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Oprah shows the world how it's done

Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, dropped major revelations about the British royal family in a wide-ranging interview with Oprah Winfrey, including conversations the Royal family had about her son's skin tone.

Posted: Mar 8, 2021 6:20 AM
Updated: Mar 8, 2021 6:20 AM

Leverage your celebrity wattage, A-list connections and interview track record. Produce a gorgeously staged sit-down interview in a comfortable setting. And roll out tempting teasers for a week ahead of time.

That's what Oprah Winfrey is doing for her Sunday night spectacular "CBS Presents Oprah with Meghan and Harry."

The result is, in the words of The New York Times, "one of the most anticipated, and most heavily-spun, television interviews in recent memory."

It is also a valuable piece of content -- created by Winfrey's production company and sold by ViacomCBS to television networks around the world.

Winfrey's exclusive interview with the Duke and Duchess of Sussex was announced on February 15, but it has been in the works for years.

In a new preview clip released on Friday, Winfrey said she spoke with Meghan about a potential sit-down in February or March 2018.

"I remember that conversation very well," Meghan said. "I wasn't even allowed to have that conversation with you personally, right." She indicated that Buckingham Palace communications staff was present.

"I couldn't have said yes to you then," she said. "That wasn't my choice to make. So, as an adult who lived a really independent life -- to then go into this construct that is... different than I think what people imagine it to be -- it's really liberating to be able to have the right and the privilege in some ways to be able to say yes. I mean... I'm ready to talk."

Royal watchers expect major revelations about the Sussexes' decision to step away from the work of the Royal Family and move to the US, to a home right near Winfrey's in Montecito, California.

Winfrey helped the couple get settled in the community and previously partnered with Harry on a mental health documentary for Apple TV+.

Her status as one of the most renowned interviewers in the world will be further cemented by the broadcast.

Winfrey "has the Midas touch," said Victoria Arbiter, a CNN royal commentator. She "also helps people feel safe and protected... so I think Meghan and Harry will have felt safe talking with her."

The interview tapings -- first Meghan alone, then the couple -- were conducted in what appears to be a lush California backyard.

Winfrey, not a television news division or other intermediary, maintained control all along. Her production company, Harpo, crafted the interview plan and brought it to CBS, where she has longstanding business ties.

Harpo and CBS announced the US premiere, and then the global distribution arm of ViacomCBS Global lined up other international broadcasters from Australia to Switzerland.

Most importantly, the interview will be shown in the United Kingdom on ITV one day after the US, on Monday night.

None of the parties involved have commented on the financial stakes, but CBS and other broadcasters should be able to command premium pricing for ads during the special.

Guy Martin, writing for Forbes, said "let's call it what it is, in America at least: It's a big old-fashioned broadcast network bet that lots of good American product and good American viewers would like to get next to that crackling bonfire of content, and in an industrial way, given the advent of all-powerful streaming, it's an oddly welcome revivification of the old broadcast platform."

In a nod to corporate synergy as well as Winfrey's friendship with "CBS This Morning" co-host Gayle King, the morning show rolled out the first full clip from the special on Friday morning.

Arbiter pointed out that the interview is an important moment for Meghan and Harry as they seek to capitalize on their celebrity status.

Many Americans are familiar with the couple "but there are an equal number who don't know what they are about. Oprah is a great person to introduce them to the US," she said.

A version of this article first appeared in the "Reliable Sources" newsletter. You can sign up for free right here.

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 309223

Reported Deaths: 7153
CountyCasesDeaths
DeSoto21005250
Hinds19989411
Harrison17590303
Rankin13388277
Jackson13169243
Madison9965212
Lee9900170
Jones8319161
Forrest7554149
Lauderdale7232237
Lowndes6306144
Lamar614685
Lafayette6081118
Washington5296133
Bolivar4778130
Oktibbeha458097
Panola4461103
Pearl River4447142
Warren4310119
Marshall4302103
Pontotoc417672
Monroe4063132
Union405175
Neshoba4009176
Lincoln3892109
Hancock373785
Leflore3471124
Sunflower332090
Tate325984
Pike3226105
Scott311973
Yazoo305369
Alcorn301566
Itawamba297977
Copiah294365
Coahoma290779
Simpson290486
Tippah285368
Prentiss276659
Marion266479
Leake262473
Wayne261541
Grenada257385
Covington255380
Adams247082
Newton246161
George238947
Winston226181
Tishomingo222867
Jasper220248
Attala213673
Chickasaw205857
Holmes187272
Clay183354
Stone179733
Clarke178177
Tallahatchie176240
Calhoun165632
Yalobusha160236
Smith159734
Walthall131143
Greene129633
Lawrence126823
Noxubee126634
Montgomery125842
Perry125238
Amite121041
Carroll121026
Webster113932
Jefferson Davis105932
Tunica103425
Claiborne101430
Benton97525
Kemper95728
Humphreys94732
Franklin83123
Quitman78916
Choctaw74417
Wilkinson65329
Jefferson64928
Sharkey49817
Issaquena1686
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 522512

Reported Deaths: 10790
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson755371494
Mobile39129799
Madison34124500
Tuscaloosa25408444
Montgomery24059573
Shelby23225242
Baldwin20730302
Lee15638166
Calhoun14358311
Morgan14171273
Etowah13705348
Marshall12012220
Houston10416279
Elmore10024203
Limestone9862148
Cullman9509191
St. Clair9486236
Lauderdale9280233
DeKalb8762183
Talladega8127173
Walker7151276
Autauga6763106
Jackson6762110
Blount6532133
Colbert6236132
Coffee5436113
Dale4781111
Russell431239
Franklin421382
Chilton4130110
Covington4069115
Tallapoosa3922148
Escambia390374
Dallas3528150
Chambers3519122
Clarke347360
Marion3076100
Pike306676
Lawrence296395
Winston273272
Bibb256761
Marengo248561
Geneva246475
Pickens233259
Barbour227155
Hale218675
Butler213268
Fayette209660
Henry188444
Cherokee182744
Randolph177841
Monroe173140
Washington165538
Macon156548
Clay150255
Crenshaw149557
Cleburne147041
Lamar140034
Lowndes137353
Wilcox124727
Bullock122040
Conecuh109728
Perry107726
Sumter103332
Coosa99428
Greene91434
Choctaw58824
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