TV Guide Magazine Top 25 Oprah Moments premiered last night on OWN and it felt like home. Taking a look down memory lane, the program brings some behind the scenes thoughts from Oprah herself and offers a look back at moments that shaped our culture and our lives. With each hour, TV Guide and Oprah are giving us a handful of guests and their significance to the Oprah Winfrey Show. Paying tribute to each top moment chosen, the timing seems perfect. Bringing a little nostalgia to the network, TV Guide Magazine Top 25 Oprah Moments reminds us of how much we are connected and just how much we’ve grown from these television experiences. Be prepared to laugh, cry and be moved. Let the countdown begin!
For tonight’s 2 hour premiere, here are the top moments as they were presented:
Moment 25: Sound of Music cast reunion
Moment 24: Mattie Stepanek
Moment 23: Oprah Reunites with Ms. Duncan
Moment 22: Mackenzie Phillips
Moment 21: Truddi Chase!
Moment 20: Little Rock Nine Reunion 1996!
Moment 19: Announcement of Oprah’s Book Club!
Moment 18: James Frey, A Million Little Pieces
Watch each Tuesday at 10pm ET and PT to find out what moments make the list.
With the great premise of going off into the universe and documenting the experiences of how we all move through our own world, OWN’s special Culture Shock took us into three different cultures and gave us different perspectives on how each looked at love and marriage and the world. Through the eyes of a camera and some insightful interviews, Culture Shock brings us inside the lives of a few people around the world, highlighting that while we may not be geographically aligned, our hopes and dreams are very much the same.
Traveling through Russia to an extravagant marriage, producer and correspondent Lauren Terp brings us a piece of understanding that looks very closely like many you might see today in your own world. A young couple, excited for marriage and even going through similar steps of learning dance moves to wow the wedding audience. While the story of love looks similar, the producers manage to take us on a social journey of the history of the culture and what has evolved from a closed, communist land to a growing social environment. As the world changes, so do the people and this look gave us the inside story of an enchanting couple, Mischa and Adele, very much in love and moving through the motions of getting married. This love story binds the hour, but the stories intertwined from the different regions, show a different view of love and relationships through the world.
While stopping in India with producer and correspondent Rawan Jabaji, we spend some focused time with Farooqi, a matchmaker who finds love and brings it to you. In a country rich in tradition of arranged marriages, his job is to match those who are looking to get married with each other. Like a job resume, each person fills out a marriage resume and his “head hunter” mindset tries to find the best match for each person. While his office is the streets and families homes of the people he’s working for, the show also gives us a little perspective of his own married life. In a progressive society that is deeply rooted in tradition where open dating doesn’t happen and spending time with someone of the opposite sex is often family arranged, it’s difficult for his wife to accept him spending time with his female clients. Traditions might be regionally rooted but understanding emotions crosses all boundaries. [read more…]
The second half of Oprah Builds a Network concluded last Sunday with a collective wish…more behind the scenes, please! This docu-style special didn’t really capture the essence of some of the important aspects of starting a network, yet it did give us an inside look at special moments for Oprah and the O Team as they embarked on their newest journey. Viewers love this stuff and hopefully OWN will give us more! Just call it OWN: Behind the Scenes and then Oprah doesn’t have to carry it all. Get ready, Sheri and Erik!
The show shouldn’t have surprised us. Instead of giving us the corporate inner workings, Oprah showed us her heart and some of her most intimate thoughts, as well as thoughts from her trusted comrade, Sheri Salata and even her bestie, Gayle King. One of the most authentic moments occurred as Oprah sat pensively in her makeup chair while her best friend, Gayle spilled over about the horrible attacks from the media. She reminded Oprah and Sheri that no network had ever started out on top and that it took time to build one…especially one that was all heart. Yet the nastiness of reporting seemed to be getting to all of them. The ugliness had taken root and the media’s expectations were ridiculous.
“The very same people who are bowing at your feet and telling you how great you are, when the winds of change come, those same people will be at your throat…and the winds of change always come,” Oprah shared. She realized that this only brought her closer to her true self and that no one accomplishes anything of value without a challenge. Moving forward she still cautioned, “Be wary of people at your feet.”
For months we have been hoping that OWN would take us around the world and bring us new experiences and adventures that help bring the world closer together and give us a collective human experience. We asked and they apparently heard. OWN’s new special, Culture Shock, follows three filmmakers as they focus on relationships around the world and look at love from a global perspective. Join the journey as they take us to a wedding in Moscow, to an Indian matchmaker and to a mistress village in China. We can’t wait to be immersed into these cultures and have an understanding of the human experience around the globe. Universally, relationships bring us together. Let’s see how different and how similar we all are. Tune in for the premiere of Culture Shock Sunday, July 22nd at 10/9c.
