The Oprah Winfrey Show

TV review by
Melissa Camacho, Common Sense Media
The Oprah Winfrey Show TV Poster Image
Long-running talk show boasts powerful host, stories.

Parents say

age 15+
Based on 2 reviews

Kids say

age 11+
Based on 3 reviews

Did this review miss something on diversity?

Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive, diverse representations in books, TV shows, and movies. Want to help us help them? Suggest a diversity update

A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.

Positive Messages

Over the years, the series has evolved from a tabloid talk show to a series that offers well-intentioned advice and guidance about wellness and self-improvement.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Winfrey -- the first African-American syndicated talk show host -- has become a powerful role model for her legions of fans; when she endorses or advocates something, it's bound to succeed. (Luckily, she usually uses her influence for positive reasons!) The show also features other experts who offer sincere life-coaching and therapeutic guidance.


Guests often discuss violent events that have impacted their lives. Special episodes have also dealt with issues like sexual assault, domestic violence, and how to protect yourself from violent crime.


Topics range from healthy sexual relationships to discussions about sexual violence. Oprah has openly addressed her experiences with both molestation and teen pregnancy.


Words like “damn” and “hell” are audible.


Specific episodes feature Oprah discussing and/or giving away brand-name items like MAC cosmetics, Sony Camcorders, Samsung phones, LG refrigerators, Pontiac cars, and many more. Some guests who make regular appearances (like Dr. Mehmet Oz and Dr. Phil McGraw), ultimately score their own books and TV shows. The show's popularity has led to the creation of a branded tie-in book club, a nonprofit charitable organization, a talk radio channel, a magazine, and a cable network.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Drug and alcohol addiction are sometiems topics of discussion. Episodes have featured Oprah talking about her brief use of an illegal drug. Occasional champagne consumption.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that while many episodes of this extremely popular talk show are upbeat and light, some deal with very mature themes -- including sexual assault, domestic violence, and child molestation. Many of these stories are offered within a context of survival and enlightenment. Special-event episodes feature Oprah giving away lots of brand-name stuff, and it's a guarantee that if she likes something, it will sell like hotcakes. Many regular guests, like Dr. Phil McGraw, end up getting their own shows and/or publishing books. The language is pretty mild overall, but words like “hell” and “damn” are sometimes audible.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written bysc278152sc September 13, 2019


The most overrated celebrity in modern times. She interviews people for a living, but people act as though she has a PhD in psychology, dieting, parenting and n... Continue reading
Adult Written byWander Blue March 10, 2011

Um dos melhores talk-show da atualidade

Um dos melhores talk-show da atualidade sem dúvida alguma, eu adoro a Oprah!
Teen, 13 years old Written byTGLM June 4, 2019


it really inspires you to be the best person you can be and avoid mistakes that could ruin your life.
Teen, 16 years old Written byUSCTrojan May 19, 2012

What's the story?

THE OPRAH WINFREY SHOW is a syndicated daytime talk show hosted by media mogul Oprah Winfrey. Since 1986, the popular series has featured guests ranging from major pop culture icons like Michael Jackson and Madonna to authors, life coaches, therapists, and even past and future American presidents like Bill Clinton and Barack Obama. Regular guests -- including Dr. Phil McGraw, Dr. Mehmet Oz, and Winfrey's best friend, Gayle King -- also stop by frequently. The show addresses a wide array of topics, ranging from controversial current events to spirituality and self-improvement.

Is it any good?

The show, which is the longest running and highest rated syndicated talk show in American history, owes much of its longevity to Winfrey, who transformed the series from a tabloid-like talk show to one that tackles difficult and often controversial topics while still emphasizing positive thinking, self-reflection, and self-improvement. Winfrey’s willingness to share personal issues like her battles with weight, drugs, and childhood abuse have also made her appealing.

The show's success has led to the creation of a book club, a
nonprofit charitable organization, a talk radio channel, a magazine,
and a cable network, all bearing the name of its host. However, it has also created some controversy. Winfrey -- who is the first African-American nationally syndicated talk show host -- has been accused of turning her back on the African-American community. And her willingness to openly offer her opinions about specific issues has led to some legal battles. Despite all of this, Winfrey has managed to entertain and inspire audiences all over the world.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about why Oprah has been so successful over the years. What is it about her that makes her so popular? What does she do (or not do) that has set her and her show apart from the crowd?

  • What is the goal of a talk show? Do you think talk shows should be a forum for providing spiritual guidance and/or self-improvement advice? Why or why not?

TV details

Our editors recommend

For kids who love thoughtful TV

Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.

See how we rate

Streaming options powered by JustWatch

About these links

Common Sense Media, a nonprofit organization, earns a small affiliate fee from Amazon or iTunes when you use our links to make a purchase. Thank you for your support.

Read more

Our ratings are based on child development best practices. We display the minimum age for which content is developmentally appropriate. The star rating reflects overall quality.

Learn how we rate