"I am guided by the vision of what I believe this show can be," explains Oprah Winfrey. "Originally our goal was to uplift, enlighten, encourage and entertain through the medium of television. Now, our mission statement for The Oprah Winfrey Show is to use television to transform people's lives, to make viewers see themselves differently and to bring happiness and a sense of fulfillment into every home."
Continuing its dominance as the unprecedented leader in daytime talk shows, The Oprah Winfrey Show entered its 17th season in national syndication on September 16, 2002. No syndicated talk show in television can compare to The Oprah Winfrey Show's ratings history. It has been the number one talk show for 16 consecutive seasons, winning every sweep since its debut in 1986.* The Oprah Winfrey Show has received 35 Emmy Awards® , including nine Emmys® for Outstanding Talk Show and seven Emmys® for Outstanding Talk Show Host.
The Oprah Winfrey Show is owned by Oprah's production company, Harpo Productions, Inc., produced at Harpo Studios in Chicago and distributed worldwide by King World. The show began with a record-breaking launch in over 130 markets in September 1986. It is currently distributed to over 99% of the country, where it is watched by an estimated 21 million viewers a week,** and to 105 countries, where it is enjoyed by millions more.
An estimated 25,000 letters and e-mail messages from around the world pour into The Oprah Winfrey Show offices on a weekly basis. Most are from viewers commenting on the empowering, positive impact the show has had on their lives.
Oprah's Angel Network
To date, Oprah's Angel Network has raised over 12 million dollars—5.1 million dollars from viewer donations and an additional 7 million dollars from sponsors and celebrity contributions. Oprah's Angel Network granted scholarships to 150 young people, funded over 200 homes with Habitat for Humanity, and built 34 schools in 10 countries with Kids Can Free the Children. Oprah's Angel Network also established the "Use Your Life Award" in April 2000 and since then has awarded nearly 4 million dollars to individuals who, through their charitable organizations, are making a difference in the lives of others. "I believe you get from the world what you give to the world," says Oprah.
Oprah's Book Club
"I want to get the country excited about reading again!" declared Oprah on September 17, 1996, as she announced the start of "Oprah's Book Club." Since its inception, the on-air reading club has been one of the most closely watched events on television by the public, media and publishing industry. Each "Oprah's Book Club" selection has shot to the top of the bestseller lists. Industry leaders have also credited Oprah with rejuvenating the publishing industry and in 1999 the National Book Foundation recognized Oprah's outstanding contribution to reading with their 50th Anniversary Gold Medal. "'Oprah's Book Club' is not just a revolution, it's an upheaval!" says Pulitzer Prize®-winning author Toni Morrison.
Since October 1995, Oprah viewers have been able to stay connected by visiting Oprah online. In June 1997, oprah.com premiered on the worldwide web and in August 1999, the site joined Oxygen.com. On oprah.com, viewers may access information about The Oprah Winfrey Show, view highlights from "Oprah After The Show," submit nominations for the "Use Your Life Award" and contact experts who have appeared on the show. Some of the sites' other features include "Oprah's Health and Fitness," advice and training tips from Bob Greene, fitness expert and co-author of "Make The Connection;" "Cooking With Art," recipes and culinary cues from Oprah's chef Art Smith; and chat rooms where viewers can meet and share their own personal experiences. Visitors may also participate in live online auditoriums with celebrities and guests from the show. Oprah.com averages 30 million page views and 2 million users per month and receives an average of 12,000 e-mails each week.