You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Your Own Show: TV’s Next Star

You've got to hand it to Oprah -- she shares all of her favorite things.

With: Carson Kressley, Nancy O'Dell, Oprah Winfrey, Phil McGraw.

You’ve got to hand it to Oprah — she shares all of her favorite things, she gives away cars, trips and schools. And, with this new reality series on her eponymous network, she teaches regular folks how to be her. Every week for eight weeks, 10 contestants selected from more than 15,000 Oprah wannabes will get the chance to prove they deserve their own show.

Unlike “American Idol,” however, their immediate fate isn’t up to the public. The power lies with host-judges Nancy O’Dell and Carson Kressley, who aim to prove that TV celebrity ain’t all coffee klatches and chitchat. The contestants will have to produce, host and orchestrate a series of talkshow segments, including style makeovers, cooking tips and interviews that culminate with producing their own series pilot.

There to lend a hand, at least in the first episode, is Oprah herself. She offers motivational tips and self-improvement bon mots, along with the promise of mentoring each week from graduates of the Oprah school of fame, including Dr. Phil, Suze Orman, Gayle King and Arsenio Hall. Oprah’s “Own” show on OWN is proof that pop will indeed eat itself.

Her Midas touch, paired with Mark Burnett’s production savvy, creates a slick hour of reality TV, and the 10 finalists in the premiere seg include some immediate standouts — not all of them positive. Leigh is a stay-at-home mom who describes herself as “hungry like a wolf.” Her idea for a thought-provoking segment on sex and relationships is comparing hand size with penis size.

Dr. Phil offers tips to the contestants and helps with the first round of judging.

The series offers enough insight into the creative process to convince people why it isn’t an easy venture. Personalities bigger and better than these here have failed at the genre. Still, the winner will get a shot at his or her own show, a new car (naturally, it’s Oprah) and $100,000 from Kohl’s.

With the line between celebrity and notoriety ever more blurred, “TV’s Next Star” seems to be more about distinguishing between those out to fulfill their dreams from those whose aim is to be another Kardashian or Gosselin. And you’ve gotta to ask if the world really needs more of those.

Your Own Show: TV's Next Star

Oprah Winfrey Network; Fri., Jan. 7, 9 p.m.

Production: Filmed in Los Angeles by Mark Burnett Prods. Executive producer, Burnett, Lee Metzger; Co-Executive Producers, Amanda Zucker, David Eilenberg, Jim Roush; Supervising Producer , Dean Houser; Producers, Meagen Gibson, David Offenheiser, Tara Siener, Kanika Utley; director, Jay Hunter;

Crew: camera, Alex Van Wagner; production designer, Anton Goss; editor, Hudson Smith; music, Clyde Lieberman; casting; Scott Salyers. 60 MIN.

Cast: With: Carson Kressley, Nancy O'Dell, Oprah Winfrey, Phil McGraw.

More TV

  • Editorial use only. No book cover

    Virginia Leith, Female Lead in Stanley Kubrick's First Film, Dies at 94

    Actress and model Virginia Leith, who starred in Stanley Kubrick’s first film “Fear and Desire,” which he later disavowed, has died. She was 94. According to family spokesperson Jane Chalmers, Leith died after a brief illness at her home in Palm Springs, Calif. on Nov. 4. Born on Oct. 15, 1925, Leith met Kubrick in [...]

  • Friends

    'Friends' Reunion Special in Early Planning Stages at HBO Max

    More “Friends” could well be there for you when the HBO Max rain starts to fall. An unscripted “Friends” reunion special is in the works at the forthcoming WarnerMedia streamer, Variety has confirmed with sources. Sources say original cast members Jennifer Aniston, Lisa Kudrow, Courteney Cox, Matt LeBlanc, Matthew Perry and David Schwimmer are in discussions [...]

  • TC3_SM_060718_238A4600.cr2

    'The Crown' New Season: Netflix to Offer Opening Episode for Free in the U.K.

    When Olivia Colman steps into the royal shoes of Queen Elizabeth II, viewers in the U.K. and Ireland will be able to watch for free as Netflix makes the eagerly awaited Season 3 curtain-raiser available gratis. The streaming giant will launch the series opener on a dedicated site for a limited period starting Sunday, making it [...]

  • T.R. Knight

    TV News Roundup: T.R. Knight Joins HBO Max's 'The Flight Attendant'

    In today’s TV news roundup, “Grey’s Anatomy” star T.R. Knight joins HBO Max’s “The Flight Attendant” and BET renewed “Games People Play.” CASTING T.R Knight has been cast in HBO Max‘s dark comedy “The Flight Attendant.“ Knight will play Cassie’s (Kaley Cuoco) older brother, Davey. When Cassie’s life starts to unravel, Davey deals with the [...]

  • Days of Our Lives Bill Hayes

    'Days of Our Lives' Cast Members Released From Contracts

    The entire cast of the NBC soap opera “Days of Our Lives” have been released from their contracts, Variety has confirmed. The daytime drama has run for over 13,000 episodes since first debuting in 1965. The show will go on hiatus at the end of November, though it has shot enough episodes to last through the [...]

  • Live+7 Ratings Week of Oct. 28:

    Live+7 Ratings for Week of Oct. 28: ‘This Is Us,' 'Grey's Anatomy' Double

    “This Is Us” and “Grey’s Anatomy” were among the biggest TV ratings growers for the week of Oct. 28. Both the NBC drama and the ABC medical show doubled their ratings after seven days of delayed viewing, with the former ending up on a 2.8 among adults 18-49 (the highest rating for a non-football show [...]

  • Taika Waititi Star Wars IG-11

    'The Mandalorian': Taika Waititi Compares Droid IG-11 to the Terminator

    Taika Waititi wants to clear up any confusion surrounding his character in the Disney Plus “Star Wars” TV series “The Mandalorian.” “The droid’s name is IG-11, a lot of people presumed it was IG-88 because he looks very much the same. [It’s] IG-11 actually.” Waititi explained to Variety. “I’ll be very honest with you. I [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content