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"Oprah's Favorite Things" is a once-a-year episode that occurred on The Oprah Winfrey Show from 2002 to 2010, with a 1 year gap in 2009 | oprahwinfreybiography.net

Oprah’s Favorite Things

Oprah’s Favorite Things” is a once-a-year episode that occurred on The Oprah Winfrey Show from 2002 to 2010, with a 1 year gap in 2009. In the episode, which was normally broadcasted during the holiday season, Winfrey shared merchandise with her viewers that she felt were impressive or that would make a great gift. Additionally, the audience members who were present for the taping of the episode received those items from that year’s list for free.

The episode is also occasionally used to characterize a related article in O, The Oprah Magazine, although that list is actually titled “The O List”. The two features are often harmonized.

The “Oprah’s Favorite Things” TV episode is the most viewed episode every year of The Oprah Winfrey Show. The episode has customarily been broadcasted around Thanksgiving, although its producers do not disclose when that specific episode will be recorded. In addition, the audience members of these episodes are generally selected based on a particular characteristic, which means tickets can be hard to get.

The pieces displayed in the 2002 episode were comprised in 1 of 4 classifications: food favorites; beauty and body care; books, music and home; and high-tech discoveries. The pieces included in the episode were:

  • A Perfect World White Tea Body Cream
  • Mariebelle Hot Chocolate Powder
  • Cranberry Croissants
  • Homebaked Classics
  • Key lime pie
  • BlissLabs Glamour Gloves and Glamour Gel
  • Origins Piper-Heidsieck Champagne
  • Pillsbury  Kiehl’s Limited Edition Gift Box
  • Good Karmal Mini Crates
  • Neuburger Pajamas and Socks
  • J.Lo Velour Sweatsuit
  • What to Wear
  • Karen Fat Witch Baby Gift Tin
  • Creations by Nantucket Clipper
  • Holiday tin of Garrett’s Popcorn
  • DreamTime Foot Cozys
  • Silver Ox Cuff Watch
  • Strongwater Picture Frames
  • The Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle
  • Wafer-Thin CD System
  • O, The Oprah Magazine subscription
  • Books, Music and Home
  • Everyday Grace by Marianne Williamson
  • Talking Photo Album
  • Johnny Mathis The Christmas Album
  • Tube Readers and Case
  • Jay Fashion Active Labs Perfect Tee
  • Four-in-One Camera
  • Together Book and CD Collection
  • High-Tech Discoveries Samsung mobile phone/camera

The 2003 episode had three hundred and fifty people in the audience. The pieces highlighted in this episode included:

  • Frontgate’s Portable DVD Player
  • Ralph Lauren Black Label Cashmere Slim Fit Crewneck Sweater
  • Melted Chocolate Cake Batter
  • Greenberg Smoked Turkeys
  • Barefoot Dreams Robes, Adult throws
  • Cliff and Buster Macaroons
  • The Gingerbread Man by Philosophy
  • Pure Simplicity Pumpkin Purifying Mask
  • Davies Gates Allspice Cinnamon Powder Sugar Soak
  • O, The Oprah Magazine
  • MAC Cosmetic Carrying Case
  • Nike Dri-FIT Workout Outfit
  • FoodSaver Vac 800 by Tilia, Inc.
  • Cambio Jeans
  • BlackBerry Wireless E-mail Device
  • Frederic Fekkai Crème Luxeuse, Apple Cider Clean
  • Shampoo & Conditioner
  • UGG Classic Short Boots
  • Judith Ripka Two Necklace
  • Philip Stein Teslar Watch
  • Sony DCR-DVD200 Handycam
  • The Neiman Marcus Cookbook

The audience for the 2004 episode was comprised of teachers. Things included on the list were:

  • Quilted Jacket and Cashmere Scarf by Burberry
  • Dell 30” Wide-Screen LCD TV
  • Bourjois Lip Products
  • Eileen Fisher Waffle-Weave Merino Stretch Zip Cardigan and Pant
  • Maytag Neptune Top-Load Washer and Drying Center
  • Lollia Lifestyle Collection
  • Hand-Blown Crystal Champagne Glasses by Deborah Ehrlich
  • Dooney & Bourke Leather Duffle Bag
  • Miraval Resort and Spa – Life in Balance
  • Orbitz
  • Apple Bottom Jeans by Nelly
  • Museum Automatic Arte Watch by Movado
  • Gourmet Florida Key Lime Bundt Cake
  • VIETRI Water Garden Tea Service
  • SpecialTeas Fine Tea Gift Certificate
  • Williams-Sonoma Home Bedding
  • The Magellan RoadMate 700
  • Dell Pocket DJ
  • OfficeMax Gift Certifiate
  • Sony VAIO S260 Notebook computer
  • BeBe Winans’ A Christmas Prayer CD & Starbucks Gift Card

