Oprah Winfrey says it's the "exact right time" to say goodbye.
In a Very Special episode of The Oprah Winfrey Show airing today, Winfrey confirms plans to pull the plug on her namesake program on Sept. 9, 2011.
"I love this show. This show has been my life. And I love it enough to know when it's time to say goodbye," a tearful Winfrey tells her studio audience.
"Twenty-five years feels right in my bones and it feels right in my spirit. It's the perfect number—the exact right time. So I hope that you will take this 18-month ride with me right through to the final show."
Her decision, she says, came after "prayer and careful thought."
So farewell to the couch-jumping, car-giving, celeb-confessing, book clubbing, weight-watching, housewife-inspiring hijinks that earned her a bucketload of Emmys and loyal audience of some 42 million viewers each week.
"I certainly never could have imagined the yellow-brick road of blessings that would have led me to this moment," Winfrey continues.
"So, the countdown to the end of The Oprah Winfrey Show starts now and until that day in 2011 when it ends, I intend to soak up every meaningful, joy-filled moment with you."
But Winfrey's not going to disappear completely. She will likely have a major presence on her forthcoming 24-cable network OWN.
(Originally published Nov. 20, 2009, at 9:32 a.m. PT.)
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