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Oprah Winfrey Warns OWN Talent To Steer Clear Of 'DWTS'

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Oprah Winfrey has made it clear that she doesn’t want to see her friends taking part in "Dancing With The Stars" -- even famously telling The Duchess Of York, Sarah Ferguson, "I better not see you on [the show]" But is Oprah trying to sabotage the ratings powerhouse or simply looking after those she loves?

“Oprah has very mixed feelings about reality TV,” one TV executive tells me. “A few years ago, when she was doing her own show, she didn’t care for it at all. Manipulating people who are so desperate to be famous and making then look foolish on TV is just not something she is comfortable doing. However, now that she has her own TV network, her views are starting to soften. The docudrama with Sarah Ferguson was basically a reality show and OWN has the O’Neils and The Judds, which might not be as crazy as some of VH1 and Bravo shows, but nevertheless they are reality shows.”

Further proof that the former daytime queen's views are changing is OWN's "Your OWN Show" host Carson Kressley, who was just cast in season 13 of the show, joining the network.

“Carson is a member of Oprah’s OWN family. If she really didn’t want him to appear on the ballroom floor she would have stopped it,” an insider tells me. “Which she clearly didn’t. Her network isn’t the big hit she and everyone else thought it would be. Now those 20 million people watching one of her network stars shake his ass twice a week looks much more appealing.”

Who knows, maybe we might see Winfrey herself do a Cha-cha-cha -- or at least Gayle King should get her dancing shoes ready.