Oprah Prime

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Oprah Prime
Oprah Prime Logo.jpg
Also known as Oprah's Next Chapter
Presented by Oprah Winfrey
Country of origin United States
Original language(s) English
No. of seasons 3
No. of episodes 85 (list of episodes)
Executive producer(s)
  • Andrea Wishom
  • Tara Montgomery
  • Veronica Votypka
  • Jenna Kostelnik
  • A. Chris Gajilan
Running time 42 minutes
Production company(s) Harpo Studios
Original network Oprah Winfrey Network
Picture format 480i (SDTV)
1080i (HDTV)
Original release January 1, 2012 (2012-01-01) – January 4, 2015 (2015-01-04)
Related shows The Oprah Winfrey Show
Oprah's Lifeclass
External links

Oprah Prime (formerly Oprah's Next Chapter) is an American prime-time television show hosted and produced by Oprah Winfrey, airing on Oprah Winfrey Network. The series premiered on January 1, 2012, with a two-part episode featuring Aerosmith frontman Steven Tyler. The third season brought a new series title, Oprah Prime, and premiered on March 9, 2014.[1]


Oprah Prime is an interview program that allows Oprah Winfrey to step "outside of the studio for some riveting, enlightening in-depth conversations with newsmakers, celebrities, thought leaders and real-life families."[2] The decision to launch Oprah Prime was made after Oprah reflected on her 25 years on television. "After 25 years I got myself out of the studio chairs. I moved into the next chapter, and I am having more fun than ever – moving around the country and the world talking to people I’m really interested in getting to know and I think viewers will be, too," said Winfrey. "It is so energizing to be out and about in the world exploring new people, new places and new ideas."[3]

Series overview[edit]

Season Episodes Originally aired
First aired Last aired
1 29 January 1, 2012 (2012-01-01) July 15, 2012 (2012-07-15)
2 47 July 22, 2012 (2012-07-22) December 8, 2013 (2013-12-08)
3 9 March 9, 2014 (2014-03-09) January 4, 2015 (2015-01-04)

Season 1 (2012)[edit]

Season 1 of Oprah Prime debuted on OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network on Sunday January 1, 2012 at 9:00 p.m. ET with a two-part series premiere featuring Aerosmith frontman Steven Tyler.

Throughout the first season, Oprah interviews Aerosmith's Steven Tyler at his New Hampshire home; journeys to Haiti with Sean Penn nearly two years after a devastating earthquake took the lives of more than 300,000 people; tours Skywalker Ranch with George Lucas as her personal guide; has a slumber party at Southern chef Paula Deen's Georgia estate; and travels to a small town in Iowa devoted to the practice of Transcendental Meditation.[2][4][5]

On January 24, 2012, it was announced that as a result of its high ratings, Oprah Prime would be airing two nights per week in February, as two-part episodes that run one hour each.[6]

On April 27, 2012, OWN announced that new episodes of Oprah Prime would continue airing throughout the summer. These episodes "will feature Winfrey visiting How I Met Your Mother star Neil Patrick Harris in his Los Angeles home, where she'll meet his husband-to-be and his fraternal twin babies. She'll also head to Brazil to meet with a faith healer and 'psychic surgeon.' The host will watch his controversial procedures as they're performed without anesthesia or sterilization."[7]

Season 2 (2012–13)[edit]

Season 2 of Oprah Prime premiered on Oprah Winfrey Network on Sunday July 22, 2012 at 9:00 p.m. ET, with an episode featuring ten legendary olympians at Oprah's home in Montecito, California.

On August 2, 2012, Oprah Winfrey Network announced that Oprah Prime, would feature in-depth interviews in the coming season with Kelsey Grammer, Jennifer Hudson, and Bette Midler, among others. Winfrey will talk to Stephen Colbert in his hometown of Charleston, South Carolina. Colbert agreed to be interviewed as himself, not his TV character as seen nightly on The Colbert Report. Colbert keeps his personal life separate from his public persona, and rarely agrees to interviews.[8]

On January 5, 2013, Oprah Winfrey Network announced that new episodes of the second season of Next Chapter would feature Drew Barrymore from her home in California, LL Cool J with his family at their home in Los Angeles and Whitney Houston’s mother Cissy Houston one year after her daughter’s untimely passing.[9]

