Oprah Winfrey: Fever Chart!

As David Letterman sagely said, "Oprah Winfrey has all the money." And she earned it the new-fangled way: By taking the most soulless, cynical format ever devised, tabloid TV, and transforming it into a tool for the elevation of the nation's soul and mind (and the shrinking of the national waistline).

As Oprah prepares to launch the logical next step in her career, her own TV network, OWN, for Oprah Winfrey Network, co-owned by the increasingly ambitious Discovery network, we decided to toast the dame who put the O in mogul by inspiring people to live their best lives with a Film.com Fever Chart, which documents the lifetime highs and lows of our favorite celebrities. If you think we've left out any highs (or lows), sound off loud in the comments section below!

american idol photosTV Throwdown: Oprah vs. Ellen

Born of a one-night stand by two teenagers in Mississippi, raised by a harried housemaid single mom who was blind to her offspring's budding genius. Temperature: 38.6 degrees

Goes to live with Grannie Hattie Mae, who gets her. Oprah is mortified by having to wear potato sacks for skirts, but gets some respect by taking her first major stage at age three, reading from the local church pulpit. Hones her professional skills by interviewing her dolls and the crows on her fence. "I always felt smart," Oprah says. Temperature: 99.6 degrees

At 10, gets raped, abused by relatives and a family friend. Temperature: 18 degrees

Sees Sidney Poitier collect the first Oscar won by a black man. Thinks to herself, "If he can do that, I wonder what I could do?" Temperature: 101 degrees

Runs away from home at 13. Temperature: 28 degrees

Lives her worst life, neurotic teenage promiscuity. "I imagined that every person on the street was going to point their finger at me and scream, 'Pregnant at 14, you wicked girl!'" Baby dies. Oprah does not feel smart. Temperature: 1.86 degrees

Mom packs her off to live with her dad, who stresses education. Oprah cracks down and starts winning everything in sight: Speech contests, popularity contests, Miss Black Tennessee. Temperature: 103 degrees

Breaks age records and race barriers as teenage news anchor in Nashville. Temperature: 105 degrees

Baltimore bosses object to her hair, lips, nose, and habit of expressing emotion on camera. Oprah falls for a man who won't leave his wife, pens a suicide note. Temperature: 38.6 degrees

Hosts Dialing for Dollars. Dollars respond. Moves to Chicago in 1983, beats local talk-show king Phil Donohue's local ratings within weeks. Earns $230,000. Temperature: 110 degrees

Sometime boyfriend Roger Ebert urges her to retain ownership of her show's syndication. Beats Donohue's national ratings by 100 percent. A millionaire at 32, makes her show Number One in America 20 years in a row. "Control is control -- you have it or you don't," Oprah notes. "It's not like a little pregnant." Temperature: 190 degrees

Loses Oscar for The Color Purple to Anjelica Huston in Prizzi's Honor. Temperature: 110 degrees

Balloons to 200 pounds, then loses 67 in five weeks. TV Guide puts her head on Ann-Margret's svelte body, reclining on a fat stack of cash. Temperature: 115 degrees

Evil relative tattles on Oprah's secret teen-motherhood shame to a tabloid for $19,000. Oprah cries for three days. Long experience with betrayal makes her hate it so much she makes employees sign nondisclosure agreements. Temperature: 98.6 degrees

In 1994, salary upped to a million bucks. Changes show format from cheesy subjects to wider-ranging ones, including spirituality. Temperature: 130.6 degrees

100 million watch Oprah chat up Michael Jackson. Temperature: 160 degrees

Starts Oprah's Book Club. Time Warner chief Dick Parsons says Oprah can boost a book's sales 1,000 percent. As Amazon.com's former Bestsellers Editor, I say that's a conservative guess. Temperature: 170.6 degrees

Oprah's production of Toni Morrison's Beloved loses $30 million -- equivalent to maybe four percent of Oprah's personal wealth. Temperature: 120 degrees

Oprah stages the most successful magazine launch in history. By putting herself on every cover. Temperature: 180 degrees

Despite my advice not to, novelist Jonathan Franzen tells everyone he's "uncomfortable" about Oprah's club logo on his book. "It is not as if the logo is for Smirnoff or Crest or Bounty," snipes prior Oprah author Chris Bohjalian. "No one does more on this planet for reading than Oprah." Franzen feels "awful," cravenly apologizes. Oprah disinvites him from her show. When he wins National Book Award, Franzen says, "I'd like to thank Oprah Winfrey for her enthusiasm and advocacy." Franzen still looks like a snooty jerk, Oprah like a lit queen. Temperature: 180.4 degrees

Oprah becomes a billionaire, and gives 276 Pontiacs to weeping audience members, all of whom desperately need cars. Now that weeping Pontiac is out of business, maybe Oprah can save them. Temperature: 180.6 degrees

Tom Cruise destroys his reputation (and boosts Oprah's ratings) by jumping on her couch proclaiming his love for bride Katie Holmes. When baby's born, Conan does interview with Suri Cruise doll, who says, "If you think my birth was silent, you should've been there for the conception." But Oprah's fandom gets louder. Temperature: 185 degrees

James Frey threatens Oprah's reputation when his Oprah Book Club-choice memoir is exposed as a farrago of lies. Oprah defends him. Temperature: 98.6 degrees

Oprah rips Frey into a million little pieces on her show. "You betrayed millions of readers!" The New York Times says of Oprah, "She has more credibility than the president." Temperature: 199 degrees

Oprah endorses Obama. Scholarly number-crunchers calculate that she gave him an extra million (or 1.5 million) votes, causing him to beat Hillary Clinton. Whose husband's record for a book advance Oprah beat. Bill O'Reilly calls her "the most powerful woman in the world." Temperature: 299 degrees

Illinois Gov. Blagojevich says he thought about giving Oprah Obama's old Senate seat, but he was afraid she might not take his call: "Oprah is Oprah, and I'm only the Governor of Illinois." Temperature: 399 degrees

Got Fever Chart fever? Read more: Drew Barrymore: Fever Chart!, Britney Spears: Fever Chart!, Miley Cyrus: Fever Chart!, Reese Witherspoon: Fever Chart!, Lauren Conrad: Fever Chart!, and Denise Richards: Fever Chart!.