The Oprah Winfrey Show (often simply referred to as Oprah) is a United States syndicated talk show, hosted and produced by its namesake Oprah Winfrey
, and is the highest-rated talk show in American television history. It is currently the longest-running daytime television talk show in the United States, having run since September 8, 1986, for over 22 seasons and 3,000 episodes (as of September 10, 2007). The show is renewed through 2011, but in a 2007 interview with Larry King, Oprah said that in 2011, she will not renew her contract, thus ending the show.
Oprah has been included in Time magazine's shortlist of the best television series of the twentieth century in 1998, and it made the top 50 of TV Guide's countdown of the greatest American shows of all time in 2002.
The show is highly influential, especially with women, and many of its topics penetrate into American pop-cultural consciousness. While early episodes of the show followed a Phil Donahue-style exploration of sensationalistic social issues, Oprah eventually transformed her series into a more positive, spiritually uplifting experience marked by book clubs, celebrity interviews, self-improvement segments, and philanthropic forays into world events.
The show began broadcasting in High Definition beginning with its 2008-09 season premiere episode on September 8, 2008, becoming one of the first nationally-syndicated daytime talk shows to do so. That season premiere was broadcast from Chicago's Millennium Park and featured over 175 athletes from the U.S. Olympic Team including gold-medalists Michael Phelps, Misty May-Treanor, Kerri Walsh, and Kobe Bryant.