In an interview with TV Guide, Oprah Winfrey discussed her upcoming 25th and final season of “The Oprah Winfrey Show,” saying she expects something from President Obama for the final season and discussing two of the episodes that changed the way she hosted her show (videos below).
Out of over 5,000 hours of footage, Oprah commented specifically on one 1988 episode that she says changed her show’s focus.
“Yesterday I was looking at a skinhead show [we did in 1988], and I said to my staff, ‘That’s the show that caused me to do television differently,'” she told TV Guide. “What I learned from that is you cannot allow yourself to be a vehicle that promotes the energy of hatred in any form. That was life-changing for me.”
Oprah also said that a 1997 episode, during which her producers surprised her with a visit from idol Mary Tyler Moore, caused her to institute a new rule: no surprises.
“When I went into the ugly cry on the air — I made a rule that I was never to be surprised again on air,” she said. “I don’t want to lose that kind of control. If you’ve ever looked at that tape, snot’s running out of my nose and I had such a headache that I couldn’t focus. I don’t handle surprise very well.”
Oprah added that she and her producers have told celebrities they cannot just come on the show this season to promote their latest work.
“This year is about creating moments,” she said. “So I can assure you we’re saying to all of our celebrity friends this is not the year you can come on and just promote your book or promote your song. You have to create moments.”
One thing viewers can expect? Some sort of visit from President Obama.
“I did not ask him to come on this year,” Oprah said. “But I did say, ‘I’m sure you will hear from somebody on my team before this year is over.’ I’m sure that at some point I will see a taped message or something.”
The farewell season of “Oprah” begins on September 13. Read Oprah’s interview at TVGuide.com, and for more, pick up the latest issue of TV Guide, on newsstands Thursday.
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