Oprah Winfrey has landed the first interview with late singer Whitney Houston’s daughter, Bobbi Kristina Brown, for a special to air March 11 on her OWN cable network.
Winfrey interviewed the 18-year-old, as well as her mom’s sister-in-law Patricia Houston and brother Gary on Friday. Winfrey’s camp did not release excerpts, but said the 18-year-old shared “personal memories” of her mother and how she’d like her to be remembered.
Winfrey’s team also said the family addressed the “rumors and speculation” that have surfaced in the wake of Houston’s death on the eve of the Grammy Awards in February.
On Feb. 11, Houston was found unconscious in the bathroom of her room at the Beverly Hilton in Beverly Hills, Calif., on Feb. 11, the night before the Grammys. Though a final toxicology report has yet to be issued, a powerful cocktail of prescription drugs has been blamed for her death.
Since then, there has been a slew of speculation about Houston’s estate and the well-being of Bobbi Kristina. She was hospitalized twice in the 24 hours after Houston died and there have been reports that family members were concerned about her health since then.
That the family chose Winfrey should come as no surprise. The former daytime TV superstar has been connected with the family for years and even attended Houston’s funeral in Newark.
Following Houston’s death, Winfrey’s cable network OWN replayed the 2009 interview where she talked openly about her drug abuse, her career and trouble with her marriage to Bobby Brown, Bobbi Kristina’s father. She also said she had turned her life around.
OWN will replay the Houston interview at 7 p.m. on March 11, leading into the telecast of the new interview with her daughter.
Given the fan interest in the still unfolding story of Houston’s death, the first words from Bobbi Kristina should bring a ratings windfall to Winfrey’s OWN, which has been struggling to get an audience since it launched more than a year ago.
Winfrey recently increased her exposure on the network, largely through expanded episodes of “Oprah’s Next Chapter,” an interview show where she visits high-profile folks such as Steven Tyler, Sean Penn and New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie.
The Houston special will air at 9 p.m. March 11 as part of Winfrey’s interview series, “Oprah’s Next Chapter.”