Another Magic Oprah Ride: Movieline's Year of Lady O
It could have been the biggest year of your life -- maybe you finally got attention (and a small jail sentence) for your homemade hot air balloon or sold the network on that Conveyor Belt of Love series that you brainstormed while high on ketamine -- your year will never meet the cloud-grazing highs and mermaid girl-exploiting lows of Oprah Winfrey's. This year alone, the world's most important Chicagoan (that's right Mr. President) traipsed the globe in a campaign to win the Olympics, hosted a Mad Men-themed episode because she could, sought on-air sexual guidance from Jenna Jameson, announced her retirement from broadcast and financed an Oscar-favorite film. Pretty much the only things she did not do were host Saturday Night Live and play beer pong with Jimmy Fallon -- but you better bet your bottom dollar that she could have if she wanted. After the jump, Movieline revisits Ms. Winfrey's 2009 triumphs.
· Winfrey financed Oscar bait Precious, starring Gabourey Sidibe and Mo'nique, answered questions at the Toronto International Film Festival and rubbed a little of her Midas touch on Precious co-star Paula Patton. Meanwhile, Oprah subconsciously promoted her film with an all-female-suffering marathon.
· Lady O demanded that her entire studio audience don '60s garb and beehive hairdos for a special Mad Men-themed episode in which she confessed her love for Slinkies and Maybelline Mascara.
· Forbes estimated Oprah's annual income to be $275 million.
· Movieline questioned whether Oprah's influence was waning after she failed to convince the International Olympic Committee to hold the 2016 Summer Games in Chicago but then realized that her power has never been stronger when she eked out a bombshell incest confession from Mackenzie Phillips.
· During Oprah's most high-profile interviews this season, she asked Sarah Palin about family values (in spite of Palin's fan base concerns), discussed lavender whispers with Hugh Jackman and received Whitney Houston's recipe for crack.
· Nikki Finke toldjus about America's most o-pocolyptic news story this year: that Oprah would retire her syndicated talk show in May of 2011 to focus on her Oprah Winfrey Network. The talk show goddess made the official teary announcement on her show days after while Movieline projected just how many turkey give-aways the daytime goddess can fit inside of her remaining 19 months.
· Even though primetime dropped Tiger Woods from their airwaves shortly after his record-breaking number of affairs was revealed, Oprah vowed that she would singlehandedly endear him to America again by having him on her show (Tiger has still not RSVP-ed).
· Fans will not have to bank on Oprah's book club as the sole reference for cultural enlightenment because Oprah announced a documentary club set to rock your mom's Midwestern world in 2011.