Wednesday, May 22, 2024

Oprah and Prince Harry Still Have Mental Health Documentary Waiting to Drop: Bigger Problem Than Harry-Meghan Interview?


Oprah Winfrey is on the Drew Barrymore Show this morning. Oprah released a new book this week that shot straight to number 1. Instead of promoting “What Happened to You? Conversations on Trauma, Resilience, and Healing” on the number 1 show, “Live with Kelly and Ryan,” Winfrey is on the low-rated “Drew” because it’s on CBS stations and produced by CBS syndication. Back in 1999, Oprah became a major shareholder in CBS when the company bought her syndicator, King World.

That’s how Oprah appears on “60 Minutes,” and “CBS This Morning” with her bff Gayle King, and how the Oprah-Prince Harry-Meghan Markle special happened. Her company was paid $7 million for that interview, but Oprah reaps much more money than that from her CBS affiliation.

On “Drew,” Oprah reminded us that she has a big documentary coming in May on Apple TV about mental health, produced by her and Prince Harry. It’s been in the works since 2019. She and Harry will most certainly be in this three part doc, talking about themselves. That would be the value of it for Apple TV. Will there be more revelations about Prince Harry and his family in the series? Should the Palace be more worried about this show than the one that Harry and Oprah already used to blow up the Royal Family?

Oprah’s appearance on “Drew” is interesting because the show commonly has about 500,000 viewers each day. “Kelly and Ryan” has about 1.8 million and airs at the same time. But Winfrey’s CBS overrides all that. And she’s so rich, who cares? The book is already number 1, Oprah has many mansions, and deals with not only CBS, but Discovery, her OWN channel, and Apple. She remains the very quiet Queen of All Media.

Oprah’s next big media plug is on Clive Davis’s pre-Grammy show Zoom gala on May 15th where she will discuss her friendship with Tina Turner.

PS Congrats so Oprah’s lit agent Suzanne Gluck, who sold this book. I met Suzanne 25 years ago at least, when she represented Spalding Gray and introduced us (I was honored to edit him and work with him and miss him very much). Suzanne was a star then and she was only about 21! Since Oprah is famous for cancelling books before they’re published, “What Happened to You?” is a real achievement. Bravo!


Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.

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