Image Credit: Solarpix/PR Photos; Janet Mayer/PR Photos

Piers Morgan announced today that Oprah Winfrey will be his first guest when he launches Piers Morgan Tonight on CNN Jan. 17. Winfrey is busy plugging her new cable network OWN — in fact, she’ll meet with TV critics later today in Pasadena, Calif. — but Morgan said that wasn’t the only reason she made a compelling first guest.

“No one can say that Oprah isn’t a great get,” Morgan told critics. “It’s ridiculous. She’s one of two or three of the most brilliant gets in the world. She’s a compelling interview. Everyone has interviewed Oprah over the years. Is my interview as good as the ones that have been done before? She thought so. I guarantee you’ll enjoy this one.”

Morgan’s executive producer Jonathan Wald teased that Winfrey will even address her recent televised talk with Barbara Walters.

As for his new show, Morgan simply said, “I want this show to be highly opinionated. I don’t want it to be shrieky, I’m a Republican or Democrat. I want to unlock the real people, whoever they are.”

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