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SHOWBIZ TONIGHT

Oprah`s Startling Goodbye; Who Could Replace Oprah?; Martha Stewart Disses Rachael Ray; The Most Provocative Celebrity of the Week

Aired November 20, 2009 - 23:00:00   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


BROOKE ANDERSON, CO-HOST: Right now, on SHOWBIZ TONIGHT, Oprah`s tearful and startling goodbye. Tonight, what Oprah revealed today about why she is ending her show after 25 years.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

OPRAH WINFREY, HOST, "THE OPRAH WINFREY SHOW": The show has been my life, and I love it enough to when it`s time to say goodbye.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ANDERSON: But who could replace her? Tonight, SHOWBIZ TONIGHT with the all-out Oprah debate. Could it be Ellen, Sarah Palin, even Michelle Obama?

Tonight, SHOWBIZ TONIGHT names the most provocative celebrity of the week. Does Oprah`s stunning announcement today put her over the top? Or will it be Sarah Palin or Levi Johnston? SHOWBIZ TONIGHT with the headline-making announcement, our most provocative celebrity of the week.

Martha Stewart`s unbelievable attack on Rachael Ray.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MARTHA STEWART, TV HOST: She is more of an entertainer than she is - with her bubbly personality, than she is a teacher like me.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ANDERSON: And Rachael Ray`s even more remarkable response. Now, Martha, that`s not a good thing, is it?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: TV`s most provocative entertainment news show starts right now.

(MUSIC)

A.J. HAMMER, CO-HOST: Hello, I`m A.J. Hammer, broadcasting tonight and every night from New York City.

ANDERSON: Hi there, everyone. I`m Brooke Anderson coming to you from Hollywood.

And tonight, "Oprah" over. Oprah confirmed today that she is ending the most successful, the most powerful, the most influential daytime talk show in television history.

With tears streaming down her face, a very emotional Oprah explained why she will be ending her show after 25 years and immediately triggered a coast-to-coast debate over who should replace her. Even Michelle Obama`s name came up and, of course, Sarah Palin. And it all made for big news breaking today.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

WINFREY: These years with you, our viewers, have enriched my life beyond all measure.

ANDERSON (voice-over): A tearful Oprah Winfrey got caught up in the emotion of what may be one of the biggest TV bombshells ever.

WINFREY: Season 25 will be the last season of "The Oprah Winfrey Show."

ANDERSON: On her show this morning, Oprah confirmed to the world that after 25 years, she will end her talk show in September of 2011.

WINFREY: Your trust in me, the sharing of your precious time every day with me has brought me the greatest joy I have ever known.

ANDERSON: SHOWBIZ TONIGHT can tell you the news that the queen of daytime TV is stepping down from her throne left everyone in a state of shock today, including those like Ellen DeGeneres who just might be next in line.

ELLEN DEGENERES, HOST, "THE ELLEN DEGENERES SHOW": I don`t think I could be here without her. I think she`s blazed a trail.

ANDERSON: Ellen revealed on her show today that Oprah personally called her to let her know that she would be ending her show.

DEGENERES: I love her and I wish her the best and she deserves to rest. She has worked really, really hard.

ANDERSON: Also paying tribute to Oprah, Lisa Ling, the former co-host of "The View" who regularly contributed reports to "The Oprah Winfrey Show." She tells SHOWBIZ TONIGHT Oprah is not going away.

LISA LING, FORMER CO-HOST, "THE VIEW": I`m certainly not counting her out in any way because I know she has a very long and productive future ahead of her.

WINFREY: And welcome to the very first national "Oprah Winfrey Show."

ANDERSON: Since her show went on the air in 1986, Oprah Winfrey has had a pretty good run to say the least. About 42 million viewers watch her every week. Her fortune has been estimated at $2.5 billion. She`s been credited with helping to get Barack Obama elected president -

WINFREY: Have you ever felt this way before?

ANDERSON: And with contributing to the one-time downfall of Tom Cruise when he went wild on her couch. So now that Oprah is leaving her show behind, SHOWBIZ TONIGHT is asking two big questions. The first, why now?

WINFREY: Why walk away and make next season the last?

ANDERSON: During her announcement today, Oprah herself answered that question.

WINFREY: Here is the real reason. I love this show. This show has been my life and I love it enough to know when it`s time to say goodbye. Twenty-five years feels right in my bones and it feels right in my spirit. It`s the perfect number, the exact right time.

ANDERSON: And that brings us to the other big question - what`s next for Oprah?

JO PIAZZA, ENTERTAINMENT JOURNALIST: She is starting the Oprah Winfrey Network, which is a partnership with THE DISCOVERY CHANNEL and will launch in 2011.

ANDERSON: CNN.com entertainment writer Jo Piazza tells SHOWBIZ TONIGHT there is still speculation that Oprah may be moving her show to her upcoming new cable network.

PIAZZA: We are not going to lose Oprah in our lives. We`re just moving her at 4:00 p.m.

WINFREY: The countdown to the end of "The Oprah Winfrey Show" starts now.

ANDERSON: But the fact is "The Oprah Winfrey Show" as we know it is coming to an end in a year and a half. And Oprah`s announcement kicks off what promises to be a long and emotional goodbye to a TV legend in her last season.

WINFREY: We are going to knock your socks off.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

HAMMER: All right. While Oprah said today this is absolutely the right time for her to end her show, I have to ask, could it have been a big mistake?

