*Oprah Winfrey will debut as a “60 Minutes” correspondent this Sunday (Sept. 24), and the long-running CBS newsmagazine says her stories will focus primarily on bridging the gap between the two coasts and Trump’s America.
“She wants to do stories with an impact,” executive producer Jeff Fager tells The Hollywood Reporter. “And that’s what’s going to work here.”
Winfrey’s first segment will examine the deep political divisions in the country in part through a panel made up of ideologically opposed Americans.
Winfrey did a similar feature in O Magazine in February, for which she brought together 10 women at a diner in Maspeth, New York — half of them Donald Trump supporters, half Hillary Clinton supporters.
Fager said he tried to recruit Winfrey five years ago, when she was in the midst of her rocky launch of OWN. “She was too distracted to even consider it,” he says. This time, Winfrey was open to the offer, and was encouraged by friends. When she and friend Gayle King were on David Geffen’s yacht this summer, Geffen called CBS Corp. CEO Leslie Moonves to communicate Winfrey’s interest.
As for Winfrey’s own liberal political identity possibly turning off half of the country, Fager says it’s not a concern. “We are known for fairness,” he says, “and I believe people will see that on the air with her.”
Below, more details via THR:
Her 60 Minutes debut echoes Winfrey’s talk show in that it aims to elevate and unite. That’s not to say that she won’t later be deployed in her capacity as a deft celebrity interviewer known for eliciting revealing nuggets from her subjects. “God knows, everybody has come out of the woodwork to say, ‘Can I do a 60 Minutes story with Oprah?’ I couldn’t believe how many calls we got [from] people who are typically reluctant to do something and wanted to do Oprah,” says Fager with a laugh, adding, “We’re not looking for soft from her; we’re looking for substance.”