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“That was something I could count one, watching Oprah,” Mowrey said. “That was one thing that didn’t change.”

Fans said they went through the normal ticketing process for the final taping by submitting their names online. Some said they wrote letters explaining why they were Winfrey fans.

Winfrey’s best friend Gayle King mixed with the waiting fans and interviewed several with a camera phone. For her, the show’s end is bittersweet.

“I have such mixed feelings about it,” King told fans.

The finale of “The Oprah Winfrey Show” has remained a secret, even as Harpo Studios hyped it as a television event.

In a promotional video posted online May 16, clips of famous television finales plays over a sad song with the lyrics “It’s hard to say goodbye.” It includes Mary Tyler Moore, Walter Cronkite, Johnny Carson, “M.A.S.H,” `’The Cosby Show,” and “Cheers.”

The video asks viewers “Where were you?” and “Where will you be?” Another promotional video for the final three episodes prompts viewers to “Say farewell.”

When Winfrey announced her show would end she promised her viewers she would use the final season to “knock your socks off.” On her 25th and final season premiere she danced onstage with John Travolta and told everyone in the audience they were going to Australia.

Other season highlights included interviews with President Barack Obama and first lady Michelle Obama, former President George W. Bush and Michael Jackson’s family. Winfrey also revealed she found a sister who her mother gave up for adoption.

Already a television journalist, Winfrey came to Chicago in 1984 to WLS-TV’s morning talk show, “A.M. Chicago.” A month later the show was No. 1 in the market. A year later it was renamed “The Oprah Winfrey Show.”

Winfrey opened Harpo Studios on Chicago’s West Loop neighborhood in 1990. On Jan. 1 of this year she launched the Oprah Winfrey Network, which is based in Los Angeles.

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Online:

http://www.oprah.com