Key dates in entertainment, duly noted
A number of key events are taking place in the world of entertainment that should be duly noted by TV-film buffs:
Last May 25, “Oprah” aired its final telecast, capping its host-producer Oprah Winfrey’s 25th year as a daytime talk-show host—and reigning “queen.”
Oprah gave her last season everything she had to make sure that she would exit with a big bang. However, the show’s last two telecasts were kept secret from her by her Harpo production team, the better to elicit her spontaneous reactions and emotions.
The guest list included Maria Shriver, in her first TV interview after she left her husband, Arnold Schwarzenegger (after he belatedly confessed that he had fathered a 13-year-old son by a member of their household staff). Well, you can bet that a record number of avid viewers watched that tell-all telecast.
Even without the Shriver scoop, however, Oprah’s last show was a must-see for many viewers, who wanted to thank her for practically single-handedly revolutionizing the daytime talk TV scene.
Her enlightened and enlightening show went way beyond the traditional “light” features that used to characterize that time slot’s contents. In fact, it has inspired an entire generation of viewers to take a good, honest, empathetic look at themselves and work hard to discover and reach their true potential as human beings.
After achieving so much and changing so many viewers’ lives for the better, Oprah could have gone into prosperous retirement. Instead, she’s about to launch her own TV network! —The better to exponentially serve more people, of course.
It’s said that Rosie O’Donnell could stage a comeback on Oprah’s new network, and that Winfrey has also offered Maria Shriver her own program. —All the more reason, then, to keep watching the new TV network maven’s gambits as they keep coming—and coming!
Last ‘Potter’ premiere
Another notable date is July 7—that’s the day when the “final-final” “Harry Potter” movie, “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 2,” will premiere in London. That officially marks the conclusion of the decade-long “Harry Potter” book and film franchise, the cinema’s most profitable series of fantasy-adventure movies ever.
JK Rowling’s stories about the boy wizard, Harry Potter, and his marvelous and even mystical adventures have made her the world of literature’s first billionaire writer. The film franchise hasn’t done badly, either, with more that $6 billion in gross receipts!
The book and film series have come to mean many things to different viewers. On the positive side, it’s encouraged young people to develop their own imagination, creativity and all-important (for children and adults alike) sense of wonder.
Negatively, however, “Harry Potter” has been accused by some critics of leading young children and their vulnerable sensibilities into the “dark” path of the occult.
The argument continues to rage, so it’s likely that, even after its official conclusion in July, “Harry Potter” will continue to be discussed and debated—until, hopefully, a clarifying consensus is achieved.
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