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Oprah Winfrey is bringing her annual Oscar special to OWN

February 10, 2012 |  1:37 pm

Oprah Winfrey

It's been two years since Barbara Walters put an end to her annual Oscar special and almost a year since Oprah ended her daily talk show. But that doesn't mean Oscar fans will go lacking in gauzy, feel-good sit-downs with Oscar nominees this year. Oprah has announced her plan to begin airing an annual Oscar special on her cable channel, OWN, beginning this year.

The three lucky Oprah interviewees/Oscar nominees are "The Help's" Viola Davis and Octavia Spencer (lead actress and supporting actress nominees, respectively) and "Moneyball's" Jonah Hill (supporting actor nominee).

During the run of Oprah's daily talk show, she hosted a traditional Monday post-Oscars show with the winners to great ratings success. The new two-hour special will sit the nominees down before the big night. It'll even air well in advance of the Oscars, on Feb. 15. (The awards are handed out Feb. 26.)

In early January, Oprah's current show, "Oprah's Next Chapter," premiered with an average of 924,000 viewers during its first month on the air.

The Oscar special probably won't lack in enthusiasm. Octavia Spencer couldn't quite contain herself on Twitter, posting on Feb. 7, "OMG a surreal day! two words OPRAH WINFREY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!"

The Oprah side of that enounter will be seen on Wednesday.

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-- Patrick Kevin Day
Photo: Oprah Winfrey. Credit: George Burns / OWN
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