After what seemed like a spring of false finales, the final episode of The Oprah Winfrey Show has aired. Winfrey's new show, Oprah's Next Chapter, is slated to debut on her OWN network in early 2012, but the closing of a 25-season run that made "syndication" seem like the latest and greatest get rich quick scheme seemed like an end to an era. Here are our picks for the essential Oprah stories you need to be reading, clicking, and watching this evening:
Oprah says goodbye, ponders her next move The Washington Post's Dan Zak offered the most complete big-picture look at Oprah's impact on television, gender, and race in America. He also raises tantalizing questions about whether the move to cable will somehow diminish the unique (one interview subject calls it "spiritual") role she's filled in daily American life.
How I gave Oprah her start In 2005, Roger Ebert blogged about the night he suggested to Oprah that she should go into syndication. How much money did she make off that decision. "Estimate how much I made in a year, 20 years ago," says Ebert. "Carry out the other multiplications described above. Times 20."
Oprah doesn't give out cars, just reflection on last show For those who missed the finale, there was no big giveaway of cars or tree. The Chicago Sun-Times runs thorough account of what was on display, namely empathy, self-deprecating humor, her patented style of cheerleading, and a promise that the farewell was only "until we meet again."
Will she OWN cable? The Hollywood Reporter breaks from finale-mania to look ahead at Oprah's move to OWN, but the network has had no shortage of problems. CEO Christina Norman was replaced earlier this month and the network posted an un-Oprah like $20 million loss in the first quarter this year.
25 years of Oprah New York magazine chronicled a quarter-of-a-century worth of hairdo changes, weight fluctuation, and overall trends in women's fashion in one slideshow. Because it traces the year-by-year progression, rather than just coding in every photo in the archives, it resonates even with people who couldn't care less about daytime TV fashion trends.
With more than 2400 episodes, there's no shortage of footage from the show. But if you asked us to describe The Oprah Winfrey show in a word (or a clip), these would be our five picks.