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Each year, as summer fades into fall, a familiar routine resumes in our home. My two daughters return home from school in the afternoons to find the new season of The Oprah Winfrey Show playing in the background. But because this 25th season of Oprah will also be her last, I can’t help but wonder what life will be like next fall without her.
The farewell season, as it's being called, was off to a great start -- my daughters and I watched in excitement as Oprah Winfrey honored a studio filled with her most dedicated viewers. I cried with her die-hard fans as Oprah surprised them with heart-warming gifts, and the girls and I screamed when she gave the whole audience a trip to Australia.
After all these years, Oprah still manages to outdo the only competition she has -- herself!
Twenty-five years ago, the name Oprah was foreign to most, and now it’s a household brand. From weight loss to weight gain and back again, America has grown with Oprah. My girls recognized her voice immediately as the mother in Disney’s The Princess and the Frog, as well they should.
There must be other moms out there who have shared the Oprah tradition with their kids. She has crossed racial stereotypes and barriers appealing to the most sheltered bigots. In 25 years she has become a media God, and millions tune in each day to hear her message. What will happen to those millions next year?
It’s true, Oprah is not going disappear from the public eye. Winfrey is already working on projects with the Discovery Channel and will still manages to grace the cover of O magazine each month, contribute to Oprah.com and host her radio show. But this still leaves an afternoon void, for those of us who are addicted to watching her daily.
How will we know what the hottest trends are without Oprah announcing her favorite things? What will we read without Oprah’s book club to make suggestions? Where else can we cry while watching Barbra or Celine or Paul Simon sing?
As much as I will miss my daily dose of Oprah , I understand why this is a good time for her to end the show. Winfrey is not waiting for ratings to slip and the content to fall below her standards. She cares way too much about her viewers. It reminds me of The Cosby Show: From the first season to the last, it was quality groundbreaking television. Oprah, like Bill Cosby, knows what she’s doing.
My solution to a television season without Oprah, will be to bite the bullet, invest in a satellite radio subscription and listen to O in the car with my girls.
Do you watch The Oprah Winfrey Show with your family? Chime in below!