Friday, May 24, 2013
Talk show queen and new channel OWNer, Oprah Winfrey, kicked off her last season of the Oprah show in a big way. In the past, members of Oprah's audience have received cars and other lavish gifts during the season opener and holiday shows, but Monday's audience looked Down Under their seats to find a real surprise: a trip to Australia. Oprah will take about 450 people on the excursion, and they'll travel safely, in the good hands of pilot John Travolta! The A-list actor and licensed Quantas Airlines pilot will ferry the lucky folks to the Land of Oz for about 8 days. The audience was cherry-picked by producers as her most dedicated and loyal watchers, and the producers had surprises for Oprah herself as well. They brought back the first guest she courted to be on her show when it began in 1985 - Don Johnson, who turned down doing the appearance, due to shooting Miami Vice. He good-naturedly explained the slight: "Now for clarity, I was shooting about 18 to 20 hours a day at the time. But I understand things are going OK for you," Johnson said to Oprah. OK, indeed. Oprah's eponymous channel, the Oprah Winfrey Network, will begin airing January 1.