Casts of Jersey Shore and Barbara Walters

The holidays are approaching, which means it's time for a Barbara Walters special or two. The ABC News veteran is hosting back-to-back shows on December 9: Oprah: The Next Chapter (9/8c) and the 18th annual 10 Most Fascinating People (10/9c), in which Sarah Palin all but announces her 2012 presidential run.

As for Oprah, "The interview is extremely personal," says Walters. "She talks about her hopes and fears [in starting her cable network OWN], and her feelings about not wanting to have children. A good part of it has to do with her relationships with Gayle [King] and with [longtime companion] Stedman [Graham]. It's a very intimate portrait."

Besides Palin, Walters most fascinating list includes Justin Bieber, Sandra Bullock, LeBron James, the Jersey Shore cast, Jennifer Lopez, Kate Middleton, Gen. David Petraeus and Betty White. As always, the person she deems "most fascinating" will be revealed on the show. Here are some of Walters' behind-the-scenes tidbits.

Betty White: "She says she's not having a comeback — she never stopped working. We talked about death, sex — she still wants it — and animals. She loves them more than people."

Justin Bieber: "He said because his mother talked to him about her drinking and drug use, he feels it's something that he never will do." And on a lighter note, "He taught me a new dance."

The Jersey Shore cast: "They were all very serious and very well dressed, with big plans for the future. I now know what a 'grenade' [a plump woman] and 'smush' [have sex] mean."

Jennifer Lopez: The new American Idol judge reveals that she took the job so she can stay home and take care of her kids, says Walters. But, "she's still the glamour figure. She came [to the interview] wearing tiny little hot pants, looking very cute."

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