In 2005, the audience for the taping of the “Oprah’s Favorite Things” episode was comprised of volunteers from Hurricane Katrina. The listed items were:

  • Philip Stein Teslar Diamond Watch
  • Burberry Coat
  • Burberry Purse
  • UGG Australia’s Uptown Boot
  • Garrett Popcorn Shops’ CaramelCrisp and CheeseCorn Tin
  • The Apple iPod
  • “The Oprah Sweater” by Ralph Lauren
  • Pure Color Cords
  • Lovely by Sarah Jessica Parker
  • BlackBerry 7105T from T-Mobile
  • Brownies from Moveable Feast Geneva
  • Nike Free 5.0 iD
  • Kashwere Shawl Collar Robe
  • Croissants from Williams-Sonoma
  • Hope in a Jar from Philosophy
  • “Grace” Basket from Philosophy
  • Oatmeal Cookie Dough from Fox & Obel Market
  • The Oprah Winfrey Show 20th Anniversary Collection DVD
  • Sony VAIO FJ Notebook

In 2006, the “Favorite Things” episode took on a unusual direction as the audience members each got a credit card valued at $1,000. Each audience member also got a camcorder and was instructed to use the money and do something kind for a while using the camcorder to videotape the deed.

The “Oprah’s Favorite Things” episode aired November 20, 2007. It returned to the original presentation of that in previous years. The 2007 episode was filmed in Macon, Georgia in the Macon City Auditorium on November 17, 2007.

  • Samsung HD Camcorder (SC-HMX10C)
  • UGG Australia Classic Crochet Boots
  • ToyWatch Crystal Watches
  • Perfect Endings Cupcakes by Williams-Sonoma
  • Melamine Bowls by Williams-Sonoma
  • KitchenAid Artisan Mixer
  • Planet Earth DVD Set by The Discovery Channel
  • Kai Body Butter & Buffer
  • Clarisonic Skin Cleansing System
  • Claus Porto Soaps from Lafco New York
  • “The Pillars of the Earth” by Ken Follett
  • Breville Ikon Panini Press by Williams-Sonoma
  • Ciao Bella Sorbetto
  • Rachel Pally Swing Turtleneck and Sailor Pants
  • Scrabble Premier Edition from Hasbro
  • United Artists 90th Anniversary Prestige DVD Collection
  • Shaklee Get Clean
  • O’s Guide to Life
  • Josh Groban’s Noël CD
  • LG HDTV Refrigerator

Oprah, in addition to the usual show, held an “Oprah’s Favorite Things for Summer” episode in May 2008, allegedly against her wishes and at the instruction of the production team.

The usual episode broadcasted November 26, 2008, one day before Thanksgiving; although, it did not follow the usual appearance of lavish gifts. Instead, because of the nation’s economic hardships (Winfrey said that she could not in good conscience give away lavish gifts in such a time of economic trouble), this year’s episode would be entitled “How to Have the Thriftiest Holiday Ever!” (described as Oprah’s Favorite Things… with a twist!) All the prizes cost “next to nothing” and emphasized  “do-it-yourself”  Because of the personal nature of many of these presents, this was the first year that audience members did not get many of the actual gifts, although they did receive the book and the album.

Gift ideas, submitted by viewers, included:

  • Gratitude boxes, filled with notes of gratitude from various people
  • “Oprah’s Holiday Hits” compilation album (given away for free on the show Web site)
  • Treasure boxes filled with mementos
  • Hot chocolate cones
  • Regifts (a.k.a. “swap parties”), exchanging unwanted used items of your own for others’ used items you would be more likely to use
  • Gift baskets that include fruits and vegetables from your own garden
  • Time with a loved one
  • The Story of Edgar Sawtelle, a book by David Wroblewski

For other gift ideas, viewers were pointed toward “The O List” in the December 2008 issue of O, The Oprah Magazine. The list was comprised of items that were valued under $100.

The Huffington Post issued an article in November 2009 that, for the first time in a number of years, there would not be an “Things episode.” This turned out to be true; the reason the show was canceled, although the recession that had been taking place the year before. The recession was the reason for the low-budget “Oprah’s Favorite Things” episode that year and was still ongoing at the time. However, Oprah held a sweepstakes in December 2009 she gave away prizes from past  collections. The sweepstakes winner was posted on the Oprah website.

