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Oprah Winfrey Show Finale Today! Where will you be for this shift in the daytime landscape?

Courtesy/HarpoProds

Courtesy/HarpoProds

Today is the day that long time viewers and followers of the daytime landscape have known about for over a year and  a half…. the end of The Oprah Winfrey Show! After 25 seasons, Oprah is bowing out with her very special finale episode this afternoon. Make sure to check times in your local areas, so you don’t miss it. This morning on GMA and through multiple reports, they are hearing that it is just Oprah herself in the final episode with an invited studio audience at Harpo Studios, who had never had the chance to be at an Oprah taping.

After seven Daytime Emmy Awards as Outstanding Talk Show Host, and we are not even talking about the myriad of awards for her show itself, Oprah eventually decided to pull her name out of the Daytime Emmy race several years ago. The emotional farewell promo that has been running for the last two weeks uses comparisons to other television greats and series final episodes from The Mary Tyler Moore Show, MASH and Johnny Carson. Advertisers are paying over 1 million dollars for a thirty second spot on the Oprah finale, and early predictions are in that that this would be the most highly watched show in daytime history.

USA today took a look at where the daytime landscape is going now with Oprah’s exit, and the upcoming exits of the beloved soaps, All My Children in September and One Life to Live by January 2012.  “It’s a jump ball for everybody,” says Oz executive producer Mindy Borman. And it all adds up to a “major disruption” that will leave daytime devotees scrambling for alternatives, says Hilary Estey McLoughlin, president of Warner Bros.’ Telepictures Productions. “There’s really never been this kind of sea change in daytime. There’s never been this many changes in stalwart hosts with this much audience appeal.” Viewers won’t “abandon TV, but what will they watch?”

ABC Daytime President, Brian Frons spoke to his decision to cancel AMC and OLTL in favor of reality and cheaper to produce programming in the changing times. “It’s change that’s generational. Serials for the most part are Baby Boomer programs, and as Boomers age out of the key selling demographic, we need to look at alternatives. Younger viewers are “looking for an upbeat tone, they want entertaining relevance, more talk and reality than scripted drama. They’re looking to us for shows that help improve their lives, rather than escape from their lives.”

However, Stephanie Sloane, editorial director for Soap Opera Digest and Soap Opera Weekly noted, “the kind of escapism and romance these shows ( the soaps) offer will always be appealing to a group of people. At the end of this decade, if we’re still talking about daytime soaps as regular programming, I’d be happily surprised.”

In the end analysis, today is about Oprah, and many commented on her success and what she did for 25 years in the programming day-part. Oprah was the quintessential news lead-in,” says Emerson Coleman, programming chief at Hearst Television, a major station owner. Her show “impacted your 5 p.m. and 6 p.m. newscasts like no other show in television. That’s why stations paid a premium.” The theory: “If the audience trusted me, they will trust the news broadcast that comes after me. She underscored the fact that a television personality could make a difference in the way we approach issues,” Carroll says. “She raised the level of conversation at a time when elsewhere on television the conversation was becoming more strident.”  Talk show host, Maury Povich said, “Oprah’s unveiling of her personal life attracted a huge audience, and that was the key to her stardom.”

Watch The Oprah Winfrey Show farewell promo below one more time, and let us know what you thought of today’s final episode!

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LUMI
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LUMI

I was hopeing she would have her good friend Arnold Schwarzenegger on today her last show, He’s my babie LOL

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To answer the question, “Where was I during Oprah’s Finale?”, I was sitting in front of the television watching it. I am writing this almost one month after the Finale, and only one person bothered to post a comment before me, Uhm…. I don’t really believe anyone in the Daytime industry knows why Oprah was so successful. If they did, they would duplicate it, try to bottle it and sell the bottles. Oprah did what she did her way. There is only one Oprah. Could someone else be successful as a daytime talk show host? Yes. But there is still… Read more »

All My Children

Kelly Ripa Talks On Her New Memoir ‘Live Wire: Long-Winded Short Stories’

Talk show host and All My Children alum, Kelly Ripa (ex-Hayley) is opening up about her life and times in her highly-anticipated memoir available now, Live Wire: Long-Winded Short Stories.

Ripa chatted exclusively with PEOPLE who got some of intel and dish on what’s included in the book.

Kelly told PEOPLE, when she landed the gig as the new co-host of Live with Regis and Kelly, with the late Regis Philbin back in 2001, she felt like she was “getting shot out of a cannon.”  Ripa was also appearing on All My Children at the same time.

She tells the story of when her agent called with the offer, Ripa was told: “They want you to know who your boss is. It was very ominous, and it did not feel good.”  Her agent also said the show didn’t want her, “bringing an entourage.” She brought two people. “I came with hair and makeup,” Kelly says. “It was not an unusual thing for people on a television show to show up with.”