SHOWBIZ TONIGHT was there in Chicago outside the Harpo Studios where Oprah made her emotional announcement. And you have got to hear what people told us as they left the show.

Joining me tonight, CNN`s chief business correspondent Ali Velshi who is in Chicago right now covering the Oprah shocker. Also tonight from New York is Midwin Charles who is an attorney from Midwin Charles and Associates.

My friend, Ali, I`d like to go off to you first to the fine distinction of having been a guest on "The Oprah Winfrey Show." Ending her big show now is such a big, big risk. Do you think that she is doing the right thing?

ALI VELSHI, CNN BUSINESS CORRESPONDENT: A.J. working stiffs like me don`t tend to want to give Oprah Winfrey advice. Twenty-five years - she`s saying that`s a nice number at which to end it.

But I think it`s important to realize, this isn`t the end of Oprah by any stretch. This is the full transformation of Oprah as artist to Oprah as business person.

Most people don`t need convincing. She is one of the most lucrative people around. She`s worth $2.7 billion by some estimates and is one of the highest earners in media and entertainment.

So she is just shifting over to another way of doing things. I don`t think you`ve seen anything close to the end of Oprah.

HAMMER: $2.7 billion - every time I`ve heard that figure today, it is incomprehensible to me.

VELSHI: Yes.

HAMMER: I have to tell you, obviously, not a huge surprise here. Quite a scene outside of Oprah`s Harpo Studios today. And of course, SHOWBIZ TONIGHT was right there. We were speaking with people who were in the audience for the announcement. Listen to what they told us.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I got choked up as well.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It was so sincere. She`s just sincerely going to miss this. And her fans love her so much. And she has done so much for the world.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: This is her baby.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It`s sad.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It is. It`s sad. Because she - like you said, we grew up with her and watched her. I watched her in college. I watch her when I had my babies. And it`s sad, but it`s good. Good for her for taking a break. Good for her for realizing when enough is enough.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HAMMER: Yes. So those fans were obviously behind her decision. But Midwin Charles, what do you think? Will her fans remain loyal to her even after the curtain falls on "The Oprah Winfrey Show," which, after all, is how everybody got to know her?

MIDWIN CHARLES, ATTORNEY, MIDWIN CHARLES AND ASSOCIATES: I think they will. Remember, she not going off to go sit under a coconut tree and retire. I mean, she is going to start her own network which, I think, will be excellent.

I think we are going to see a lot more of her. There might even be another "Oprah Winfrey Show" or another iteration of it on her network. So I don`t think we are seeing the end of her at all.

HAMMER: Let me tell you something right now. I shut down my show. I`m sitting under a coconut tree. That`s just me, though. And really, what a week it has been for Oprah. The way it`s been book-ended.

It all began on Monday. Sarah Palin was on the show. Ten million people tuned in for this thing. The show got its highest ratings in two years. A lot of people really are naturally wondering, why is she leaving now? And you know, everything does seem to be going so well. Take a look at what Oprah said today about that.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

WINFREY: I love this show. This show has been my life. And I love it enough to know when it`s time to say goodbye. Twenty-five years feels right in my bones and it feels right in my spirit. It`s the perfect number, the exact right time.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HAMMER: Ali, a moment ago, you mentioned the power of Oprah, her widespread influence.

VELSHI: Yes.

HAMMER: Thanks to her show, we know that she has become one of the most powerful, not just broadcasters, but women in the entire world, the show seen in 145 countries. Do you think, though, Ali, she can maintain her power and her all-important influence when the show goes away?

VELSHI: That`s a good question. It`s hard to know. But remember you have to put her into the category of most powerful and influential and philanthropic people in the world.

When you look at others like that - you look at Bill Gates and Melinda Gates. You look at Warren Buffett. These are not people with network television shows.

So bottom line is, when you have the kind of money, the kind of influence, the kind of access that Oprah Winfrey has, she can continue her philanthropic and world-changing activities and she can move into the new age with the Oprah Winfrey Network which is going to be on the Internet. It will available to people in different ways.

This is not Howard Stern moving from terrestrial radio to satellite radio where you`ve got to get a new device to listen to him and subscribe to him. This is Oprah Winfrey becoming more available to a lot of people in an age where that becomes more important. I don`t think her influence wanes when she leaves.

HAMMER: No, I don`t think so either. And I think what she has done for the last quarter century has really laid down the foundation for what, I`m sure, will be a remarkable, remarkable future.

Ali Velshi, I appreciate you being there from Chicago for us tonight. Midwin Charles, thank you as well.

And now, over to you. Here`s hour SHOWBIZ TONIGHT question of the day. What do you think? "Oprah Ending Her Show: Did she make the right decision? Here`s where you go to vote - CNN.com/ShowbizTonight. You can E-mail us at showbiztonight@cnn.com.

ANDERSON: So A.J., what do you think? Maybe we could fill Oprah`s shoes.

HAMMER: Yes, sure. I`m up for it. But Brooke, I`m thinking I want to hang around here for a little while.

ANDERSON: Yes. I`m with you, A.J. But tonight, there is a big debate over who could replace Oprah. How about Ellen? How about Sarah Palin? She was just on the show this week. Or get this, Michelle Obama. Seriously. Get ready for the great Oprah replacement debate.

Tonight, SHOWBIZ TONIGHT names the most provocative celebrity of the week. Does Oprah`s stunning announcement today put her over the top? Or will it be Sarah Palin or Levi Johnston?

