Oprah Winfrey has taped more than 5,000 episodes of her daytime talk show, transforming television and trying to teach millions of viewers how to live life with purpose along the way. She has one more to go. She says she feels relieved.

She may be the only one.

Television stations are bracing for an afternoon ratings slump without her. Publishers and publicists are contemplating what the next best show for promoting their products will be. And Ms. Winfrey’s viewers are looking for something else to watch — and many of them are wondering where to find OWN, her five-month-old cable channel, where she will host a new show on a less demanding schedule next year.

“I literally curb my enthusiasm for the end, because I realize that for the other people that are part of this experience” — like the 464 people who produce her show — “the end is a different experience than it is for me,” she said in an interview last week.

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