If only she could turn back time. Sally Jessy Raphael reveals in a preview for the Saturday, October 29, episode of Oprah: Where Are They Now? that she was not happy toward the end of her eponymous talk show.
"The last years of doing those Maury Povich/Jerry Springer shows? I hated them," she says in the clip above. "I was betrayed by some of the producers into doing that. Come to think of it, I should have fought harder for what I knew what was right — what I knew that I didn't want to do."
Raphael’s series premiered in 1983. At the time, Sally was one of the only audience-participation shows hosted by a woman to cover human-interest topics as well as hard-hitting news.
However, the tone of the show took a turn in the late ‘90s and early-2000s when the popularity of Maury and The Jerry Springer Show grew. It was then that Raphael, now 81, felt forced into shifting her focus toward the tabloid subject matter — paternity mysteries, sexual exploits and feuds, among other topics — that Povich and Springer were famous for.
Looking back, Raphael says that she wishes she hadn’t been so quick to appease producers when they decided the direction of the show needed to shift. “I would have said to them, ‘I don’t know,’ instead of, ‘Yes, it’s a go,’” she shares in the sneak peek.
Ultimately, Sally was canceled in 2002 after several years of trying to keep up with the competition. Though she was unhappy with the changes made to the program, Raphael never anticipated her show would end when it did.
"They told us that the show was going to go on, and we had 250 employees," Raphael explains in the clip. "Now some of them said, 'Sally, we need to know if we're going to be renewed. I want to buy a house, or my wife and I want to be pregnant.' And then within two months after they bought their house and got pregnant or whatever, I had to go in front of the entire crew and staff."
Watch the video above. Oprah: Where Are They Now? airs on OWN Saturdays at 10 p.m. ET.
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