Also, Martha Stewart`s unbelievable attack on Rachael Ray.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

STEWART: She just did a new cookbook which is just a reedit of a lot of her old recipes. And that`s not good enough for me.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ANDERSON: Now, Martha, that`s not a good thing, is it? And you`ve got to hear Rachael Ray`s even more remarkable response. This is SHOWBIZ TONIGHT on HLN.

And now, the "SHOWBIZ News Ticker" - more stories from the SHOWBIZ TONIGHT newsroom. They`re making news right now.

TEXT: "New Moon" breaks record for midnight showings, pulling in $26.3 million. TLC says Kate Gosselin`s new show will launch in the spring.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

HAMMER: We welcome you back to SHOWBIZ TONIGHT. I`m Brooke Anderson in Hollywood with A.J. Hammer in New York.

And tonight, Martha Stewart`s smack down. The queen of domestic design totally goes off on fellow TV kitchen master, Rachael Ray, in a brand-new TV interview. Martha says Rachel isn`t good enough.

But wait, there is more. Things get even wilder when you hear Rachael`s startling reaction to Martha`s diss.

With me now here in Hollywood is Ken Baker. He is the executive news editor for E! Also in Hollywood tonight is Jill Simonian is an entertainment journalist for Reelz Channel.

OK, Ken, Jill, this all went down on ABC`s "Nightline" last night. Like a sharp cleaver to a piece of raw meat, Martha made a swift and deep cut attacking Rachael Ray. Watch.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

STEWART: She just did a new cookbook which is just a reedit of a lot of her old recipes. And that`s not good enough for me.

I mean, I really want to write a book that is a unique and lasting thing. She is more of an entertainer than she is - with her bubbly important than she is a teacher like me.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ANDERSON: Ken Baker, what the heck was that about? Are you surprised that Martha is basically saying Rachael, not a good thing?

(END VIDEO CLIP)

KEN BAKER, EXECUTIVE NEWS DIRECTOR, E!: The question is, can you call it a catfight if the other cat doesn`t fight back? Martha came out on attack. She was just all of her - bubbly?

I mean, calling someone "bubbly" is basically a very, sort of, you know, passive aggressive way of saying, "You are vacant and vacuous," OK?

ANDERSON: Ditzy, yes.

BAKER: You are just a little entertainer here. So I think this was really outrageous. But if you look at what`s going on with Martha Stewart - her empire has lost a lot of money going back - not only because of the recession, but going back to the problems she had with her whole legal situation, having to go away to prison for sometime.

And I think now, she is stepping out and she has, basically, her feet to the fire. She needs to improve her business. And if sometimes, that means taking you`re your competitors - she`s pretty cutthroat. It looks like she`s going to do it.

ANDERSON: She`s got the claws out right now. And what you have also got to love about this smack down is Martha said this just one day after appearing as a guest on Rachael`s show.

I mean, it just seems a little bit ungrateful to me, but here`s the thing. Rachael doesn`t think Martha was rude. She thinks she was right. Watch this.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: She said, "She doesn`t do what I do."

RACHAEL RAY, HOST, "RACHAEL RAY": It`s true. I don`t.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: "It`s not good enough for me."

RAY: It`s true. It`s 100 percent true.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: So needling by Martha Stewart doesn`t hurt?

RAY: I don`t consider it needling. I really just think she is being honest. She does have a better skill set than I do when it comes to producing a beautiful, perfect, high quality meal. I`d rather eat Martha`s than mine, too.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ANDERSON: That`s a very gracious answer. Jill, I`m going to give props to Rachael for taking the high road here and not taking the bait. What do you think?

JILL SIMONIAN, ENTERTAINMENT JOURNALIST, REELZ CHANNEL: Well, I definitely give Rachael points for taking the high road. I happen to be a Rachael fan. You have to remember Rachael has been going through this sort of criticism since she started way back years ago on Food Network.

She`s never claimed to be a chef. She constantly says that she does not bake if you watch her show, 30-minute meals and her talk show.

ANDERSON: True.

SIMONIAN: So she`s basically just being honest. And remember, Rachael is a businesswoman as well. She is not going to fire back at Martha Stewart ...

ANDERSON: Yes.

SIMONIAN: ... because it`s not going to look good for her in the long run.

ANDERSON: It wouldn`t be classy. It would be petty.

SIMONIAN: Yes.

ANDERSON: I wonder who Martha`s next target will be. It could be us, you guys. So brace yourselves.

SIMONIAN: Oh, watch out.

ANDERSON: Ken Baker, Jill Simonian, thanks.

HAMMER: So Brooke, I`m wondering, where the heck is the love this week? You`ve got Martha and Rachel kind of going at it. You`ve got Sarah Palin and Levi Johnston of course.

ANDERSON: I know, A.J. Yes. But I want to tell you that our "Showbiz on Call" operators have offered free hugs to everybody because sometimes, a hug is all we need.

HAMMER: Ain`t it so true? Well, Sarah and Levi are not going to be hugging it out yet. We`ve been getting tons of calls about our fired-up debate - who is the bigger star? Jody from Nevada doesn`t get this whole Levi star thing.

(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP)

JODY, CALLER FROM NEVADA: Is Levi a bigger star than Sarah Palin? I say no. He has been riding on her coattails for a year now. And his 15 minutes of fame are long gone. In six months, we won`t be hearing about him. And if he could take the Gosselins and Heidi and Spencer with him, we all wouldn`t have to hear about them again.

