'Oprah's Ultimate Australian Adventure' Premieres in U.S., Australia Next Week


SYDNEY -- The Oprah Winfrey Show's $12 million-plus, four-episode Australian specials will go to air next week in the U.S. and here, premiering Oprah's Ultimate Australian Adventure on Tuesday, Jan. 18 in the U.S., airing until Friday, Jan. 21.

It will also premiere in prime time on Australian affiliate Network Ten on Wednesday, Jan. 19 with the finale at the Sydney Opera House airing here Sunday Jan. 23 -- three days before the nation's official day, Australia Day. 

Winfrey and her 302 fellow travelers made the trip down under in mid-Dec., after Harpo Productions struck a  deal with Tourism Australia, Qantas and  other state tourism bodies, for two shows to be filmed following the TV host and her guests around the country, to celebrate the final season of her talk show. That was expanded to four programs during the tour. 

After a whirlwind six days traveling the length and breadth of the country, which provides the backdrop for two episodes, Winfrey and her adventurers headed to Sydney to make two programs in the forecourt of the Sydney Opera House, with guests including Russell Crowe, U2's Bono, Jay-Z, Nicole Kidman and Keith Urban, Hugh Jackman, who suffered a back eye during a dramatic entrance to the Opera House set, Olivia Newton-John and Crocodile Hunter Steve Irwin's family, as well as a number of Australian families and school kids appearing. 

Winfrey herself said during the tour "it is immeasurable what a four-hour love festival for your country broadcast in 145 countries can do. I think this has been a win-win for every partner involved."

Tourism Australia and Qantas are capitalizing on the TV specials, releasing special travel packages to Australia from the U.S. West Coast, which includes tours to Winfrey's destinations. 

The airing of the Winfrey shows come as the annual G'Day Australia trade promotion takes place in the U.S.

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