On Tuesday People reported that Oprah Winfrey was officially opening the “vault” for her show, revisiting 25 years worth of episodes. But instead of releasing every episode on an accessible streaming service like Netflix or Hulu, The Oprah Winfrey show will be reincarnated in podcast form.
The podcast will draw from over 4,500 episodes beginning in 1986, dropping ten episodes on March 3 and then releasing a new one each week after. The first few will feature some of her favorite guests like Suze Orman, Dr. Oz, and Dr. Phil. The new podcast also follows Oprah’s other podcast from OWN, Oprah’s Super Soul Conversations.
Will I be listening to this podcast? Of course, because frankly I’m running out of good shows to listen to that aren’t about murdered white women or This American Life episodes that make me want to cry (they always make me cry, what’s wrong with me?) But I wish we were just getting The Oprah Winfrey show as, well, a show. You can certainly watch clips and a few full episodes via Youtube or the OWN website (please, take a few seconds today to revisit the girl with 1,000 plus letters in her name) but I want access to the whole archive! And I want to watch it like a crazy person in 20 hour blocks with 10 boxes of Girl Scout cookies balanced on my bed for sustenance!
I suspect that making the show a podcast will mean the material might skew heavy or focus too deeply on celebrity interviews as opposed to the weirder, quirkier segments The Oprah Winfrey Show has done. Being able to watch Winfrey’s face, whether she’s giving a married men who is opening up about cheating on his wife a skeptical death stare, or beaming with delight as she gifts audience members her “Favorite Things,” is enough to require the show retain its visuals. And don’t even get me started on the makeover episodes, a staple of the genre. Without watching the show, how would we even be able to see the full legal name for the girl with 1,000 plus letters in it?!
(Updated 3/3/22 with new details)