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[05/27/03 - 12:00 AM]
Oprah Extends Stay Through 2007-08 Season
By Brian Ford Sullivan (TFC)

CHICAGO (thefutoncritic.com) -- In March of 2002, Oprah Winfrey said she'd hang up her talk show at the close of the 2005-06 season, limiting herself to 75 original episodes, or 15 weeks in her final season. Those plans have been shelved as Winfrey announced last week she has reuped with distributor King World Productions to stay through the 2007-08 season.

Currently, "Oprah" is set to produce 145 original episodes (or 29 weeks) next season, the same number produced this season. Then beginning in fall 2004, the series will cut back to 130 fresh installments (or 26 weeks) for the remainder of the contract. Both numbers are an increase from Winfrey's previous plans to produce 100 episodes each for the 2003-2004 and 2004-2005 seasons.

No change is expected for "Oprah's" license fee for the additional two seasons (currently estimated to be $3 million per week of originals). King World reps also insisted that the 2007-08 season will not necessarily be "Oprah's" last as they hope to revisit the issue further down the line.





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· OPRAH WINFREY SHOW, THE (SYNDICATION)











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