On January 17–18, 2013, Oprah Winfrey Network aired a two-part special edition of Oprah Prime featuring Lance Armstrong's first-ever on-air admission to doping. Oprah and Lance Armstrong: The Worldwide Exclusive was aired online at Oprah.com and "in over 190 countries, on 50 total networks, in 30 languages, as it was simulcast across Canada, Western Europe, Asia-Pacific and Latin America (episode 1 only) on OWN Canada, Discovery Channel, TLC, DMAX and Home&Health." According to early numbers, "over 28 million viewers watched globally across all platforms. Across all airings, 12.2 million people tuned in to see the telecasts on OWN in the U.S. with 15 million tuning in internationally in 18 countries that are rated across Discovery Networks and OWN Canada, and 800,000 unique viewers tuned in to watch the LIVE interview stream online worldwide." These numbers are expected to rise as more data is collected. The interview garnered significant media attention in North America, with many speculating that this was Winfrey's most important interview booking since beginning her network.[10]

Season 3 (2014–15)[edit]

Season 3 brought a new series title, Oprah Prime, and premiered March 9, 2014.[1] OWN President Sheri Salata explains the name change and new focus for the series: "When Oprah's Next Chapter launched two years ago, it gave Oprah the platform to explore the world in a fresh and meaningful way. As the show has evolved into more topical conversations with newsmakers and celebrities, Oprah Prime provides a wider lens for Oprah to intimately explore topics that matter and the public figures who are making a difference, as only she can." In the first episode, Winfrey interviews Russell Brand about his heroin addiction and explores other stories about addiction and the devastating effects of drugs.[11]


Critical reception[edit]

Oprah Prime debuted to generally positive reviews. Sara Vilkomerson of Entertainment Weekly stated that the premiere with Steven Tyler showcased Winfrey's trademark skills as "a master interviewer. It’s easy to take for granted, but Winfrey has both an innate ability to get celebrities to open up to her, and zero hesitation over asking tough questions." Vilkomerson further praised the show's behind-the-scenes segments and noted that the show has a more relaxed feel than The Oprah Winfrey Show, which might take some time for viewers to adjust to.[12]

Piers Morgan also praised the show on his Facebook page, saying that it was "fantastic" and that Winfrey was "the undisputed Queen of chat".[13]

Further, Steve Johnson of Chicago Tribune declared that Winfrey "knows how to steer a celebrity chat" and that her discussion with Tyler in the premiere was "fascinating". On the other hand, Johnson criticized the show's tendency to focus too much on the host; he posits that producers use the behind-the-scenes segments to reveal that Winfrey is the "orchestrator and validator" of the program's revealing conversations.[14]


The two-hour premiere of Oprah Prime gave OWN its highest ratings for a Sunday premiere since the network's January 2011 launch weekend, scoring a 1.1 rating in the network's target women 25-54 demographic and 1.1 million total viewers. To put these numbers in context, the Oprah's Next Chapter premiere represented a 463 percent increase in the demo over the network's December 2011 average in that time period. Only the premiere of Season 25: Oprah Behind The Scenes, which aired on January 1, 2011, has scored better than the Next Chapter premiere, drawing a 1.11 in the demo and 1.2 million total viewers."[15]

According to affiliate ratings, the second week of Oprah Prime, featuring Winfrey's interview with pastor Joel Osteen, "brought in an audience of 1.6 million during its Sunday night broadcast. It marks a 45 percent growth from the series premiere, and now holds the network record of being the most-watched broadcast since its 2011 launch. Oprah Prime also improved among the network's favored women 25-54 demographic, adding 18 percent from the previous episode for a 1.3 rating. The series also built on its audience in the second half-hour, growing from 1.5 million to 1.6 million."[16]

The third week of the show saw a steep decline in viewership as Winfrey's interview with Chris Christie drew in only 500,000 viewers on OWN - down over 1 million viewers from the week before.[17] However the following week's interview with George Lucas saw a slight increase, with 557,000 viewers on OWN.[6]

