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April 8, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

Oprah Winfrey is expected to announce today (Thursday) that she is ready to compete in primetime and will host an hourlong show titled Oprah’s Next Chapter two or three times a week beginning late next year, the Wall Street Journal reported today. The show, which will air on Winfrey’s Oprah Winfrey Network (OWN), will see Winfrey eschewing her Chicago studio setting for a global one. “I’m going to take viewers with me,” she said, “going to take celebrities I want to interview with me.” The Winfrey show is one of as many as a dozen programs that Discovery Communications, which has partnered with Winfrey’s Harpo Inc. in the new channel, intends to unveil to advertisers today, the Journal said. One of them, it disclosed, will feature a competition among Winfrey’s fans for the chance to host a new TV talk show. Winfrey told the newspaper that she has been directly involved in program planning for OWN, which is set to debut on New Year’s Day next year. “I am hands on, digging in there, looking through every tape,” she said. “I’m not just up to my knees. I’m up to my thighs.” The Journal observed that the crucial question is whether the new cable network will attract sponsors before it even starts up. Citing an unnamed source, it said that after months of talks it was unable to finalize “an elaborate advertising and sponsorship pact” worth $20 million with Procter & Gamble.