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Oprah developing race riot miniseries starring Octavia Spencer

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Oprah Winfrey’s OWN cable network is developing a two-part miniseries chronicling one of the ugliest and least-known chapters in U.S. history.

In Tulsa, Academy Award-winning actress Octavia Spencer (The Help) plays a journalist who investigates the 1921 Oklahoma race riots, where an estimated 300 people were believed to have been murdered amid post-WWI racial tension surrounding segregation laws and the prosperous black community of Greenwood. According to a 2011 New York Times story on the subject, “The Tulsa race riot of 1921 was rarely mentioned in history books, classrooms or even in private…an episode so brutal that this city, in a bout of collective amnesia that extended more than a half-century, simply chose to forget it ever happened.”

The announcement came as part of OWN’s Thursday upfront, revealing the net’s next slate of programming — which also included the network’s first scripted movie, My Name is Love: The Darlene Love Story. The period biopic will star Toni Braxton. READ FULL STORY

'Oprah's Next Chapter' exclusive: Oprah talks to Wanda Sykes, Jesse Tyler Ferguson, and Dan Bucatinsky about gay marriage -- VIDEO

This Sunday, Oprah Winfrey has a star-studded panel of guests on Oprah’s Next Chapter for a special evening of programming about being gay in America. Openly gay actors Jesse Tyler Ferguson, Wanda Sykes, and Dan Bucatinsky will share their personal experiences with the host and how their sexual orientation affected their careers, while also discussing parenting and marriage equality.

The episode airs at 9 p.m. Sunday on OWN, part of a whole evening of conversation about being gay in America. (At 10 p.m., OWN will air Bridegroom, an original documentary about the legal issues facing same-sex couples.)

EW is excited to share an exclusive clip from the show, where the actors respond to the following statement: “Many people still believe that gay marriage is going to damage this country.” Suffice it to say, Wanda Sykes has some thoughts to share. Watch below: READ FULL STORY

Oprah lands Lindsay Lohan interview and docu-series -- EXCLUSIVE

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Oprah has done it again: EW can exclusively report the entertainment mogul has landed Lindsay Lohan for an exclusive sit-down after the actress emerges from rehab later this summer.

Moreover: Oprah Winfrey’s OWN cable network has signed Lohan to an eight-episode docu-series that will follow the actress as she works to rebuild her career and stay healthy. The interview will tape and air in August, with the series to air in 2014.

“OWN will air an exclusive interview with Oprah and Lindsay Lohan that will tape and air in August and an eight-part documentary series with Lindsay for 2014,” an OWN spokesperson confirmed.

The 27-year-old Lohan is currently serving a 90-day court-ordered stint in a rehabilitation facility that is expected to conclude on July 31. Getting her first post-rehab interview is considered a big scoop, while the series is arguably even bigger — Lohan has turned down unscripted project offers for years, preferring to focus on scripted acting roles (though her family participated in an E! docu-series titled Living Lohan in 2008). Lohan recently had guest-star appearances on Fox’s Glee and FX’s Anger Management, as well as starred as Elizabeth Taylor in Lifetime’s biopic Liz & Dick. She also co-stars in Paul Schrader’s upcoming film The Canyons.

Over the last year on her Oprah’s Next Chapter program, Oprah has scored a string of coveted celebrity interviews, including Lance Armstrong’s doping-admission interview, Rihanna talking about her turbulent relationship with Chris Brown and an interview with Whitney Houston’s family after the singer’s death. Her network, which got off to a rocky ratings start, is coming off its strongest quarter yet, up 32 percent from the first quarter.

Beyonce opens up to Oprah about her relationship with Jay-Z -- VIDEO

Between her songs “Survivor” and “Independent Woman” and her onstage persona, Sasha Fierce, it’s hard to believe that Beyoncé’s man has helped her “on so many levels.” But that’s exactly what the pop star tells Oprah about husband Jay-Z in a sneak peek of the upcoming one-on-one interview for Oprah’s Next Chapter.

What’s the couple’s secret to survival? Being friends first. “I would not be the woman I am if I did not go home to that man,” Beyoncé said. Watch the clip below! READ FULL STORY

'Oprah's Favorite Things' to return as OWN special

She’s BACCKKKKKKK!

The holidays just got a little bit brighter. Oprah has announced that one of the most popular features of her daytime show, the “Oprah’s Favorite Things” giveaway special, is returning as a two-hour event Sunday Nov. 18 on OWN.

Winfrey – who famously loved to outdo herself year after year – announced in a press release that this year, the recipients for the secret gift bonanza will be military spouses. In addition, for the first time ever, viewers at home can win some of the swag too, by texting in during certain parts of the program.

Refrigerators with TVs on them? iPads? macaroons? No word on what the big item will be this year (maybe luxury hen houses?), but we’re guessing the audience reactions will be just as hilarious as ever: READ FULL STORY

Oprah Winfrey's OWN announces exclusive partnership with Tyler Perry

Hallelujer!

Oprah Winfrey’s OWN network announced today that it has struck an exclusive, multi-year deal with Tyler Perry, making it the mogul’s “singular destination for all new television series and products.” These series include two original scripted shows — the first such programs on OWN — which will premiere in 2013. Both shows will be executive produced, written, and directed by Perry.

Though Perry is best known for his films, the multi-hyphenate first branched out into TV in 2007. His TBS sitcoms Tyler Perry’s House of Payne, Meet the Browns, and For Better Or Worse have been wildly successful; upon premiering, the first two each garnered the top cable comedy debut ratings of all time.

“I have been looking forward to the day when we would be in the position to enter the world of scripted television. That day has come,” Winfrey, said in a statement.  READ FULL STORY

Rihanna tells Oprah: 'I do miss [Chris Brown] sometimes' -- VIDEO

How much of Oprah’s Next Chapter interview with Rihanna is devoted to discussing the singer’s relationship with ex-boyfriend Chris Brown? Judging by a slew of clips recently posted on OWN’s YouTube page, the answer is “a lot.” Winfrey admits as much at the beginning of this first video: “She talks a lot, a lot, a lot about You Know Who, Mr. Chris Brown,” the mogul says, widening her eyes and shaking a finger.

The clip goes on to show Rihanna revealing that all sorts of things remind her of Brown, who was arrested in 2009 after assaulting her before the Grammy Awards, and that she does “miss him sometimes.” The “We Found Love” singer goes on to detail what she’s looking for in a partner: “I want a man that loves me, cherishes me, values me, but they have to know my value in order to value me. They have to know my worth, and they can only know my worth if I know my worth.” Watch it for yourself:

READ FULL STORY

Oprah's Kardashian interview part two sees ratings rise

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The second part of Oprah Winfrey’s interview with the Kardashian family delivered even bigger ratings than the first. Sunday’s Oprah’s Next Chapter scored 1.2 million viewers, up 9 percent from last week.

Oprah has been getting better ratings lately with her network, posting two consecutive quarters of ratings growth, the most recent second quarter up 11 percent to average 283,000 prime-time viewers. Oprah’s Next Chapter has been booking popular figures such as the Kardashians, Joel Osteen, Whitney Houston’s family, 50 Cent and, in August, Rihanna. The host recently admitted she’s booking guests that will spur ratings, though Kim Kardashian wasn’t nearly so honest. The reality star claimed to Oprah that on her E! show, “We don’t do anything for ratings.” Uh huh…

Read more:
Kim Kardashian opens up to Oprah about Kanye West — VIDEO

Kim Kardashian’s brilliant IMDB bio: ‘Kim Kardashian is emblematic of the shallowness of American culture’

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