprah's OWN Network

Frazer Harrison/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- You've heard of Three Men and a Baby -- now get ready for Celine Dion: 3 Boys and a New Show.

That's the name of a one-hour special which will debut on Oprah Winfrey's OWN network on June 26 at 9 p.m ET.

The special will give fans a behind-the-scenes look at Dion's day-to-day life as she works on her new Las Vegas show, spends time with her husband, cares for her newborn twins, and looks after her older son, Rene-Charles.

The show will be preceded by a six-hour marathon of the OWN series that stars another Canadian-born superstar: Why Not? with Shania Twain.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Oprah Winfrey Courting Maria Shriver for Her Cable Network, OWN

Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images(LOS ANGELES) -- Maria Shriver recently split with her husband of 25 years, former California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, but the end of that relationship seems to have opened the door to a new opportunity.

RadarOnline reports Oprah Winfrey is courting former TV news personality Shriver to work at her cable network, OWN.

A source close to Shriver said, "A talk show featuring Maria as the sole host was discussed.  But now that Maria has formally separated from Arnold, Oprah is on a full court press to lock Maria up."

The source added, "Maria is looking at make a comeback and she is getting tons of offers from the major networks.  Maria's children are almost all grown up, her youngest son is 15.  It's not a matter of if Maria will return to television, but when."

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Chaz Bono Talks 'Becoming Chaz,' Cher on 'Oprah'

ABC News(CHICAGO) -- After years of struggling with his sexuality, Chaz Bono opened up about transitioning to a man on Monday's Oprah.

"Life was always so much more difficult," he told Oprah Winfrey about his former life as Chastity Bono. "It also felt like my body was literally betraying me."

Bono, the 42-year-old son of Cher and the late Sonny Bono, made a documentary about his transition, Becoming Chaz, which airs on Oprah Winfrey's OWN Tuesday. The film premiered at the Sundance Film Festival in January, which Bono attended with his partner, Jennifer Elia. Cher was absent.

On Oprah, Bono revealed that Cher has seen the film and that, "She really liked it a lot. But I think it was probably hard to see," he said. "She has finally gotten that this is the thing that's making me happy."

The Bono in Becoming Chaz is desperate to erase all signs of his femininity. He injects himself with testosterone; he binds his chest so tight he has trouble breathing. "I'll be really happy to get rid of these," he declares before finally going under the knife to remove his breasts.

No one seems more uncomfortable with Bono's change than Cher. The two appear together in one scene at the end of Becoming Chaz, after the credits start rolling. But the majority of Cher's input in the movie comes via a single-camera interview in which she often refers to her son as a woman.

Watch Chaz Bono's interview on ABC's Nightline Monday at 11:35 p.m. ET/PT and tune in for more on Good Morning America Tuesday at 7 a.m. ET/PT.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

ABC News Radio