This Was Television On January 2

1984: The Oprah Winfrey Show takes root

Winfrey, who had a few years experience hosting a local Baltimore program under her belt, took over the helm of A.M. Chicago on WLS, the local ABC affiliate. Almost immediately, she turned the struggling program into the top-rated talk show in the market. Two and a half years later, A.M. Chicago was renamed and entered national syndication, going on to become one of the most successful daytime talk shows in television history. -A.D.

Today’s Birthdays: Jim Bakker, televangelist (73); Howard Caine, character actor (d. 1993); Tia Carrere, relic hunter (46); Gabrielle Carteris, Beverly Hillsian (51); Kim Coates, biker (54); Taye Diggs, doctor (42); Jack Hanna, late night animal wrangler (66); Larry Harmon, clown (d. 2008).

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