*Harpo Productions just released a schedule of the first week of guests for the 25th and final season of “The Oprah Winfrey Show.” However, Monday’s season premiere remains “top secret,” with only hints of “celebrity guests and a surprise musical performance.
Later in the week, Winfrey will host country music stars The Judds and revisit the city of Williamson, W.Va., where she filmed a town hall episode about AIDS in 1987. During a live Friday show, she will announce her first book club selection in nearly a year.
For her last season, Oprah tells the AP she will put the spotlight back on those she feels are responsible for the show’s success: the viewers.
“This year you will see lots of surprises for other people, dreams coming true for other people, really honoring the essence of what has made this show work for the past 25 years and that’s the viewer,” Winfrey said. “The last season is a celebration of the past 24 years. For me, it is about holding a place of reverence and honor for the people who made this possible for me: that would be the viewers.”
Winfrey is set to launch her Oprah Winfrey Network, or OWN, on cable Jan. 1. The end of “The Oprah Winfrey Show” will be featured on that network with “Behind the Scenes: Oprah’s 25th Season,” a one-hour series giving viewers a look at the making of the last season of Winfrey’s talk show.
Winfrey describes her show, which is syndicated to 145 countries, as having a cultural impact on her viewers around the world.
“I’m learning more about that and being more accepting of what that has been as I look over these 25 years and prepare to go into the last season — hearing stories about how the show has affected people’s lives over the years,” Winfrey said.