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Oprah Winfrey has spent the last several years really trying to make her cable network OWN work. She's done a few movies projects, as well, but a big chunk of her time has been spent over at OWN. Now, that seems to be changing as Oprah has announced some non-Oprah Winfrey Network projects. The first was an interview for Netflix, but the latest news indicates she's taken on an even bigger gig. CBS announced today that Oprah Winfrey will be joining the long-running news program 60 Minutes.
The move won't be coming for a little while. CBS has indicated that Oprah Winfrey will begin popping up on 60 Minutes starting this coming fall, during what will be known as the 2017-2018 TV season. The announcement also notes that she will be a "special contributor" on the long-running show, which is about what we expected, although we'll have to wait a while to see what sorts of segments she chooses to do for the show, although in a statement from the network she indicated that she will be producing segments that will look at a "divided" nation. She also wants to "facilitate conversations" between people from different backgrounds. Executive producers Jeff Fager first made the announcement about the show's new contributor.
60 Minutes has been running on CBS since 1968, but in recent years the show has lost a few good men. Andy Rooney memorably retired back in 2011 and passed away a short time after. Bob Simon similarly died after a car accident in 2015 and Morley Safer passed away last year. There's plenty of good talent on 60 Minutes right now, including Lesley Stahl, Lara Logan and Bill Whitaker; however, adding a huge name like Oprah Winfrey still lends additional star power to the broadcast.
Oprah Winfrey hasn't had a ton of time to take side projects in recent years, although she did appear in The Butler and Selma. This is likely because OWN proved to be a bigger challenge than expected when it launched in 2011. Oprah Winfrey has famously spoken out about her early cable mistakes, including launching too early before her daytime TV show was over. Regardless, in more recent years, OWN has grown its programming, especially in the scripted originals department. Shows like The Haves and the Have Nots and Love Thy Neighbor have helped to keep the network on the map. Maybe now that the network is running more smoothly, we'll see Oprah Winfrey delve into a slew of other projects.
Whatever happens, we expect 60 Minutes ratings to be a little higher next fall when Oprah Winfrey makes her big debut on CBS. We'll keep you updated regarding when Oprah will join the CBS series. In the meantime, you can take a look at our midseason TV premiere schedule to find out when your favorite shows will be returning to TV.