Oprah Winfrey's greatest TV moments

In this Jan. 6, 2011, file photo, Oprah Winfrey listens to a reporter's question during the Discovery Communications Television Critics Association winter media tour in Pasadena, Calif. File,AP Photo/Chris Pizzello

Oprah Winfrey
AP
(CBS) Wednesday is the final broadcast of "The Oprah Winfrey Show." To mark the occasion, we've put together some of what we think are Winfrey's greatest moments on the couch.

Pictures: Oprah Winfrey
Pictures: Oprah's farewell spectacular Pictures: 20 funny "Goodbye, Oprah!" tweets

This list may not have your favorite moment, so please let us know in the comments what we missed. That disclaimer aside, the following moments are big in Oprah - and television - history. In no particular order:

Oprah calls James Frey out for lying

James Frey wrote "A Million Little Pieces," a memoir of addiction. Winfrey made it a Book Club selection in 2005, had Frey on the show and the book's sales climbed into the millions.

In early 2006, Frey returned to address the claims that parts of his memoir were fabricated. He admitted to exaggerating parts of the book - Winfrey flat-out called it lying - and it looks, at times, as if she is barely controlling her anger.

In May 2011 Winfrey interviewed Frey again, this time apologizing for the way she treated him in the 2006 interview.

The wagon of fat

During an episode in 1988, Winfrey wheeled out a wagon loaded with 67 lbs. of fat to represent the 67 lbs. she'd lost on a liquid protein diet.  Winfrey, whose weight has fluctuated over the years, said she considers that episode her "biggest, fattest" mistake.

"You get a car!"

In 2004, "The Wildest Dreams Season" started big when Winfrey gave everyone in her audience a new Pontiac G6. After giving each member of the audience a box and telling all the people there only one box had a key to a new car, each person was surprised - shocked and ecstatic, really - to open the box and see a key to a car.

"You get a car!" shouted Winfrey. "You get a car!" over and over. Watch the video here.

Tom Cruise jumps on the sofa

On May 23, 2005, Tom Cruise was a guest on "The Oprah Winfrey Show." You know what happened: He jumped up and down on the sofa while professing his love for Katie Holmes.

Nearly three years later, Winfrey visited Cruise in his Colorado home. No jumping.

Oprah launches the Book Club

In 1996, Winfrey launched "Oprah's Book Club." The first book was "The Deep End of the Ocean" by Jacquelyn Mitchard. The last books, selected in 2010, are classics by Charles Dickens, "A Tale of Two Cities" and "Great Expectations."

Frey's "A Million Little Pieces" was one of Winfrey's Book Club selections. She experienced a milder controversy in 2001 when Jonathan Franzen expressed ambivalence over his novel "The Corrections" being chosen for the Book Club. Winfrey also put Franzen's next novel, "Freedom," on her list.

Oprah reveals she was abused sexually when she was a child

In 1986, Winfrey told her audience that she was raped by a relative when she was 9.

Ellen DeGeneres talks openly about being gay

DeGeneres came out publicly in 1997 and talked about the controversy surrounding her decision with Winfrey. (In an April 1997 episode of DeGeneres' sitcom, "Ellen," her character came out. Winfrey played the therapist she comes out to on the show.)

It may seem like no big deal now, but in 1997 there was a lot of controversy surrounding DeGeneres' decision to come out publicly and Winfrey's decision to support her.

Mackenzie Phillips talks about her incestuous relationship with her father

In 2009, Phillips, daughter of The Mamas and the Papas' John Phillips and star of the sitcom "One Day at a Time," revealed her 10-year sexual relationship with him and talked about her years of drug and alcohol abuse.

"I was old enough to know better," said an emotional Phillips. "I can't explain this away. It happened."

Oprah interviews Michael Jackson

Before all the allegations of child abuse, Winfrey interviewed Jackson in February 1993. It was Jackson's first interview first interview in 14 years. Winfrey compared going to Neverland Ranch to approaching the wizard in "The Wizard of Oz."

Read more: Oprah by the numbers

  • David Riedel

Comments

CBSN Live

pop-out
Live Video

Watch CBSN Live

Watch CBS News anytime, anywhere with the new 24/7 digital news network. Stream CBSN live or on demand for FREE on your TV, computer, tablet, or smartphone.