Has Oprah Lost Her Swagger?

As a longtime worshiper at the temple of O, I have recently been questioning Oprah’s street cred. Is the talk show queen really slipping in popularity, as her seven-point Nielsen rating drop suggested? As soon as her 23rd season (yes, believe it) began, I got my answer … hell no! Fresh off tell-all interviews with Erin Andrews, and THE Whitney Houston, Oprah is back with a bang this season, proving that she is still the high priestess of hip. What’s in store for the eager viewers of America like me?In celebration of the Emmy Awards, big O will be making over her set and the audience in a ’60s-themed “Mad Men” show. Don’t worry. Don and Bets Draper will be there, too. It might be awkward if they don’t win any Emmys, but it’s far more likely that if Oprah is playing faves with them … the show will have an Emmy sweep. [Celebitchy]

And what would an “Oprah” season be without a new book club selection? Although the official announcement will happen this afternoon, an over-eager distributor couldn’t keep their excitement in their pants. Gasp! Drum roll please … the selection is rumored to be Uwem Akpan’s Say You’re One of Them. The 2008 short-story collection is the first book from Akpan, a Nigerian-born Jesuit priest who teaches in Zimbabwe. And more importantly it’s the first time Oprah Winfrey has selected a collection of short stories. Oprah’s book club picks are usually FBI classified—as in book companies sign legally binding contracts swearing them to secrecy. Then unmarked boxes of the book club selection, complete with fake ISBN #s, are shipped to bookstores around the country. My point being, leaking the title to the press or peeking in the secret box early is practically punishable by death. So please don’t tell anyone I told you. And if Akpan is really the chosen one, I’m sure he is rejoicing. Once O endorses a book, sales are projected to double within days. Proving only one thing … that Oprah’s still got it, baby. [Washington Post]