An exclusive interview with Whitney Houston's family, including her daughter Bobbi Kristina Brown, attracted 3.5 million viewers on March 11, 2012. The highly anticipated interview spent two years precisely as the network's most watched broadcast ever, a ratings record for the then one-year-old network.[18] On March 11, 2014, however, a season 2 episode of The Haves and the Have Nots (drama series by Tyler Perry) set a new record for OWN, scoring the highest ratings in the station's history. The record-breaking episode brought in 3.6 million viewers, surpassing the 3.5 million that tuned in for Oprah Winfrey's interview with Bobbi Kristina.[19]

Awards and nominations[edit]

Year Award Category Result
2013 NAACP Image Awards Outstanding Talk Series Nominated
GLAAD Media Awards Outstanding Talk Show Episode ("At Home with Neil Patrick Harris, His Fiancé David Burtka, & Their Twins") Won
2014 NAACP Image Awards Outstanding Talk Series Nominated
GLAAD Media Awards Outstanding Talk Show Episode ("First Openly Gay NBA Player Jason Collins and his Family") Won
20th Annual NAMIC Vision Awards Variety/ Talk Show Won
2015 NAACP Image Awards Outstanding Talk Series Nominated
GLAAD Media Awards Outstanding Talk Show Episode ("Michael Sam") Nominated
21st Annual NAMIC Vision Awards Variety/ Talk Show ("Pharrell Williams") Won
2016 NAACP Image Awards Outstanding News/ Information- Series Or Special ("Celebrating Dr. King and the Selma Marches 50 Years Later") Nominated
22nd Annual NAMIC Vision Awards Variety/ Talk Show Won


  1. ^ a b Bible, Sara (March 4, 2014). "Oprah Winfrey Interviews Russell Brand on Premiere of 'Oprah Prime' This Sunday, March 9 on OWN". TV by the Numbers (Press release). Retrieved March 4, 2014. 
  2. ^ a b 'OWN Announces the Premiere of Oprah's Next Chapter' Oprah.com November 18, 2011
  3. ^ 'Oprah Winfrey Closes One Chapter and Opens Another' Archived 2012-02-11 at the Wayback Machine. Daily Venus Diva January 3, 2012
  4. ^ "Oprah Meditates With 400 Women In Iowa". Huffington Post. 2011-10-22. 
  5. ^ Oprah Winfrey (February 2012). "What Oprah Knows for Sure About Finding the Fullest Expression of Yourself". O, The Oprah Magazine. 
  6. ^ a b '"Oprah's Next Chapter" Expands to Second Night After Recent Rebound' Hollywood Reporter January 24, 2012
  7. ^ 'OWN Solidifies Summer Schedule' Hollywood Reporter April 27, 2012
  8. ^ 'Oprah Winfrey Determined to Make OWN a Success' Edmonton Journal August 3, 2012
  9. ^ 'OWN Orders Four Series; Oprah to Interview Whitney Houston's Mom' The Hollywood Reporter January 5, 2013
  10. ^ ' "Oprah and Lance Armstrong: The Worldwide Exclusive" Reaches 28 Million Viewers Globally Across All Platforms' The Futon Critic January 22, 2013
  11. ^ "Oprah to Interview Russell Brand in In-Depth Look at Addiction". OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network (Press release). March 4, 2014. Retrieved March 4, 2014. 
  12. ^ 'New Network, New Series, Same Oprah' Entertainment Weekly January 1, 2012
  13. ^ https://www.facebook.com/piersmorgan/posts/137097366406205
  14. ^ 'Oprah Begins Next Chapter' Chicago Tribune January 3, 2012
  15. ^ '"Oprah's Next Chapter" premiere gives OWN ratings boost' Reuters January 3, 2012
  16. ^ 'Oprah Winfrey's Oprah's Next Chapter Climbs 45 Percent' Hollywood Reporter January 10, 2012
  17. ^ 'Starr Report' NYPost January 19, 2012
  18. ^ 'Oprah's Next Chapter Interview Brings in Record Ratings' Huffington Post March 12, 2012
  19. ^ Rick Kissell @ratesrick (2014-03-12). "'Haves and Have Nots' Sets OWN Ratings Record With Its Finale". Variety. Retrieved 2014-03-17. 

External links[edit]