Oprah Winfrey’s Harpo Prods, will produce all four of ABC’s “Afterschool Specials” next season. In a break with tradition, these specs include a docu, and two reality programs hosted by Winfrey.
Dennis Swanson, ABC prez of children’s and daytime programming as well as sports, has a long-standing relationship with Winfrey – he was a station exec at ABC-owned WLS-TV Chicago when Winfrey’s “Oprah” premiered on the station as a local program.
In addition to the four shows produced by Winfrey’s Chicago-based production company, she will introduce repeats of past specials.
The fourth new spec will be based on a concept submitted by a teenager through a contest sponsored by ABC in conjunction with Seventeen magazine.
CapCities/ABC announced a separate deal with Harpo in May, 1990 committing to four telefilms, pilots and a series. At the time, Winfrey was appearing in the short-lived series “Brewster Place,” a follow-up to the successful miniseries.