'Oprah: Behind the Scenes' premiere: Now we're talking, OWN!


Since Oprah Winfrey is contractually incapable of doing a talk show for OWN while her syndicated one continues to air, her executives came up with a pretty ingenious way of featuring the Queen of Daytime on her new cabler: Oprah: Behind the Scenes. Narrated by Winfrey, the show takes a behind-the-scenes look at the 25th and final season of Oprah before she rides off into the sunset next September. What a marvelous idea: I didn’t catch the premiere episode of Oprah but felt like I got a much better perspective of the adrenaline-fueled hour by watching Behind the Scenes. I doubt we’ll ever witness those truly authentic behind-the-scenes moments, like Winfrey possibly having an epic meltdown or executive producer Sheri Salata blowing up at her staff, but I definitely got the idea that it’s not all fun and games for the 464 employees at Harpo Studios in Chicago.

Anyone who caught the first episode of Oprah already knows that Winfrey treated her audience to a free Australian trip, but it was still a gas to watch her production team whoop it up in the booth as their boss addressed the audience of rabid, mouth-breathing fans. But the real nail-biter — at least for me — was watching how producer Brian Piotrowicz managed to perfectly time the arrival of six fans from the Boston area to Oprah’s stage. It was his crazy thought to have the gals drive right onto a live show – a stunt that even Winfrey doubted could happen. But Piotrowicz executed it magnificently, even though he and his cohorts truly sweated the details, like disguising the outside of Harpo Studios to make it look like a hotel parking garage. He cried when it was all over, and I didn’t blame him.

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