(END AUDIO CLIP)

HAMMER: Thanks a lot, Jody.

ANDERSON: Sally in Canada is pro-Palin all the way.

(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP)

SALLY, CALLER FROM CANADA: I think Sarah Palin rocks and she outclasses Levi by a thousand miles. I salute Sarah Palin. I`m a proud Canadian and I think she outclasses him by far.

(END AUDIO CLIP)

ANDERSON: Thank you, Sally. Call us at "Showbiz on Call" and you let us know what you think about this or anything else that is on your mind.

HAMMER: The "Showbiz on Call" phone lines are open all the time at 1-888- SBT-BUZZ; 1-888-728-2899. That`s where you leave us a voicemail so we can play your call on SHOWBIZ TONIGHT.

So many people blown away by "Oprah`s" big announcement today that she`s ending her show. So now, of course, the big question, can anyone take her place?

Here`s Ellen DeGeneres. We love Ellen, of course. Then there`s Sarah Palin. She was just on "Oprah" this week, got the highest ratings for the show in two years. How about Michelle Obama? Really. It`s the great "Who will replace Oprah?" debate.

SHOWBIZ TONIGHT names the most provocative celebrity of the week. Does Oprah`s stunning announcement today put her over the top? Will it be Sarah Palin? She`s been in a war of words with Levi Johnston, of course. Or will it be Levi with his nude "Playgirl" photo shoot?

And big new Jon and Kate news. Why Jon`s girlfriend, Hailey Glassman, is comparing him to a serial killer. I`m not kidding. This is SHOWBIZ TONIGHT on HLN.

Let`s roll out the "SHOWBIZ News Ticker" - these are more stories from the SHOWBIZ TONIGHT newsroom. They`re making news right now.

TEXT: Wesley Snipes appeals tax convictions and three-year prison sentence. Heidi Klum walks runway at Victoria`s Secret fashion show. Heidi Klum just gave birth six weeks ago! Look at her ...

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

ANDERSON: Hey, welcome back to SHOWBIZ TONIGHT. I`m Brooke Anderson in Hollywood.

Tonight, "Twilight Saga: New Moon" is here, and it is bloodthirsty for big box office numbers. "New Moon" stars Robert Pattinson, Taylor Lautner, Dakota Fanning and Kristen Stewart. The stars are hot. But is the movie really worth all the hype?

Joining me tonight in New York, Leah Rozen, who is a film critic for "People."

Leah, as you know, people are absolutely bonkers over the stars of "New Moon," as I said, Robert Pattinson, Taylor Lautner, Kristen Stewart. But it is a sequel. So Leah, I`ll ask you. Does it live up to the hype?

LEAH ROZEN, FILM CRITIC, "PEOPLE" MAGAZINE: It lives up to the hype in that all those stars are in it. Is it a good movie? Not especially. Is it faithful to the book? Yes. Will fans be happy? Yes.

Are non-fans going to be converted? Absolutely not. It`s a lot of teenage posing. You know, you sort of go, "Am I watching the WB Network or what?"

So I have to say it`s also - the action scenes are kind of fun - the vampire-on-vampire fights, the vampire-on-werewolf fights. Those are kind of fun.

But the rest of it is just sort of teenagers in love expressing how much they`re in love, saying - the two boys keep saying to Bella, our heroine, things like, "Without you my world doesn`t exist. I can`t imagine a world without you." Don`t you always wish your teenage boyfriend told you things like that?

ANDERSON: I don`t think so. Sounds a little sappy to me. Well, you do have, as we`re seeing, shirtless werewolves in the film. You`ve got the vampires. You`ve got the romance.

But when you really look around, you see a lot of tweens fans psyched about the release, even "Twilight" moms. So Leah, you really don`t think, though, that people in between who are not in the super-fan category will enjoy the film, too, right?

ROZEN: I think though some of it. They might enjoy the action scenes. The rest of it, I think, they`ll just kind of be yawning a little bit.

ANDERSON: OK. Well, they`ve still got a couple more films in the franchise, so maybe they`ll redeem themselves for those of us who aren`t obsessed with the "Twilight" series. Leah Rozen, thank you so much. We appreciate it.

ROZEN: You`re welcome.

ANDERSON: And for more "Picks and Pans," you can pick up a copy of "People" magazine on newsstands now.

HAMMER: Time now for the SHOWBIZ lineup - here`s what`s coming up at the bottom of the hour on SHOWBIZ TONIGHT.

Oprah`s blockbuster, tear-filled announcement today that she is ending her show. So can someone actually replace her - Ellen DeGeneres, Sarah Palin? Hey, how about First Lady Michelle Obama. It`s the great "Who can replace Oprah" debate. Also this -

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: For the last 23 years, Oprah Winfrey has made news, made history and provided over some of the most famous moments ever broadcast.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HAMMER: Oh, I`ll never forget those. A revealing of the most provocative Oprah moments of all time.

And tonight, we are naming the most provocative celebrity of the week. Will it be Oprah, Sarah Palin or Levi Johnston? This is SHOWBIZ TONIGHT on HLN.

Here comes the "SHOWBIZ News Ticker" - these are more stories from the SHOWBIZ TONIGHT newsroom. And they are making news right now.

