Talk show queen Oprah Winfrey said launching her own cable TV network in 2011 has been the scariest thing she has ever done.
“I have never felt such fear in all my life… I was afraid of failing… I was afraid it wouldn’t be what ‘The Oprah Winfrey Show’ has been, and has meant, for all these years,” she told her own magazine, “O” in an interview.
“What I realized is that I’ve never been afraid before. Not with any decision I’ve ever made,” Winfrey added.
Winfrey’s OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network, a much-delayed joint venture between her company Harpo Inc. and Discovery Communications, launches on January 1. The lifestyle and female-oriented cable network will be available in 80 million homes on what is currently the Discovery Health Channel.
Winfrey, 56, regarded as one of the most influential women in America, has said she will end her top-rated daily chat show in ABC in May 2011 after 25 years.
In her interview for the January edition of “O” magazine, Winfrey said she dreamed up the OWN network as far back as May 1992.
The lineup for the new network includes a reality series about Britain’s Duchess of York, Sarah Ferguson, a daytime chat show from Rosie O’Donnell, and a behind-the-scenes look at Winfrey’s final season of “The Oprah Winfrey Show”.
Advertisements for OWN began running in movie theaters last week with a theme song by Black Eyed Peas frontman will.i.am called “OWN It!”
Winfrey described OWN in her magazine as “a channel where people will see themselves, and their ideals and their values and their hopes, see their struggle, see who they are through the lives of others — in a real way that enriches them.”
O’Donnell, the controversial celebrity whose OWN show will start in the fall of 2011, told “O” magazine it would be “about real people and real issues… I envision the show being full of love and laughter.”
Ferguson, the scandal-hit British royal whose reality program “Finding Sarah” will make its debut in mid-2011, said she hoped that by doing the show “I’ll feel a peace I haven’t felt in my whole life, free from my mind tormenting and judging and calling me names.”