So maybe she won’t be the next president of the United States, but we’re about to be hearing a whole lot more from Oprah Winfrey as she has just signed a multi-year deal with Apple for new original programs.
On Friday, yet another big name in the media sphere attached herself to a streaming service, as Winfrey made a deal with Apple to contribute to the media conglomerate’s slate of original programming. “Together, Winfrey and Apple will create original programs that embrace her incomparable ability to connect with audiences around the world,” the company said in a statement. “Winfrey’s projects will be released as part of a lineup of original content from Apple.”
Whether Winfrey herself will appear in the shows she’ll produce is not yet known, though she is expected to host and interview guests, as she’s so deft at doing. Apple made clear that this new deal would not affect Winfrey’s contract with OWN, the television network she debuted back in 2011 and with whom has recently extended her contract through 2025.
Winfrey’s deal with Apple comes as huge streaming services such as Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon are vying to lock producers, actors, and showrunners into production contracts. Apple has recently made similar deals with the likes of Reese Witherspoon, Steven Spielberg, Octavia Spencer, and Kevin Durant, while Netflix has signed former President Barack and former First Lady Michelle Obama in a multiyear deal as well as Shonda Rhimes and Ryan Murphy. On Thursday, Amazon announced it had signed a first-look deal with Nicole Kidman’s Blossom Films to work on theatrical, TV, and digital content.
With Winfrey’s 25 years of experience hosting The Oprah Winfrey Show and her experience as a Hollywood movie producer — she most recently produced and starred in the critically acclaimed Selma — coupled with her vast population of fans (who could forget #Oprah2020) there’s little doubt that Apple has scored a win in the streaming bidding race.