Has she jumped the shark?
Oprah's gotten too serious. She's just not a lot of fun. The topics are too ponderous, like Dr. Oz scaring us about health issues, or experts talking about hoarding and clutter, or some other psychological ailment that's equally bizarre. Then there was all the stuff about the school in South Africa and the book club author who was a liar. Sorry, it was all a downer. Then, a jump the shark moment, Oprah presented the pregnant man.
The urge to surf
If you've spent a sick day or two at home in the afternoon, you know that there's a lot more stuff to watch these days than there used to be. The cable revolution has resulted in choice galore. When Oprah's show comes on, whatever the time slot, Food Network has cooking shows, ESPN has sports, CNN has news, Bravo has repeats of Project Runway or one of their other primetime shows, Biography has biographies, and on and on.
The New Age angle
One theory put forth about Oprah's decline is that she's embraced too much New Age/personal power/the spirit within me/the secret philosophy -- to the extent that she's coming off as anti-Christian.
Maybe Oprah has overstayed her welcome. She's been on the air for 22 years. That's a very long time. Oprah has made noises about giving up the show and concentrating on other endeavors, but she's still at it. There's a lot to be said about knowing when to leave. In show business parlance, it's known as leaving them wanting more. If Oprah had ended her show after 20 years, she wouldn't be in this situation now. She could have ended the show on a high.
Okay, maybe her endorsement of Obama has made a difference. It probably wasn't Barack himself, but the fact that Oprah has been non-political for years, or at least very discreet. This was the first time she injected herself into a political race and that might have turned some people off.
Too much commercialism
Her My Favorite Things shows are huge, for sure. Free stuff for the folks in the studio audience, big commercials for the products. But in the days and weeks after the show airs we keep hearing and reading about those products online, on-air and in print. It just wreaked of commercialism. The same thing with the free car giveaway. They weren't free; it was an hour long commercial for Pontiac.
*TV blog TV Squad