This Day in Black History: Sept 8, 1986

This Day in Black History: Sept 8, 1986

The first Oprah Winfrey Show aired on Sept. 8, 1986.

Published September 4, 2013

Oprah Winfrey kicked off 25 years of dominating television with The Oprah Winfrey Show on Sept. 8, 1986. The hour-long daytime talk show would become the highest rated talk show in America due to her home-hitting stories, celebrity guests, one of a kind interviews, book club and Oprah’s favorite things. The show lasted until 2011.

The first episode featured "How to Marry the Man/Woman of Your Choice," which continued Oprah’s uncanny interviewing style and ability to draw her audience in as she did on the AM Chicago talk show in 1984.

Winfrey established Harpo Studios in 1988, making her the third woman, and only Black woman in America, to own her own television studio. The Oprah Winfrey Show was produced by Harpo Studios and gained acclaim for Oprah’s uplifting and insightful topics, featuring everyday people. 

Some of the show’s most memorable episodes included Oprah’s Feb. 10, 1993, interview with Michael Jackson, which is still the most watched interview in television history. After Jackson avoided the media for 14 years, Oprah landed an exclusive interview with the King of Pop, which broadcast live from his famous Neverland Ranch.

Acclaimed playwright and actor Tyler Perry appeared on the The Oprah Winfrey Show in Oct. 20, 2010. He revealed for the first time on television the details of his abusive father, and childhood saturated in physical, emotional and sexual abuse.

The Oprah Winfrey Show won 47 Emmy Awards until 2000, when Oprah stopped submitting the show for nomination. Oprah ended The Oprah Winfrey Show after 25 award-winning seasons on May 25, 2011. The show is currently in syndication in more than 150 countries.

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(Photo: Ron Galella, Ltd./WireImage)

Written by Dominique Zonyéé


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