After 25 years on the air, Oprah Winfrey has ended her popular daytime talk show, The Oprah Winfrey Show.
Winfrey announced that she was ending the series back in November 2009 and much of this season has been devoted to closing out the series, inviting special guests and revisiting memorable topics.
The last couple days have been a big star-studded spectacular but the final episode ended quite simply. Winfrey stood alone on the stage for the entire hour and talked about what the program and its audience have meant to her and what she feels that we’ve all learned. It wouldn’t be a stretch to call the episode at least a tad self-indulgent, self-important, and preachy.
After the last commercials (which cost about one million dollars a piece), Winfrey ended the series finale with a few simple words.
She said, “Every single day I came down from my make-up room on our Harpo elevator, I would offer a prayer of gratitude for the delight and the privilege of doing this show. Gratitude is the single greatest treasure I will take with me from this experience. The opportunity to have done this work. To be embraced by all of you who watched is one of the greatest honors nay human being can have.”
Winfrey continued, “I’ve been asked many times during this farewell season ‘Is ending the show, bittersweet?’ Well I say, ‘All sweet. No bitter.’ And here’s why.”
“Many of us have been together for 25 years We have hooted and hollered together had our ‘A-Ha’ moments, we ugly cried together, and we did our gratitude journals. So I thank you all for your support, and your trust in me. I thank you for sharing this yellow brick road of blessings. I thank you for tuning in every day along with your mothers, and your daughters, your partners — gay and otherwise — your friends and all of the husbands who got coaxed into watching Oprah. And I thank you for being as much of a sweet inspiration for me as I’ve tried to be for you.”
She concluded with, “I won’t say ‘Goodbye.’ I’ll just say, ‘Until we meet again.’ To God be the glory.”
Winfrey walked out through the standing ovation from the audience with tears streaming down her face, hugged her longtime boyfriend, turned to accept the applause, and waved before leaving for a final time.
The credits played over Winfrey hugging her cheering staff and crew. The final shots were of Winfrey hugging her dog Sadie and telling her, “We did it. We did it.” and disappearing down the hall.
What do you think? Did the series finale live up to your expectations? Did you like it or not? Will you miss the series?