TEXT: "Dawson`s" divorce! James Van Der Beek files for divorce from his wife of six years. "Lost" returns for its final season on Tuesday, February 2nd.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

WINFREY: I have decided that next season, season 25, will be the last season of "The Oprah Winfrey Show."

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HAMMER: Now, on SHOWBIZ TONIGHT, Oprah`s stunning announcement. Her tearful goodbye. Can anyone replace the queen of daytime talk shows? Tonight, SHOWBIZ TONIGHT has the great debate - who will be the next Oprah? And could it possibly be First Lady Michelle Obama?

SHOWBIZ TONIGHT names the most provocative celebrity of the week. Will it be Oprah Winfrey? Sarah Palin who was just on "Oprah" this week, telling all? Or Levi Johnston who is baring almost all in "Playgirl?"

And Jon Gosselin`s girlfriend compares him to a serial killer. Oh, how quickly the tide has turned. Tonight, Hailey Glassman`s brand-new brutal slam on Jon.

Plus, more stories breaking from the SHOWBIZ News Ticker.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: TV`s most provocative entertainment news show continues right now.

(MUSIC)

HAMMER: Welcome back to SHOWBIZ TONIGHT. It is 30 minutes past the hour. I`m A.J. Hammer, broadcasting tonight and every night from New York City.

ANDERSON: And I`m Brooke Anderson, coming to you tonight from Hollywood.

Tonight, who is the next Oprah? Today marked the end of days for Oprah Winfrey as we know her. Oprah Winfrey made her big announcement today on her show that she is ending her talk show in 2011 after 25 years on the air as the queen of talk.

But wait, because there is a brand-new explosive debate raging tonight over who could replace her.

HAMMER: Yes, a big debate indeed, Brooke. And you have to hear some of the names that came up today. All right. Ponder this. Could First Lady Michelle Obama one day fill Oprah Winfrey`s shoes?

And what about Sarah Palin? Could she be the next Oprah? How about Ellen DeGeneres? That`s another name we heard today as a possibility. And also talk today about Tyra Banks. Could Tyra replace Oprah?

Joining me tonight in Hollywood is Carlos Diaz who is a correspondent for "Extra." In New York is Midwin Charles who is an attorney with the law firm, Midwin Charles and Associates.

So the debate broke out as Oprah confirmed today for the very first time that her talk show is, in fact, coming to an end. Here now, Oprah Winfrey in her own words just today.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

WINFREY: Twenty-four years ago, on September 8, 1986, I went live from Chicago to launch the first national "Oprah Winfrey Show." I knew then what a miraculous opportunity I had been given. But I certainly never could have imagined the yellow brick road of blessings that led me to this moment with you.

These years with you, our viewers, have enriched my life beyond all measure. So here we are, halfway through the season 24. Why walk away and make next season the last?

Here is the real reason. I love this show. This show has been my life. And I love it enough to know when it`s time to say goodbye. Twenty- five years feels right in my bones and it feels right in my spirit.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HAMMER: Such a thoughtful, thoughtful way to put that. Carlos, I`ve got to go to you first and ask, should we be shocked by this big announcement?

CARLOS DIAZ, CORRESPONDENT, "EXTRA": I think we are shocked, you know, because it just came down yesterday and all of a sudden, we are experiencing it. But I think in the back of a lot of people`s minds, we knew that Oprah was looking to move on.

And it`s not a situation where Oprah`s, you know, talk show is coming to an end. It`s just a new chapter in Oprah`s life, a chapter I`m excited about because I would love to see what she can do next.

HAMMER: Yes. And of course, immediately came all kinds of speculation over who could possibly be the next Oprah. Let`s get to a couple of names. And one name we certainly heard floating around a lot was Ellen DeGeneres. And Ellen revealed to the audience in her show today that she actually received a phone call from Oprah herself to give her the big news. Watch this.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DEGENERES: Right before I came out here, I got a call from Oprah. And she told me that she is announcing that next year will be her last year, being her 25th year. And she feels like it`s time for her to stop.

And I don`t think I could be here without her. I think she has blazed a trail that is -

(CHEERS AND APPLAUSE)

She is an amazing woman. She will always be the queen of daytime television.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HAMMER: All right. Midwin Charles, off to you. Now, Oprah has obviously blazed a trail. But do you think that Ellen stands a chance of perhaps becoming the next Oprah when Oprah ends her show?

CHARLES: No. And I say that because one of the things that makes Oprah so unique is that she has been able to kind of create careers for other people. And I just don`t see Ellen doing that.

I think she is wonderful. I think she`s a great comedian and what have you. But I just don`t see her spawning so many different careers and also being such a multimedia person which is what Oprah has become.

HAMMER: Carlos, I`ve got to get your take on this because I`m not exactly sure what to make of it. You know, when Oprah called Ellen, I thought for a moment perhaps just a courtesy call. Or perhaps maybe she was sort of passing the crown to her. Do you get that at all?

DIAZ: I mean, I`m hoping that, you know, over the next year and a half, it`s kind of like a mentor-tutor kind of thing. The thing about Ellen is, and the one thing - and I agree with Midwin, no one can replace Oprah. I mean, you can replace parts of her, but not Oprah as a whole.

But what I like about Ellen is this, that she is unique, that she doesn`t follow any kind of pattern or a kind of formula. Ellen is her own self. And I think she is the next best thing to Oprah.

HAMMER: Yes. Yes, I`m a huge Ellen fan. And you know, she has my full support whatever she decides to do, whatever path she decides to take.

