Star-studded ‘Oprah’ taping planned in Chicago

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CHICAGO (AP) - Oprah Winfrey fans on Thursday learned some details about what the talk show queen has planned for the two episodes leading up to her finale: a star-studded, double taping at one of Chicago’s largest sports and concert venues.

Harpo Productions announced the episodes to air May 23 and 24 would tape May 17 at the United Center, just blocks from Winfrey’s long-time studios. The show is dubbed “Surprise Oprah! A Farewell Spectacular.”

But the content of the final episode of “The Oprah Winfrey Show,” to air May 25, is still under wraps. Winfrey announced in November 2009 that she would end her popular talk show after 25 years.

Winfrey’s producers said the guest lineup for the episodes would be a secret, but they promise “the biggest names in movies, music and television.”

“As most of our viewers know, being surprised is not one of Oprah’s favorite things,” said Sheri Salata, the show’s executive producer. “In the spirit of our farewell season, she is making a rare exception, and we intend to make the most of that opportunity. It will be something to see!”

Winfrey has other big shows planned, too. She taped an interview with President Barack Obama and first lady Michelle Obama on Wednesday in Chicago. That show is to air Monday.

The United Center is home to the Chicago Bulls and Chicago Blackhawks with a seating capacity of more than 20,000.

The crowd was estimated at 21,000 when Winfrey closed down Chicago’s Michigan Avenue in September 2009 to film her 24th season premiere. Guests at that show included the Black Eyed Peas, Jennifer Hudson, Rascal Flatts and James Taylor.

Tickets to the May event are free. Fans must request tickets on Winfrey’s website, Oprah.com, starting at 10 a.m. CT on Friday. Ticket recipients will be randomly selected.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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