Oprah Winfrey’s biggest Favorite Things show to date, entitled Ultimate Favorite Things, aired on Friday, November 19, 2010. A second edition aired the following Monday, November 22. It was the final Favorite Things in its current format, since The Oprah Winfrey Show will end its run at the end of the 2010–2011 season, and the only time Winfrey has done the program back to back in any season of the show. Several of the Favorite Things were products that had been given away in previous Favorite Things episodes.

The list of products given away in the “Ultimate Favorite Things” included:

  • A Course in Weight Loss: 21 Spiritual Lessons for Surrendering Your Weight Forever, a book by Marianne Williamson, published by Hay House
  • Hair care products from Andre Walker, Oprah’s hairstylist
  • Baker’s Edge lasagna and brownie trays with Ghiradelli brownie mix
  • Beecher’s “World’s Best” macaroni and cheese
  • Breville panini press from Williams-Sonoma
  • Decoded, a book by Jay-Z
  • Elfa Customizable Closet System from The Container Store
  • A five-year membership to Netflix
  • Judith Ripka Eclipse Earrings
  • $100 gift card for Kiva
  • Kyocera Advanced Ceramic knife 2 piece knife gift set
  • Lafco House and Home Collection Candle Set
  • Limited edition “25th Anniversary” Oprah watch by Philip Stein
  • Ralph Lauren Cashmere Sweater & Cashmere Blanket
  • Lululemon relaxed fit pants
  • Four pairs of Nike running shoes
  • Nikon D3100 digital camera
  • 7-day cruise on the Allure of the Seas from Royal Caribbean International
  • Round-trip flight on United Airlines to and from the cruise
  • A “25th Anniversary” Oprah shirt
  • Sony Bravia 52-inch 3D television and blu-ray player
  • The Beginning, an album from The Black Eyed Peas
  • Tory Burch “Silver Anniversary” tote bag and flat shoes
  • T.I.’s verse on “Tangerine”.

The second day’s Favorite Things list included:

  • iPad, with Scrabble app
  • UGG Australia sparkle boots
  • A Coach satchel
  • Magaschoni tunic and leggings
  • Hope in a Jar moisturizer by Philosophy
  • Nordstrom lingerie and $500 Nordstrom gift card
  • Prepara Herb Saver Prepara
  • Chicken pot pie from Centerville Pie Company
  • Garrett Popcorn Shops “Oprah’s Favorite Things” tin
  • Le Creuset cookware
  • Miraclesuit blue jeans
  • A jewelry box from Pottery Barn
  • Jessica Leigh Diamond earrings from Dana Rebecca Designs
  • A gift card for DonorsChoose.org
  • Mini croissants from Williams-Sonoma
  • Talbott Teas holiday assortment
  • The Book of Awakening, a book by Mark Nepo
  • Illuminations, an album from Josh Groban
  • Let It Be Me, an album from Johnny Mathis
  • A 2012 Volkswagen Beetle, due for delivery May 2011

The “Oprah Effect” from Oprah’s Favorite Things

After appearing on the “Oprah’s Favorite Things” episode, businesses characteristically experienced a large surge in their website traffic and in visits to their stores. For small businesses with limited supplies and a small staff, the resulting surge in shoppers can cause the business to become overwhelmed and unable to meet consumer demands. According to Scott Schroeder, executive VP and CFO of Garrett Popcorn Shops, being highlighted on the episode resulted in over 100,000 hits to the website on the afternoon the episode was broadcasted and sales increased in December by over 100%. This resulted in the business to go from “making popcorn eight hours a day to 24 hours a day.”

The episodes have also been met with controversy when businesses that were not featured on the episode made claims that they were on the list. According to show insiders, this is one reason why the style was changed for the 2006 season.

The website the AV Club made fun of the uselessness and dullness of Oprah’s 2007 list by posting an article called “Oprah’s Favorite Thing’s or Symptom of Clinical Depression.” The 2008 outcome in using cheap gifts brought jokes from Jimmy Kimmel Live!, including a joke that featured Winfrey supposedly giving away thumb tacks, to a much-dismayed audience.

 

 

 

 
Oprah’s OWN Network
Oprah has announced her syndicated talk show will end May 26, 2011 and that it will not continue on OWN thereafter. However, she will host a new prime-time show on the channel called Oprah’s Next Chapter two or three times a week.
Oprah’s Ratings and Influence
Vanity Fair printed: “Oprah Winfrey arguably has more influence on the culture than any university president, politician, or religious leader, except perhaps the Pope.”
The Oprah Winfrey Show
In the beginning years of The Oprah Winfrey Show, the episodes were categorized as a tabloid talk. Oprah then took on a less tabloid-oriented model, in the mid 1990s, hosting shows on broader topics such as spirituality, heart disease, geopolitics, and meditation.

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