It turns out that digital television, originally meant as a convenient alternative to clunky cable, can be just as knotty and cumbrous as the business it’s trying to replace.

The morning after her interview with the Sussexes, Ms. Winfrey appeared on “CBS This Morning,” a program anchored by her close friend, Gayle King, where she presented extra material that didn’t make the special. CBS announced on Tuesday that it will show the special again Friday night at 8.

John Koblin contributed reporting.

View Source

Oprah Winfrey, Meghan Markle and Prince Harry Draw 17.1 Million to CBS

Since then, the rise of digital media and its infinite screen-time options have cut deeply into the might of the big broadcasters. As the viewing audience fractured, opportunities for must-see prime-time interviews became vanishingly rare. Even the biggest one-on-ones of recent years have lacked the drawing power of the specials from two decades ago and more. The audience of 17.1 million for Ms. Winfrey’s interview of Ms. Markle and Prince Harry matched the number of viewers who tuned in when Caitlyn Jenner revealed that she was transgender to Ms. Sawyer on a 2015 episode of ABC’s “20/20.”

The Sunday night special was unusual in that it was not overseen by a network news division. Ms. Winfrey’s company, Harpo Productions, produced it, and CBS paid at least $7 million to license the show, according to a person with knowledge of the arrangement. (The Wall Street Journal previously reported the figure.) The deal was also a gamble: It was taped after the network had bought the rights, according to two people with knowledge of how the show was made. During the interview, Ms. Winfrey said she had been trying to land the exclusive with the couple for about three years.

CBS emerged the winning bidder despite Ms. Winfrey’s rocky experience at “60 Minutes,” where she was a special contributor in 2017 and 2018. In a 2019 interview with The Hollywood Reporter, Ms. Winfrey revealed that the show’s producers had criticized her delivery, saying she had “too much emotion” in her voice, even when she said her own name. (Ms. Winfrey has maintained a connection to the network through her good friend Gayle King, an anchor of “CBS This Morning,” and she appeared on that show Monday.)

Further complicating CBS’s attempt to get the big get was the thicket of media companies surrounding Ms. Winfrey and the former royal couple. Ms. Winfrey has her own cable network, OWN, and is a major part of the streaming platform AppleTV+. Recent episodes of Apple’s “The Oprah Conversation” have featured her interviews of Barack Obama, Dolly Parton and Mariah Carey.

Ms. Markle and Prince Harry, for their part, signed a multiyear deal with Netflix last year to make documentaries and other shows. They also signed on to make podcasts for Spotify and released the first installment on Dec. 29. It included guest appearances by Elton John, Tyler Perry and other celebrities, as well as the first public utterance from their son, Archie.

The pact between CBS and Harpo Productions was largely focused on TV rights. The interview ran live on ViacomCBS’s newly rebranded streaming service, Paramount+; but at least for now it will not be available on Paramount+ for on-demand viewing. Instead, the special will be available on CBS.com and the CBS app for 30 days, a CBS spokesman said.

Originally slotted for 90 minutes, it ended up a two-hour show. Before the broadcast, CBS released teaser clips, and British tabloids that have been unfriendly to Ms. Markle shot back with anonymously sourced items on her apparent misdeeds.

The estimate of 17.1 million viewers will only grow after Nielsen tabulates some viewers who streamed the special, as well as out-of-home viewing.

View Source

How to Watch the Harry, Meghan and Oprah Interview

When Prince Harry and his wife, Meghan, present their side of a sensational royal rupture to Oprah Winfrey from 8 p.m. to 10 p.m. Eastern on Sunday night, it is sure to be one of the most anticipated, and most heavily spun, television interviews in recent memory.

CBS and Oprah Winfrey’s company, Harpo Productions, have stoked expectations for the two-hour prime-time program airing on CBS and CBS.com, which will be broadcast in Britain on Monday night by the ITV network, with peekaboo excerpts that show her seated with Prince Harry and his wife, Meghan, in a relaxed outdoor setting, but offer only glimpses of what they are talking about.

“Were you silent or were you silenced?” Ms. Winfrey asks at one point, as Meghan looks at her but says nothing. “You’ve said some pretty shocking things here,” she says at another, as dramatic music wells up.

Harry, who will join Meghan for the second half of the interview, appears briefly in an excerpt to say, “My biggest concern was history repeating itself.” That is an apparent reference to the fate of his mother, Princess Diana, who was killed in a car accident in Paris in 1997 after a high-speed pursuit involving photographers.

View Source