Oprah to visit White House for Christmas special

Wed Nov 25, 2009 8:00pm EST
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By James Hibberd and Nellie Andreeva

LOS ANGELES (Hollywood Reporter) - The queen of daytime will interview the president of the United States during an ABC holiday special that brings together Oprah Winfrey and Barack Obama.

The network has announced that it will "Christmas at the White House: An Oprah Primetime Special" on Sunday, December 13, at 10 p.m. The show will feature an interview with the president, a conversation with the first couple and a tour of the White House. The special also will go behind the scenes as staffers prepare the White House for the holiday season.

The special marks the first time Winfrey has interviewed Obama since he took office.

Winfrey, who had never before endorsed a presidential candidate, was a strong supporter of Obama during his presidential campaign, stumping for him in key states.

She attended Obama's victory rally in Chicago last November and the president's inauguration in January but has not been politically involved since the election and recently interviewed former Alaska governor and Obama rival Sarah Palin.

Winfrey also didn't attend the high-profile first White House state dinner Tuesday night, but her close friend Gayle King did.

Her talk show reigns in daytime, but Winfrey has hosted primetime specials only rarely, most notably her 1993 interview with Michael Jackson at his estate. Winfrey recently announced that she will end her syndicated talk show in 2011 and focus on launching her cable network, OWN.

<p>U.S. President Barack Obama answers a question during a joint news conference with Prime Minister of India Manmohan Singh at the White House in Washington November 24, 2009. REUTERS/Larry Downing</p>