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Can Oprah rule prime time?

The “Queen of Daytime” is taking her talk show global for a new night-time series.

How do you top a 24-year run as a wildly successful daytime talk show host? By going prime time: When it launches in 2011, The Oprah Winfrey Network (OWN) will carry a slate of new Oprah-branded shows, anchored by her own flagship night time program, “Oprah’s Next Chapter.” (Watch Oprah announce her new network, a joint venture with Discovery Communications, to her shareholders.) Here’s what’s known about Oprah’s next act, and some educated guesses on whether she’s making a smart bet:

How will “Oprah’s Next Chapter” differ from her current show?

It won’t be taped in a studio with a live audience and “could air as many as two or three times a week,” reports The Wall Street Journal. It will “follow her around the globe for conversations in places such as Egypt and China.” Oprah has declared that she’s “going to take viewers with me [as well as] celebrities I want to interview.” An OWN press release says her destinations will vary “from the Taj Mahal to her beloved oak tree,” raising the spectre of picnic-style sit-downs.

What other shows has OWN announced?

Five new programs, including: “Your Own Show: Oprah’s Search For the Next TV Star,” an American Idol-like talent show; “Gayle King Live!,” a chat show hosted by Oprah’s longtime friend; and a reality show called “Why Not?” that follows singer Shania Twain as she copes with life as a divorcee.

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