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Apple sets November launch for “Oprah’s Book Club”

Global tech giant Apple will be relaunching Oprah’s Book Club, as first revealed during the unveiling of the Apple TV+ streaming service in March, with the first installment set for November. Producer, actress, ...
September 23, 2019

Global tech giant Apple will be relaunching Oprah’s Book Club, as first revealed during the unveiling of the Apple TV+ streaming service in March, with the first installment set for November.

Producer, actress, talk show host and philanthropist Oprah Winfrey (pictured) has carried her book club through various iterations over the years, first as a televised panel segment on The Oprah Winfrey Show in 1996. The book club was later relaunched as Oprah’s Book Club 2.0, a joint venture between Winfrey’s OWN: The Oprah Winfrey Network and O: The Oprah Magazine. The 2.0 version had a social media and new media focus.

Now, Winfrey has partnered with Apple’s upcoming SVOD service to relaunch Oprah’s Book Club as a video platform, in which she will interview the authors of her book selections at various locations, with new episodes available on Apple TV+ every two months.

Winfrey’s first interview will be with Ta-Nehisi Coates, and the two will discuss his latest novel The Water Dancer. The book will be available for purchase starting tomorrow (Sept. 24), and the episode will be available to stream Nov. 1, coinciding with the launch of Apple TV+.

Selected titles will be available via the Apple Books app. For every Oprah’s Book Club selection sold on Apple Books, the company will make a contribution to the American Library Association to support local libraries and fund programs that promote access for everyone.

“Few people in the world can bring us together like Oprah, whose compassion and grace celebrating the power of books are unmatched,” said Apple CEO Tim Cook in a statement. “It’s our honor to provide a new platform for Oprah’s Book Club and support the American Library Association in opening hearts and minds to the joy of reading.”

“I am who I am today because of the experience of learning to read at an early age. Reading opened up a whole world for me beyond the red dirt road and my grandmother’s porch in Mississippi,” added Winfrey. “I want to do that for everybody. And the opportunity to do this with Apple, to speak to people all over the world about the pleasures, the excitement, the tension, the drama that a good book can bring you… I don’t know what’s better than that.”

Apple TV+ will launch Nov. 1 in more than 100 countries and regions. The ad-free service will be available on the Apple TV app on iPhone, iPad, Apple TV, iPod touch, Mac and other platforms, including online, for US$4.99 per month with a seven-day free trial. Regional prices will vary, with Apple TV+ set at CA$5.99 in Canada and £4.99 in the UK. “Family Sharing” will allow up to six people to use a single subscription.

Two original documentary projects from Winfrey will also be available on the service, though release dates have not yet been set. Toxic Labor (working title) will explore sexual harassment, abuse and assault in the workplace, and an untitled second project will examine topics surrounding mental health.

(Photo courtesy of Oprah.com)

About The Author
Barry Walsh is editor and content director for realscreen, and has served as editor of the publication since 2009. With a career in entertainment media that spans two decades, prior to realscreen, he held the associate editor post for now defunct sister publication Boards, which focused on the advertising and commercial production industries. Before Boards, he served as editor of Canadian Music Network, a weekly music industry trade, and as music editor for HMV.com. As content director, he also oversees the development of content for the brand's market-leading events, the Realscreen Summit and Realscreen West, as well as new content initiatives.

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