Oprah Winfrey will announce on Friday’s “The Oprah Winfrey Show” that she will end her talk show, said a spokesman for Winfrey’s Harpo Productions.
“Oprah will be ending her talk show,” Harpo spokesman Don Halcombe said Thursday. “She will be speaking about it on tomorrow’s live show.”
The show will air live from its Chicago, Illinois, studio at 9 a.m. CT (10 a.m. ET), he said.
The show will end on September 9, 2011, as its 25th season draws to a close, according to a letter from Harpo Inc. that President Tim Bennett addressed to partners and obtained by CNN affiliate WLS-TV.
“Tomorrow, Oprah will announce live on “The Oprah Winfrey Show” that she has decided to end what is arguably one of the most popular, influential and enduring programs in television history,” Bennett wrote.
The show has been the highest-rated talk show for 23 consecutive seasons, according to the Oprah.com site. It is seen by an estimated 42 million viewers a week in the United States and is broadcast to 145 countries.
The show had its origins in 1984, when Winfrey moved to Chicago to host WLS-TV’s morning talk show, “AM Chicago,” which became the No. 1 local talk show. The show surpassed ratings for “Donahue” one month after it began, the site said. Within a year, it had expanded to an hour-long format and been renamed “The Oprah Winfrey Show.” It entered national syndication in 1986.
In August 2004, Winfrey signed an extension for the show to keep it on the air through 2011.
“I got a call from Oprah, and she told me that she is announcing that next year will be her last year,” talk show host Ellen DeGeneres told her audience Thursday. “It will be her 25th year, and she feels like it’s time for her to stop.
“I don’t think I could be here without her,” DeGeneres said. “I think she has blazed a trail. … She is an amazing woman. She will always be the queen of daytime television. … She is fantastic, and I love her and I wish her the best. She deserves to rest. She has worked really, really hard.”
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