With the debut of her show, Oprah Winfrey becomes the 1st African-American woman to host a nationally syndicated talk show.
For the premiere, the show’s producers tried rigorously to book Miami Vice’s Don Johnson as the 1st guest, even trying to bribe him with Dom Pérignon and a pair of rhinestone sunglasses. All attempts to book Johnson failed and Winfrey decided to “do what we do best, and that is a show about and with everyday people”.
The topic for the premiere show was “How to Marry the Man or Woman of Your Choice”.
The show would go on to make history. It ran for 25 seasons from 1986 to 2011. Produced and hosted by Oprah Winfrey, it remains the highest-rated talk show in American television history.
The show received 47 Daytime Emmy Awards before Winfrey chose to stop submitting it for consideration in 2000.