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EXCLUSIVE: 30 Years After the Debut of 'The Oprah Winfrey Show' Oprah Says She Left at the 'Right Moment'

by Raphael Chestang 4:27 PM PDT, September 08, 2016
Playing EXCLUSIVE: 30 Years After the Debut of 'The Oprah Winfrey Show' Oprah Says She Left at the 'Right Moment'

Today marks the 30th anniversary of The Oprah Winfrey Show premiere, and ET got the show's legendary host to reflect on the legacy of the program at the 2016 Essence Festival in New Orleans.

After 25 seasons of reshaping television, Winfrey walked away from her seminal talk show in 2011 -- a decision she told ET she hasn't ever second guessed.

WATCH: Oprah and Ava DuVernay Attempting 'Something That's Never Been Done Before' With 'Queen Sugar'

"I never wanted to be the person who people would say, 'That show was so good two years ago,'" Winfrey explained. "I never wanted to be the person who should've gotten out of the ring before you got punch drunk. I never wanted to be the person who didn't know when to exit the party. It was the most amazing platform anybody could have, to speak to millions of people every day, and I think I exited at exactly the right moment."

Of course Winfrey has kept working since the end of her iconic daytime show. Her cable channel, OWN, is celebrating the success of two new shows (Greenleaf and Queen Sugar), both of which she is executive producing.

WATCH: Oprah Winfrey Talks Weight Loss and Her NSFW Return to Acting

"Now, I get to tell stories in a different way," she explained. "What we're doing with Greenleaf every week -- Wednesday nights at 10 -- and what we're doing at Queen Sugar, telling these stories of real people, who live ordinary lives that become extraordinary because of what it just means to be human."

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