- Share this article on Facebook
- Share this article on Twitter
- Share this article on Email
- Show additional share options
- Share this article on Print
- Share this article on Comment
- Share this article on Whatsapp
- Share this article on Linkedin
- Share this article on Reddit
- Share this article on Pinit
- Share this article on Tumblr
Oprah Winfrey recently chatted up U2’s Bono at a dinner — and then propositioned a business deal.
“Would you like a TV show?” she asked him, according to the New York Times.
“I look at everything now through the prism of, ‘This could make a very good TV show!'” added Winfrey, who will launch the OWN Network next month. (No word on if Bono accepted the offer.) Related: Island’s Chris Blackwell on Signing U2 in 1980: ‘Music Was a Little Rinky-dink’
Winfrey decided to give Sarah Ferguson, the Duchess of York, her own series after interviewing her on the Oprah show.
“I just had this epiphany,” Winfrey told Ferguson. “You on that tape — that is a spiritually, morally bankrupted person.”
The result: a documentary series called Finding Sarah, in which Winfrey proteges Dr. Phil and Suze Orman help Ferguson piece her life back together in the fallout she faced when caught on camera trying to sell access to her former husband, Prince Andrew.
Winfrey said she expects the launch to be rocky at first.
“I’m prepared for all the critics, I’m prepared for all the naysayers and the ya-da-ya’s,” she told the Times. “The real truth is this: Everything I’ve ever done has prepared me for this moment, for this launch.”
“I look at this launch as the birthing of a baby, not the raising of a child,” she continued. “I’m about as calm as a person who’s about to give birth to such a humongous baby can be.”
“By 2013, we should be cracking,” she said. Because of her talk show (the last episode will be taped in May 2011), “I have not been able to devote the amount of time and energy that I could and should be able to do in the future.”
On Jan. 1, OWN will replace the Discovery Health Channel in nearly 80 million homes. (To ensure she had the channel, she had her security staff check her TV in her Los Angeles -area home while she was taping her Australia episodes.)
Winfrey says her life partner Stedman Graham gave her the idea to launch her own network during a 1992 conversation in which she was complaining about confrontational talk shows.
“Stedman was saying, ‘If you don’t like it, you should start your own network,'” he said, writing down the Oprah Winfrey Network, or OWN.
Winfrey first invested in Oxygen in an attempt to revive it, which failed.
“As we all know, that didn’t work out for me,” she says of the experience. “It was a great lesson for me: don’t partner when you’re not allowed to be in charge and make a decision.”
At OWN, she is the chairwoman. Winfrey calls her relationship with Discovery president David Zaslav “ideal.”
Sign up for THR news straight to your inbox every day