Last week OWN’s first part of their special, Oprah Builds a Network, kicked off as the camera rode shotgun with Oprah through Kingsland, Georgia…the site of OWN’s Love Town, USA. On a lazy Sunday, Oprah had the car pull to a stop in front of a two-story home. Pointing out the tree, the wrap-around porch, rocking chairs and the American flag, Oprah shared that this was her idea of happiness. All of this from behind the window of the car. I couldn’t help but take a moment for her. How hard it must be to not be able to get out of the car and just walk the neighborhood or sit at the local coffee shop watching people walk by. Staring at the home she commented how she wished she could sit on the porch with a little sweet tea…at then turned towards the camera saying “But that ain’t happening people ’cause I’m building a network.” Although she has shown us how she lives in gratitude each day, I take in a moment to note the price she paid for the life she owns.
Part one of this special began with the announcement of the end of The Oprah Winfrey Show and the launch of the new network. Admitting she wasn’t ready, the date had been set and the launch was in progress. There was no turning back. On January 1st, the network was live and not at all what Oprah had envisioned. She wanted the network to be progressive, thoughtful, innovative and inspiring, however she believed “none of that happened” out of the gate. The world was hungry for Oprah and the expectations were ridiculous. When Oprah finally became CEO and added Harpo to the team everyone expected instant miracles. It was a huge weight and spotlight placed on the entire team. They were all bonded in their hope to bring something different to television…to make a positive change. Throughout the special, viewers become privy to the “boots hitting the ground” moments as well as Oprah’s internal struggles and her awareness of magnitude of her decisions.
One of my favorite parts of the special happened when Oprah talked about people sending mean tweets. Jokingly Oprah laughed about showing up at the person’s house and calling them out on the hurtful comment.”That’s the problem with the internet is that people get to hide behind it. I want to say, ‘Come out right now. Say that to my face. I’m gonna come show up and knock on your door and you say that to me right now.’ That’s what I’m gonna do.” Could you even imagine? That be a CRAZY show for OWN. But she is so right. People’s manners disappear behind the curtain of anonymity. This was the perfect lead in to the next ridiculous scenario…the Nielsen box tweet! For those who aren’t aware of the controversy, let me say it was totally overblown. Oprah was sitting in a hotel that didn’t have OWN and tweeted out “Every 1who can please turn to OWN especially if u have a Nielsen box”. Of course the media pounced. Unaware that she had broken a rule, Oprah made a simple, honest mistake. Really. It was so totally overblown.
Now of course the BEST part was reliving Oprah’s appearance on Jimmy Kimmel Live and getting to see the back story of how the skits came together. When asked about how she felt about spoofing her brand, Oprah simply replied, “My heart is my brand. Wherever I am and my heart is, there in lies my brand. My heart is never going to be tarnished. My heart is never going to be ruined. My heart is never going to be taken down.” Anyone who sees Oprah’s work, knows that. Pushing her within her own comfy limits, Oprah was fantastic on JKL! If you haven’t seen it, you totally have to. Here is the interview and skits.
Cameras then moved on to Oprah’s time with Gloria Steinem and the women from Barnard College. There she was caught in a couple of moments of absorption…taking in the smart, hopeful women, the history of the feminist movement and future that is within all of our reach. Oprah was reminded how much she just needed to get out there to soak up the inspiration.
As previews for part 2 point to the heavy stones being thrown by the tabloid media at Oprah and the newborn network, I can’t help but believe that there are MANY networks praying for the death of OWN. The OWN team has a chance to change television in our lives and push a huge wave of positivity out into the world…the polar opposite to some of the other networks. Yes, OWN may stumble as any newborn may, but their heart is in the right place and I have no doubt that they will find their stride and soar. Sometimes it seems that no matter what Oprah does…people will find a way to try to pull her down. Little do they know that there are millions of people who will help her to get to her feet and give her all the support she needs.
Be sure to show your support and tune in Sunday, July 15th at 9/8C for part 2 of Oprah Builds a Network where they discuss the media and so much more!
If Oprah’s new-found connection and love for social media doesn’t already give us a little insight, OWN is going to give us a front row seat to Oprah in her new behind the scenes special named Oprah Builds a Network, the name telling you exactly what you are going to get. Oprah and the inside scoop of what this [...]
YEAH!!!! We all know that Oprah has got be exhausted, but we are so grateful she decided to being another behind the scenes special to the network. It has been a little over a year since Oprah sunk her teeth into her new network and she probably hasn’t gotten a good night sleep sense. LOTS [...]
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