Another woman who certainly has been blazing her own trail this week - Sarah Palin. Let`s talk about Sarah for a moment because, of course, she sat on Oprah`s couch on Monday. In fact, Oprah wanted to know if she had anything to worry about because there had been all kinds of speculation about Sarah hosting her own talk show. Take a look at this.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

WINFREY: One final question - should I be worried? Should I be worried? Because I have heard that you are going to get your own talk show. Come on.

GOV. SARAH PALIN (R-AK), FORMER VICE PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Oprah, you are the queen of talk shows. There is nothing to worry about.

(CHEERS AND APPLAUSE)

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HAMMER: Now, what I found really interesting about that, Sarah didn`t exactly say no. She just kind of laughed in that Fran Drescher-Woody Woodpecker kind of way and - it`s true. She did. You heard it. I`m not making stuff up. That`s what she did.

CHARLES: Wow.

HAMMER: OK. Now, Oprah is going to be out of the picture - and, you know, listen. A lot of people have a lot of fun with Sarah Palin. But Midwin, do you think that Sarah actually has a shot of becoming the next queen of daytime?

CHARLES: No. No to her, too. And Sarah Palin has a following. She is very popular amongst a particular group of people. But I think she is too much of a polarizing figure.

I think that she draws a lot of angst and negativity amongst with other sets of people. So I don`t think she could ever rise to the level of an Oprah. Could she have a show and it be successful to a particular segment of the population? Yes. But will she ever rise to the level of Oprah? I hardly think that`s a possibility.

HAMMER: OK. That`s fair enough. Long before Oprah`s announcement today, there had been a lot of talk about Tyra Banks. A lot of people were saying Tyra is the heir apparent to Oprah Winfrey.

Take a look at this picture of Tyra Banks. This is the cover of "New York Times" magazine back in June of 2008. The "Times" asked then whether Tyra would be the next Oprah.

Carlos, when you look at all the new competition, some of the names we have been throwing around today, does that still seem like a possibility? Or perhaps a little more far-fetched now?

DIAZ: No. In fact, I think, with every passing day, Tyra becomes more like Oprah. I remember when Tyra started and said she was going to be the next Oprah and I was like, "Yes, right."

HAMMER: Yes.

DIAZ: But then you watch her and she is really, really good. So I think, you know, in time, maybe she could evolve into that. But once again, she could fill - you know, she could have a few of the characteristics of Oprah, but there will never be another Oprah.

CHARLES: Yes.

HAMMER: Yes. But Midwin, what do you think about the idea of Tyra, I mean, at least taking over as the reigning queen of daytime talk in this case?

CHARLES: Well, I think Tyra comes closest to doing that, because not only is she really good with her talk show. But she is also the closest to being like Oprah in the sense that she has become a mogul, right?

She`s got her modeling show. She`s got all these fashion things going on for her as well. So she has ventured out into various different businesses which is what Oprah has done and which has made her so successful.

But I also want to point out that Oprah herself has been an evolution. Remember, when her show started back in 1986, she was not what she is today.

HAMMER: No. No question about that.

CHARLES: It took years. It took years. It took two decades plus five years.

DIAZ: And one thing - and one real quick thing to point out - real quick. The guests that Oprah gets now, those great guests that she gets, when she is gone, somebody`s got to get them, so maybe Tyra does get those.

HAMMER: Yes. That`s a possibility.

CHARLES: It`s possible.

HAMMER: Let me start this out as another possibility. There was even some talk floating around today that even Michelle Obama may have what it takes to, you know, become the next Oprah one day.

I can tell you I don`t think it`s all that far-fetched. Midwin, Carlos, I`m curious to see what you think, so stay right where you are, OK?

ANDERSON: The great Oprah debate, not over yet. And here`s something else to consider. Will Oprah be named SHOWBIZ TONIGHT`s most provocative celebrity of the week? What about Sarah Palin for her tell-all interviews? Or Levi Johnston for baring nearly all in "Playgirl?" SHOWBIZ TONIGHT is about to name the most provocative celebrity of the week.

Plus, why Jon Gosselin`s own girlfriend is publicly comparing him to a serial killer. What is that about? This is SHOWBIZ TONIGHT on HLN.

Now, the "SHOWBIZ News Ticker" - more stories from the SHOWBIZ TONIGHT newsroom making news right now.

TEXT: Miley Cyrus tour bus overturns in Virginia, killing one person. Cyrus was not on bus. Roman Polanski will not voluntarily agree to extradition to the U.S.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

HAMMER: Tonight, SHOWBIZ TONIGHT names the most provocative celebrity of the week. Will it be Oprah Winfrey with her shocking announcement today that she is ending her talk show? Or will it be Sarah Palin for her week- long media blitz where she revealed some big bombshells? Or perhaps, will it be Levi Johnston for his war of words with Palin and those nude "Playgirl" pictures?

Welcome back to SHOWBIZ TONIGHT. I`m A.J. Hammer in New York. We`re going to reveal SHOWBIZ TONIGHT`s most provocative celebrity of the week in just a moment.

But first, let`s continue with our great debate after Oprah`s earth- shattering announcement today she is ending her show. Who will be the next Oprah?

Carlos Diaz of "Extra" is back with us from Hollywood, as is Atty. Midwin Charles in New York.

