Oprah Winfrey is admitting that her OWN channel has gotten off to a bumpy start, but if she lands her desired interview things may start to look up by next year. Winfrey told a cable industry trade show audience in Chicago on Thursday that her "dream" is to take on O.J. Simpson and get the ultimate scoop on her upcoming chat show, 'Oprah's Next Chapter.'
"I have a dream of O.J. Simpson confessing to me," said Winfrey to cheers, according to a Hollywood Reporter report. "And I am going to make that happen people."
Winfrey, letting it be known she thinks Simpson murdered wife Nicole Brown, said she would have a big condition for sitting down with the NFL great.
"I don't just want the interview," she told interviewer Paula Zahn. "I want the interview on the condition that you are ready, Mr. Simpson."
All Things Oooooopraaaaaah
Oprah Winfrey right, talks with Paula Zahn left, during the National Cable & Telecommunications Association's Cable Show 2011 at McCormick Place on Thursday, June 16, 2011, in Chicago. (AP Photo/Paul Beaty)
He was acquitted in a circus-like murder trial in 2005 but was later convicted in a civil case that awarded the families of the victims $33.5 million.
One teensy setback for realizing Oprah's dream is the fact Simpson is currently serving hard time in a kidnapping and armed robbery case. He currently lives at Lovelock Correctional Center in Nevada and will be eligible for parole in about 6 years.
Obviously a televised O.J. confession would potentially the biggest TV event in recent history, save for Super Bowls and balloon boy coverage (kidding), and a ratings bonanza would be just what Winfrey's network could use.
She told Zahn the "bumps along the way" have been surprising to her, namely the sub-par ratings and issues with the network's direction. One top executive departed last month. She said that it's partly her fault because she had to deal with the monumental task of closing out her talk show. But now she's putting it all in for OWN.
"I now have the time to be committed to the nurturing of this network," Winfrey said. "The vacation I thought I was going to have is kind of over ... at least for the time being."
On the lower-than-expected ratings, she said "I let other people worry about ratings ... For me, it is always about service to the viewers. I have committed everything I have to this cable venture. I wouldn't bet against me."
Oprah will star in several shows on the network, including 'Oprah's Next Chapter,' 'Season 25: Oprah Behind the Scenes,' Oprah Presents Master Class' and 'Your OWN Show: Oprah's Search for the Next TV Star.'