For 25 years “The Oprah Winfrey Show” played out like a compelling scripted drama. There were triumphs (the building of a media empire), revelations (the admission that she was sexually abused as a girl) and betrayals (the takedown of author James Frey, who fabricated a portion of his memoir, an Oprah Book Club pick). At the center of it all was the woman herself, a gifted orator and force of positive energy whose warmth was welcomed into millions of homes every afternoon.
And like the best scripted dramas, when it came time to wrap things up, Oprah chose a business-as-usual approach: no car giveaways, no A-list celebrity guests. Similar to the low-key ending of the Oprah favorite “The Mary Tyler Moore Show” — Mary surveyed her workplace, smiled, shut out the lights and quietly left in the final scene — Oprah’s final hour with her audience was just that: Oprah chatting with her viewers.
“You and this show have been the great love of my life,” she told fans gathered for the episode, which was taped at the Harpo Studios in Chicago on Tuesday. “I thank you for being as much of a sweet inspiration for me as I’ve tried to be for you. I won’t say goodbye. I’ll just say, ‘Until we meet again.’ To God be the glory.”
With that, she walked through the teary crowd and headed backstage, where she hugged her staff, picked up her beloved dog and said, “We did it, Sadie.”