So guys, Tina Brown is the editor of the political entertainment blog called "The Daily Beast." And she was on "Good Morning America" this morning. And she said the only woman in her mind that can replace Oprah is First Lady Michelle Obama. Watch what she said to back up that claim.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TINA BROWN, EDITOR, "THE DAILY BEAST": The only woman, actually, that I have seen, the only kind of (UNINTELLIGIBLE) that I`ve seen that could possibly ever fill that void will be Michelle Obama.

Because Michelle Obama also has great empathy, great intelligence, a great sense of herself, a kind of dignity but has a warmth and the embracing quality. I wouldn`t be surprised if Michelle`s post-White House career would include that kind of television role.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HAMMER: Midwin Charles, off to you first. I think this is a great idea. What do you think about Michelle Obama? Do you buy what Tina Brown is saying?

CHARLES: Well, I buy what Tina Brown had to say about Michelle Obama. I think all the things she said about her are accurate. However, I think, as a former first lady, i.e. once her White House years are over, I think there are certain topics and opinions that are going to be off limits to her ...

HAMMER: Yes.

CHARLES: ... coming from a political background. So I don`t know whether or not that would lend itself to be the best role for her when the White House years are over.

HAMMER: Quickly, Carlos, I need your take on this. I`m still loving the idea.

HAMMER: How about this? How about Michelle Obama takes over for Oprah and Oprah takes over for Barack Obama? They just high five all the way and switch roles. And then, they can kind of give each other pointers on how to, A, run a country and, B, be the next talk show queen.

(CROSSTALK)

CHARLES: Or Michelle runs for president.

HAMMER: Perfect. Perfect suggestion.

CHARLES: Or Michelle runs for president.

HAMMER: Carlos Diaz, Midwin Charles, great ideas all-around. Thanks, guys.

ANDERSON: So will SHOWBIZ TONIGHT name Oprah the most provocative celebrity of the week? We are about to find out. But one thing is for sure, Oprah has had more than her share of provocative moments during her reign as the queen of talk.

Here`s CNN`s Tom Foreman for SHOWBIZ TONIGHT.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

TOM FOREMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The show became an institution -

OPRAH WINFREY, HOST, "THE OPRAH WINFREY SHOW": I`m Oprah Winfrey. And welcome to the very first national "Oprah Winfrey Show."

(CHEERS AND APPLAUSE)

(END VIDEO CLIP)

FOREMAN: And its host, one of the world`s most influential people. What began on local TV in Chicago grew into a media empire, a phenomenon of empowerment, entertainment and a whole lot more.

For the last 23 years, Oprah Winfrey has made news, made history, and presided over some of the most famous moments ever broadcast.

It`s impossible to list them all here, but we have chosen a few that have made a lasting impression, like this one - her 1993 interview with Michael Jackson at his Neverland Ranch. She said it was like meeting the Wizard of Oz.

WINFREY: This is the most exciting interview I had ever done and certainly was going to be the most watched interview I had ever done.

FOREMAN: Oprah`s encounter with Jackson friend Elizabeth Taylor did not fare as well. Oprah called it one of her worst interviews. Right before it began, Oprah said the legendary actress asked her not to bring up any of her relationships. Stars flocked to Oprah to talk, to plug their movies, and, in Tom Cruise`s case, to get weird.

WINFREY: I have never seen you like this.

FOREMAN: That`s the couch-jumping incident from 2005. Cruise went overboard expressing his love for then-girlfriend Katie Holmes. It`s a clip that has been seen countless times. And so has this one -

(CHEERING AND APPLAUSE)

WINFREY: You get a car! You get a car!

FOREMAN: The start of season 19, when, to the surprise of everyone, Oprah handed out presents to her audience members, each one of them, the keys to their very own new car.

As we have seen, she can be incredibly generous and profoundly moving, breaking down on camera. Oprah is a self-made success story. "Forbes" ranks her among the wealthiest people on the planet and says she is worth $2.5 billion.

According to "Forbes," her shows air in 135 countries and are seen by nearly 50 million viewers a week. She`s also donated $40 million to create two girls` schools in South Africa. And dozens of other schools, through her Angel Network, have been built around the world. The network has also helped build or restore hundreds of homes, in the wake of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita.

She also shared personal battles, especially with her weight. In 1988, she wheeled out 67 pounds of fat. That`s how much weight she lost back then. Many women followed her lead and went on diets. Since then, she`s continued struggling, and it`s always center stage.

There are a lot of firsts for Oprah - 1996, "Deep End of the Ocean" was chosen as her first book club choice. Her book club has motivated millions of people to read since and helped sell millions of books.

It`s also given us another memorable moment, when she confronted author James Frey after recommending his book, "A Million Little Pieces," a memoir filled with fiction. From the big hair, to the big interviews, to the big heart, to the big difference she has made in so many people`s lives, and now Oprah is saying goodbye.

In an interview with "60 Minutes" back when it all started, Oprah said, what matters isn`t longevity.

WINFREY: It will do well.

MIKE WALLACE, "60 MINUTES": And if it doesn`t?

WINFREY: And if it doesn`t, I will still do well. I will do well, because I`m not defined by a show. You know, I think we are defined by the way we treat ourselves and the way we treat other people.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

ANDERSON: That was CNN`s Tom Foreman for SHOWBIZ TONIGHT. So was Oprah`s decision to end her talk show after 25 years enough for SHOWBIZ TONIGHT to name her the most provocative celebrity of the week? Or will it be Sarah Palin for her shocking revelations in her week-long media tour? Or Levi Johnston who had everyone talking about his war of words with Sarah Palin and those nude "Playgirl" photos?

