Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Oprah: 'The crazy stays in this room!' in an episode of Oprah Behind the Scenes on TLC Entertainment on DStv you HAVE to see.

An utterly shocked Oprah Winfrey's eyes go wide as she tells her panicked Harpo staff: "The crazy stays in this room!"

Whatever you do, you don't want to miss tonight's episode of Oprah Behind the Scenes at 19:05 on TLC Entertainment (DStv 172) when the talk show host and her staff deals with something which has never happened before in the history of the Oprah Winfrey Show in this fascinating fly-on-the-wall reality show which was filmed during the 25th and final season of the talk show.

It's February 2011 and viewers will see Oprah Winfrey and bahind-the-scenes chaos at Harpo never seen before when the fat-now-thin Jennifer Hudson creates massive tension when she secretly slips out and can't get back in time for the episode.

With a massive blizzard heading to Chicago, the producers decide to fly in all of the guests in advance to the city and prepare to do three shows per day over two days.

How it usually works is that a guest flies in, a rehearsal is done if there is going to be a musical performance the evening before the next day's show, they go back to their hotel room, they rest up, they come back for a sound check in the morning, and then the show happens.

Jennifer Hudson jets into Chicago just before the blizzard, goes to Harpo Studios and does a rehearsal. Then she turns around and says "see ya all in the morning" because she has to go do "my homework", meaning practising for the show.

On Friday morning at 06:00, three hours before the Oprah episode is suppose to happen, a senior production assistant discovers that Jennifer Hudson is in Dallas. She then calls the episode's producer Leslie Grisanti.

"Jennifer is going to be a little late," Jennifer Hudson's publicist suddenly informs them - who didn't tell the Oprah producers anything about it earlier.

"J Hud flew to Texas last night. There's no way that Jennifer Hudson is going to make the 9am taping. There's no way."

Meanwhile 375 audience members are showing up, its 06:35 and executive producer Sheri Selata doesn't know and hasn't told Oprah yet.

Producers start scrambling, with Leslie Grisanti going to tell Oprah and others to try and put an emergency plan into action for the massive people set to arrive since three shows are set to be recorded at 09:00, 13:00 and 16:00 which will all be late.

Harpo Studios will unable to handle all the people and the whole production machine is threatening to seize up.

"J Hud flew to Texas last night," Sheri Selata tells Oprah when the producers huddle in an office.

"Excuse me. Excuse me. What the hell is going on?" asks a shocked Oprah.

"She jumped on a private plane and flew to a private event for Jamie Foxx in Dallas. They had a show on last night that is why they didn't tell anybody. She was supposed to fly back last night right after the event. The flight got cancelled because of weather. We worked on this date since January. We've done exactly what they've asked," says Sheri Selata.

Then Oprah's team gets word that J Hud is on a private plane, her hair and make-up team is with her and doing it on the plane.

"We already had an unusual day on our hands because of the blizzard. And now we have another huge problem," said Sheri Selata.

That's when Oprah's leadership qualities start to shine through.

"God this is bad. This is the thing. Lets keep this frenetic crazy-ass energy in this room and not spread it to others".

Then they discover Jennifer Hudson is flying "commercial" and not on a private jet.

Oprah decides to be honest and do her own crisis communication.

She goes to tell the waiting audience in the holding room that Jennifer Hudson is not there and what she did and that this hasn't happened in 25 years.

She apologises profusely. She is honest and tells them the show will be delayed for hours. She asks the if they will be okay. The studio audience loves her. Oprah says Harpo is going to give them food. Oprah says "thank you". Everybody cheers.

J Hud arrives hours late. "I wanted to be able to look Jennifer Hudson in the eye and say: ' What happened here?' So I went backstage without cameras because I didn't want to be about me trying to scold her or have a TV moment. I just wanted to hear from her lips  to my ears what had happened. She was very apologetic and said she won't do this again," says Oprah.

Oprah then goes out and tells the audience: "We had a lot of drama. Everybody said should we cancel this show? I said I never cancel because I think about you guys [the studio audience]."

"Jennifer being late backed up the whole day and put a lot of pressure unnecessarily on a lot of people," says Oprah.

Watch tonight's dramatic episode and what happens when J Hud's "people" tells Oprah "people" that Oprah is not allowed to ask Jennifer about her weight and how much weight she's lost with Weight-Watchers.

And then there's issues when Susan Lucci doesn't want to fly in for an All My Children reunion episode because she's scared of the weather.