She’s the most iconic TV talk-show host of all time, been nominated for an Oscar and even started her own eponymous television network.
So what else do you do when you are Oprah Winfrey?
“My dream is to do Broadway,” Winfrey said today on “Good Morning America.” “That is going to happen.”
Winfrey, 58, made her Broadway dreams known while sitting right in the heart of “The Great White Way,” inside the Times Square studio of “GMA,” where she appeared as a special guest on the No. 1-rated morning show.
Winfrey’s stop at “GMA,” where she also photo-bombed fans and joined the “GMA” anchors at the anchor desk, came amid a busy fall for the talk-show legend who has not slowed down since ending her 25-year reign at the top of TV May 2011. Most recently, Winfrey has put her focus on the television network she founded, OWN, that stumbled in ratings at its launch, despite a much-anticipated debut.
“You know what the problem was? I wasn’t there,” Winfrey said this morning. “I wasn’t surrounded by all of the people who I was accustomed to working with.”
Winfrey says moving her longtime HARPO and talk-show executives to OWN and spending more time at the office herself has helped to turn things around.
” There were a couple of days back in the spring and early on that I asked myself, ‘What have I done,’ because I expected that it would be a lot easier,” she said. “I expected that I would be able to go into the office every day or so. I expected that I would just call up people and do an interview when I wanted. It doesn’t work that way.
“I think we’re in the full turn now,” she said. “For the past nine months, we’ve shown amazing growth and some really great shows. We’re getting traction.”
Helping the network gain traction is a mix of shows ranging from the celebrity and reality-focused menu of most channels – the recently announced “Life With LaToya” reality series featuring Michael Jackson’s sister and an “Oprah’s Next Chapter” with pop star Justin Bieber next month – to the more aspirational “Lifeclass” series.
“The Lifeclass is actually an anchor for our network,” Winfrey said of the program that includes live events and an online component in addition to the TV broadcast, and will, this month, feature televangelist Joel Osteen in a two-part special.
“I actually heard a sermon that Joel Osteen had done called ‘I am’ and he said something that really struck me so profoundly. He said, ‘Whatever follows ‘I am’ will come back to you,’” Winfrey said. “So I texted him and said would you be interested in expanding on that idea and teaching that for our audience and he agreed to do it.
“It is really what our brand stands for, enhancing people’s lives, allowing them to be inspired for themselves,” she said of “Lifeclass.”
As for her Broadway aspirations, Winfrey’s next stop on her path to the stage is a new movie directed by Lee Daniels about a White House butler who served eight U.S. presidents. The film, in theaters next year, has Oprah starring alongside acting greats such as Robin Williams, Vanessa Redgrave and John Cusack, and taking part in some much-buzzed-about sex scenes with actor Forest Whitaker.
“Thank you Keisha Whitaker for allowing that to happen,” Winfrey said, referring to her co-star’s wife. “It’s just acting.”