So who does SHOWBIZ TONIGHT name the most provocative celebrity of the week?

No question here, it is Sarah Palin. We got a huge response today when we asked our Facebook fans who they think should be named the most provocative celebrity of the week. And we`ll be bringing you some of those comments.

HAMMER: And there`s also Jon Gosselin`s young girlfriend`s shocking new remarks comparing him to a serial killer. I`m not kidding you here. And I really thought those two would last forever. Truly. Ah, well.

But what did Jon do to deserve being compared to a serial killer? You have got to hear this.

Time now to roll out the "SHOWBIZ News Ticker" - more stories from the SHOWBIZ TONIGHT newsroom making news right now.

TEXT: L.A. judge gives Chris Brown "extremely favorable" probation report. Susan Boyle sets record for pre-order sales on Amazon.com.

ANDERSON: Time now for "Making It Work." Now, this is where we find out how famous couples keep their relationships strong. Tonight, Carrie Underwood. She and pro hockey player, Mike Fisher, have been dating for about a year now. Carrie said that`s her longest relationship so far.

On "The Ellen DeGeneres Show," Carrie talked about how they make their relationship work even though they`re both on the road a lot and he lives in Canada.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

CARRIE UNDERWOOD, SINGER: We see each other more than people think we see each other. We don`t go out, you know, like, publicly.

DEGENERES: Right. You just hang out at home and stuff like that.

UNDERWOOD: Yes. We do get to see each other.

DEGENERES: Right. Now, I`ve heard you are moving in together. That`s probably not right.

UNDERWOOD: No. No, I don`t - call me old fashioned. I just - I don`t know. He is there, I am here. We`re both doing our thing and it`s good.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ANDERSON: Carrie says the next guy she moves in with will be her husband. This is SHOWBIZ TONIGHT on HLN.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

HAMMER: And thank you, Wegman(ph). Tonight, Jon Gosselin`s girlfriend, or ex, as the case may now be, has absolutely gone off on him, even comparing him to a serial killer.

You remember 22-year-old Hailey Glassman, don`t you? She, of course, is the daughter of the surgeon who did Kate Gosselin`s tummy tuck. And she and Jon were hot and heavy there for a while.

But Jon said, not all that long ago, that they were taking a break. But based on some tweeting that Hailey has been doing, it sounds like he is persona non grata in her world.

This is what she wrote on her Twitter. This is not too hard to figure out who exactly she`s talking about, "I literally am almost done with my reading, "How to Deal with a Compulsive Liar" - LOL. No joke though! That`s the sad thing."

Now, Hailey even compares Jon to the serial killer from the Showtime series, "Dexter," writing this, "I`ve been dating someone like Dexter - LOL. It`s the most frustrating thing. I`m going to write a book. LOL. Welcome to my nightmare."

I believe I speak for all of us when I say I can`t wait for the book. LOL.

ANDERSON: Just moments ago, SHOWBIZ TONIGHT named Sarah Palin the most provocative celebrity of the week. Palin was everywhere this week taking swipes at Levi Johnston, promoting her new tell-all book.

But it was a tough choice. It was quite a week for provocative celebrities. And the SHOWBIZ TONIGHT Facebook page overrun with comments about them.

Sonia N. writes, "Martha Stewart for being such a hater with her remarks about Rachael Ray and Sarah Palin. She is the most annoying person."

Paul R. sums it all up. He writes, "The thorn in Sarah Palin`s side, Levi, Oprah for leaving, Robert Pattinson for the mania he creates everywhere and Carrie Prejean who should finally be through once and for all."

Thank you for your comments. And remember, I want to hear from you on Facebook. Also, follow us on Twitter. For breaking entertainment news alerts, sign up for our Facebook and Twitter pages. It`s easy at CNN.com/ShowbizTonight.

Well, Thanksgiving is just around the corner. And that means it is time once again for CNN Heroes. You voted. Now, join Anderson Cooper to see who will become CNN`s Hero of the Year.

Nicole Kidman, Carrie Underwood and Maxwell, just a few of the stars scheduled to appear in the all-star tribute. Dare to be inspired. "CNN Heroes," Thanksgiving night, 9:00 Eastern and Pacific.

HAMMER: All right. Come on Jake, time`s a-wasting. Thank you very much. Thursday, we asked you to vote on our SHOWBIZ TONIGHT question of the day. And, as you see, I have just been handed the final results. Sarah Palin versus Levi Johnston - this is the question. Who is the bigger celebrity?

Look at this. We have a winner. Seventy-one percent of you say Sarah Palin; 29 percent of you say Levi Johnston.

Let me go through a couple of the E-mails that we got. This is Connie from California writing, "I don`t get what Sarah Palin is supposed to be about. Where is the substance or purpose of her celebrity?"

Ann from New York writes, "Please stop fueling the flames by insisting that Levi Johnston is a celebrity. He`s done what? He got the losing VP candidate`s daughter pregnant and rarely even speaks about his son."

Point taken and I`m good with that, Brooke. That is it for SHOWBIZ TONIGHT. I`m A.J. Hammer in New York.

ANDERSON: And I`m Brooke Anderson in Hollywood. Don`t forget, You can catch SHOWBIZ TONIGHT on the 11:00s - 11:00 p.m. Eastern and Pacific, and in the morning, 11:00 a.m. Eastern on HLN.

END