Oprah Winfrey‘s OWN network announced today that the first episode of her new show, “Oprah’s Next Chapter” will premiere on January 1 at 9 pm Eastern, with Oprah conducting a two-hour interview with Aerosmith frontman and “American Idol” judge Steven Tyler.
One of Oprah’s strengths as a talk show host is her ability to interview, and despite the fact that she can make the interviews as much about her as about who she’s interviewing, she tends to do a good job of drawing out her guests and getting to their raw emotions. Some her best interviews were of the one-on-one variety, with no audience, and a lot of times done outside the studio. “Oprah’s Next Chapter” will be exactly that; for instance, Winfrey is interviewing Tyler at his New Hampshire home.
The series, which will settle into its regular one-hour format on January 8, has Oprah visiting Haiti with Sean Penn, explaining TV to Hasidic Jewish kids, and other interviews that take Winfrey out of her comfort zone. If you’re a fan of Oprah’s lengthy interviews — we especially liked when she had heart-to-hearts with Jay Leno and James Frey over the last couple of years — this show will be up your alley. Whether it boosts OWN’s microscopic ratings, though, is anyone’s guess.
Watch a preview of “Oprah’s Next Chapter”: