Tag: Harpo Productions

Oprah Winfrey, Apple Sign Multi-Year Content Partnership

by Joe Otterton via variety.com

Apple and Oprah Winfrey have a signed a multi-year content partnership. Under the deal, Winfrey and Apple will create programs that will be released as part of Apple’s original content lineup.

The deal marks one of the first such agreements struck between Apple and a content creator. This is also the latest addition to Winfrey’s media empire. The former hit talk show host formed her own cable network, OWN: The Oprah Winfrey Network, in 2011 in partnership with Discovery Communications. The channel has become one of the fastest-growing cable networks among women and has produced hit shows like “Queen Sugar,” which boasts Oscar nominee Ava DuVernay as showrunner.

Winfrey recently extended her contract with Discovery through 2025. Sources tell Variety that Apple’s deal with Winfrey does not conflict with the Discovery agreement. Winfrey remains exclusive in an on-screen capacity to OWN with limited carve-outs, such as her role as a correspondent for CBS’ “60 Minutes” and her recent acting work for HBO.

Via her Harpo Productions banner, Winfrey has also developed several long-running hit syndicated shows including “Dr. Phil,” “The Dr. Oz Show” and “Rachael Ray.” Through her Harpo Films, she has produced several Academy Award-winning features including “Selma,” which was directed by DuVernay. Winfrey also had a featured role in that film, and recently starred in other films like “Lee Daniels’ The Butler,” “A Wrinkle in Time,” and HBO’s “The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks.”

Winfrey also runs O, The Oprah Magazine and published the New York Times best-selling cookbook “Food, Health and Happiness” last year. As a noted philanthropist, Winfrey has contributed more than $100 million to provide education to academically gifted girls from disadvantaged backgrounds. The Oprah Winfrey Leadership Academy for Girls in South Africa celebrated its 10-year anniversary in 2017.

Even before the Oprah deal, Apple has a robust slate of originals prepared to launch. In addition to the previously mentioned morning show drama, the streamer is prepping shows like a reboot of Steven Spielberg’s “Amazing Stories,” a psychological thriller series from executive producer M. Night Shyamalan, the true crime podcast drama series “Are You Sleeping?” starring Octavia Spencer and Aaron Paul, and an Emily Dickinson series starring Hailee Steinfeld among many others.

To read more: https://variety.com/2018/tv/news/oprah-winfrey-apple-content-partnership-1202848061/

HBO And Oprah Developing Drama On Wealthy Black College President

HBO and Oprah Winfrey are teaming up to produce an original drama series that will center on “a wealthy academic who has become the first black president of a prestigious liberal arts college. He and his family are thrust into national headlines, forcing them to present an idyllic public façade, all while engaging in agonizing personal battles and struggling with dark obsessions,” says THR.  The series will be penned by playwright Thomas Bradshaw, who will also co-executive produce with Winfrey and Harpo Studios’ Kate Forte.  This is part of a long-term deal Harpo has with HBO to develop miniseries, films, documentaries and scripted series for the network.

article by Tambay A. Obenson via blogs.indiewire.com

Oprah Kicks Off 25th and Final Season With A Bang!


Oprah Winfrey opened her talk show’s 25th and final season Monday with the surprise of a lifetime for her audience, a favorite tactic for the media maven. The 300 audience members will travel to Australia in December — courtesy of Winfrey — on an eight-day, seven-night trip that has been in the making for nearly a year, according to her production company, Harpo Productions. While there, the Sydney Opera House will be the site of a special “Oprah Winfrey Show” taping before thousands of Australian fans.

Monday’s surprise trip rivals one of Winfrey’s most famous episodes, when she gave away cars to each of her audience members to open her 19th season in 2004. She’s also known for giving away thousands of dollars in gifts to the lucky audience members who attend her annual “Favorite Things” show.

Winfrey announced last year that she would be taking her longtime talk show off the air.

“Twenty-five years feels right in my bones and it feels right in my spirit. It’s the perfect number — the exact right time,” Winfrey said in a statement at the time.  Since then, the television mogul has said her show will go out with a bang. As of January 1, Winfrey will move on to her new OWN network, and as a result, she told TV Guide that she has different standards for her guests for the upcoming season. “This year will be about creating moments,” she said.

The premiere week of “The Oprah Winfrey Show” will feature an appearance by country stars Naomi and Wynonna
Judd; a return visit to Williamson, West Virginia, where Winfrey did an episode on HIV/AIDS in 1987, to talk with the guests of that show; a one-on-one with Bethany Storro, a victim of an acid attack caused by a stranger; and the announcement of Winfrey’s latest book club selection, according to a press release. The premiere episode is supposed to be filled with celebrity guests and a surprise musical performance. “The Oprah Winfrey Show” first hit national airwaves on September 8, 1986.

“I was beyond excited … and as you all might expect, a little nervous,” Winfrey said in her statement announcing the show’s last season. “I knew then what a miraculous opportunity I had been given, but I certainly never could have imagined the ‘yellow brick road’ of blessings that have led me to this moment with you.”  Winfrey told TV Guide, “the show hasn’t been a big part of my life. It’s been my life. I didn’t have children. I had the show.  “I don’t intend to be crying the whole season,” she told TV Guide. “The only time I get really emotional and nostalgic about the show is when I think about the viewers. Hopefully some of them will follow me to OWN, but I know not everybody will.”

But leaving behind “The Oprah Winfrey Show” won’t be the end of her entertainment career.  OWN, short for the Oprah Winfrey Network, is touted as “a multi-platform media company designed to entertain, inform and inspire people to live their best lives.”  It launches on what is currently the Discovery Health Channel.