She added that Regis greeted her with executive producer, Michael Gelman, saying: “Uh-oh, Gelman, it’s got an entourage.” It?!  Kelly expressed that she “felt horrible.  He was probably trying to be funny, but at the same time it felt like a pile-on.”

As for Philbin’s attitude at the time, Kelly shared, “I understand that probably he didn’t want a co-host, but the network wanted me to be the co-host and I didn’t think I should pass up that opportunity. I don’t think it was fair to him. But it was also not fair to me.”

Photo: JPI

The actress-talk show host-producer also talked on her marriage to Mark Consuelos (ex-Mateo), whom she met while both were on All My Children, sharing that they were, “too young to get married! On paper it should not have worked and when it didn’t work, we really worked at it. We fought for our marriage when it would have been easier to quit and throw in the towel.”

According to the book publisher, HarperCollins:  “In ‘Live Wire’, her first book, Kelly shows what really makes her tick. Whether recounting how she and Mark (Consuelos) really met, the level of chauvinism she experienced on set, how Jersey Pride follows her wherever she goes, and many, many moments of utter mortification (whence she proves that you cannot, in fact, die of embarrassment) Kelly always tells it like it is. Ms. Ripa takes no prisoners.”

So, will you be ordering your copy of Kelly’s memoir? Let us know in the comment section below.

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All My Children

Eva LaRue’s Stalker Sentenced to 40 Months in Prison

In a harrowing situation spanning 12 years, a man who threatened former All My Children, Santa Barbara, and Y&R favorite, Eva LaRue (ex-Maria, ex- Margot, ex-Celeste) and her daughter, Kaya was sentenced to 40 months in prison.

James David Rogers, 58, was sentenced by U.S. District Judge John A. Kronstadt for over a decade of threatening letters and phone calls about torture, rape and death to LaRue and her daughter.

Rogers had pleaded guilty in April to two counts of mailing threatening communications, one count of threats by interstate communications and two counts of stalking.  According to court documents, all of this began in March 2007 until Rogers eventually was arrested in November 2019.  At the beginning of his stalking spree, LaRue’s daughter, Kaya was only five-years-old.

According to Deadline, Eva gave a “tearful victim impact statement, telling the judge in L.A. federal court that she has undergone therapy since the harassment began in order to deal with feelings of fear and paranoia.”  She added, “We didn’t know if he would show up on our doorstep. We will think about him for a lifetime. The fear is with me forever.”

Photo: JPI

The judge has ordered Rogers to self surrender on October 12th to begin his sentence at a federal prison in Ohio.

Eva won a Daytime Emmy back in 2020 for her guest star turn on The Young and the Restless, and is best-known to primetime viewers for her role in CSI: Miami.

Share your thoughts on Eva and Kaya’s heartbreaking real-life experience via the comment section below.

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All My Children

Soap Vet, Broadway Star and Artistic Director, Robert Lupone Passes Away at 76

Bob Lupone, the brother of Broadway Icon, Patti Lupone, and who is best-known to soap opera fans as con artist Zach Grayson on All My Children (1984-1985) has died at the age of 76.

The actor, and artistic director of Off-Broadway’s acclaimed MCC Theatre for over 40 years, passed away Saturday, due to complications from his three year battle with pancreatic cancer.

Photo: MCC Theatre

Ironically, Bob was best known on Broadway as Zach in A Chorus Line which landed him a Tony Award nomination in 1976, and he also received a Daytime Emmy nomination for his other role of Zach on All My Children in 1985.  The murder of Zach Grayson was quite the murder mystery and trial; bringing in many suspects to the story.

In addition to All My Children, throughout his soap career, Lupone held roles on: Search for Tomorrow as Tom Bergman, Ryan’s Hope as Chester Wallace, Another World as Neal Cory, Loving as Leonard Brill/Charley Nichols, and Guiding Light as Leo Flynn.  He also appeared in primetime TV roles including: The Sopranos, Sex and the City, and several roles in the Law and Order franchise.

Lupone made his feature film debut in the 1973 musical adaptation of Jesus Christ Superstar playing the Apostle James, and two years later got the Broadway role of his lifetime playing Zach in A Chorus Line after convincing creator and director Michael Bennett to let him play the part after the original actor departed the show.

A decade later, LuPone would co-found the Off-Broadway theatre company, MCC Theater, with Bernard Telsey and William Cantler.  MCC was founded as an artists collective designed to offer peer based classes and playwright development and has launched several successful shows that went on to great success.

LuPone is survived by his wife, Virginia; his son, Orlando; sister, Patti; and brother, William.

Below, take a look at the suspects in the Zach Grayson murder case on All My Children, followed by the 1976 performance by Robert and the cast of A Chorus Line on The Tony Awards, and last, a scene as AMC’s Zach around the 6 minute mark in the video.

Now, share your condolences to the Lupone family on Bob’s passing, and your remembrances in the comment section.

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