Oprah Winfrey refers to the growth of her Oprah Winfrey Network as "The Climb."
On Thursday at the Television Critics Assn. press tour, that climb was discussed at length with particular emphasis placed on OWN's latest coups, which include a rare interview with Tina Turner and an up-close-and-personal encounter with "Wolverine's" Hugh Jackman.
But OWN made clear that its biggest score is undoubtedly Winfrey's upcoming exclusive interview with Lindsay Lohan, and an eight-hour documentary that will show the famously troubled actress rebuilding her life and her career. The interview will air Aug. 18.
Also special to OWN is the fledgling series "Raising Whitley," which documents comedian Kym Whitley as she raises her adopted son, Joshua, with the help of a colorful group of friends that she calls "The Village."
During a TCA panel Whitley explained that she adopted Joshua after a young woman who she was mentoring abandoned him at the hospital. She wasn't sure if she could do it, but then she called her dear friend Rodney Van Johnson, who said, "we’ll figure it out."
And so far, they have. Joshua is now almost 3 years old and he was trotted out for the press to take a look at. Dressed in a bow tie with a Binky in his mouth, the precocious tot said "hi" into a mike and refused to let go of a piece of black curtain that he apparently dragged with him from somewhere backstage.
When it was pointed out that OWN's press materials indicated that Joshua was raising the adults as much as they were raising him, Whitley was inclined to agree.
"A lot of people want to adopt, and you have to learn as you go," she said. "So why not get a group of friends together and be positive. We cannot wait to see what he grows up to be with so much love and support."
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