It's a big month for Chicago. The city is getting its first new mayor in 22 years, the Chicago Bulls are headed to the Eastern Conference finals for the first time since 1998 and talk show queen Oprah Winfrey is ending her Chicago-based show--but that doesn't mean she can't flex a little muscle before she leaves.
ESPN Radio reports that the Chicago Bulls and Miami Heat have to reschedule the first game of the Eastern Conference Finals because Winfrey is taping her "Surprise Oprah! A Farewell Spectacular" at the United Center on the day they were supposed to face off.
"We just got the e-mail saying we were supposed to start next Tuesday, but Oprah has it then," commentator Charles Barkley told ESPN Radio, according to the Hollywood Reporter. "So they said, well let's do it Monday. Oprah is having one of her last shows, so she's got the United Center locked up. They're going to set up Monday and tape her show Tuesday. So they just sent out an e-mail and said prepare to go to Chicago and start Game 1 Sunday afternoon. They're going to move it up three days, for Oprah."
Winfrey's "star-studded spectacular" will be filmed at the United Center on May 17, and air May 23 and 24. The guest list is being kept secret from the audience and even Winfrey herself, but is said to include "some of the biggest names in music, movies and television."
It's no surprise that Winfrey was able to pull the schedule change off, considering her status in Chicago. On Wednesday, Mayor Daley named a street for Winfrey near Harpo Studios: "Oprah Winfrey Way."
"Your presence in Chicago has been a gift ..." Daley said, moments before the cover was pulled off the sign that stands in front of the studio's main entrance, calling Winfrey "a great ambassador for our city."