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Oprah's Half-Sister Drives Show to Ratings High

Oprah's revelation that she has a half-sister earned the talk diva her biggest ratings of the season - a 9.9 rating/23 share weighted metered market average for the show's primary runs, according to Nielsen Media Research. When all telecasts are factored in, the episode did a still-large 6.9/17.

That's the show's highest ratings in almost six years, since Oprah's post-Oscar episode on February 28, 2005.

On Monday, Jan. 24, Oprah Winfrey revealed on her talk show that she has a half-sister, Patricia. Apparently Winfrey's mother, Vernita Lee, had the girl in Milwaukee, Wisc., and gave her up for adoption while Winfrey was living with her father in Tennessee. Patricia ended up in foster homes until she was 7 and then was lucky enough to find a new adoptive family.

Winfrey learned definitively about Patricia in October, although the process took years. Winfrey's mother refused to acknowledge Patricia because she was ashamed about giving Patricia up, Lee said. DNA testing finally confirmed the truth.

Patricia has two children - Aquarius and Andre - so Winfrey also has suddenly gained a niece and nephew. Winfrey had two other half-siblings - another sister, Pat, and a brother, Jeffrey - but both are deceased.