Mark Bieganski: December 2008 Archives

Is Barack Obama's biggest fan -- Oprah Winfrey -- planning on moving closer to her political pal once he's moved into the White House?

"It's not true," a spokesman for Winfrey's camp told me today.

Several reports out today -- including an item from the New York Post's Page Six -- claim that Winfrey is house hunting in the luxurious Georgetown neighborhood of Washington, D.C.

Rumors were that Winfrey was eying a nine-bedroom mansion with a price tag of about $50 million.

From Sun-Times staff reports ...

Oprah Winfrey's grasp of all things media just got a little bit tighter.

HBO announced they have entered into a three-year exclusive relationship with Harpo Films to develop and produce movies and miniseries for the pay cable network.

No specific projects were mentioned, but a written release indicated the arrangement could include miniseries, movies, documentaries and series.

Harpo Films is the arm of Winfrey's Harpo Productions group that in the past has produced feature films "The Great Debaters" (2007, starring Denzel Washington and Forest Whitaker) and "Beloved" (1998, starring Winfrey and Danny Glover) as well as TV movies such as "Tuesdays With Morrie" and "Their Eyes Were Watching God."

More information came out in a teleconference today.

Photos: Oprah Winfrey brushed shoulders with some of Hollywood's elite women entertainers Friday at The Hollywood Reporter's annual Women in Entertainment Breakfast in Beverly Hills.


Oprah Winfrey, center, poses with Disney Media Networks co-chairman Anne Sweeney, left, and Sony Pictures Entertainment co-chairman Amy Pascal.


Oprah Winfrey, left, greets actress Sigourney Weaver.


Oprah Winfrey, right, poses with actress Glenn Close, recipient of the Sherry Lansing Leadership Award.



AP photos

Oprah Winfrey, Sarah Palin interview spoof

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Until the real interview might happen, you'll have to settle for this. Looks like this started floating around the Internet before the election, but here's a spoofed Oprah Winfrey, Sarah Palin interview:

Oprah Winfrey's got Britney Spears on her radar

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Oprah Winfrey's got pop diva Britney Spears on her radar.

Reacting last week to being named Hollywood's No. 1 woman by The Hollywood Reporter, Winfrey said she's got her eyes on Britney for a one-on-one interview.

"She'd be an interesting person to interview," Winfrey told Access Hollywood. "The truth of the matter is, it's far more interesting to sit one-on-one with somebody then to have them on stage in front of an audience talking because people always feel like they have to perform."

Spears' "comeback" after almost two years of sometimes off-the-wall headlines has been carefully scripted -- including interviews with ABC News and an MTV documentary that avoided all the juicy questions of what really was going on with Spears.

Should Spears sit down with Winfrey?

Hollywood's No. 1 woman: Oprah Winfrey

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Oprah Winfrey tops The Hollywood Reporter's Power 100 list, an annual ranking of the most influential women in the entertainment industry.

"The decision to place Oprah at the top of the list was based on her dizzying array of Oprah-branded media and her immense cultural influence," THR editor Elizabeth Guider said. "Today's most powerful woman in entertainment might just be the most influential woman in America."

Winfrey ranked No. 6 on the list last year.

The Hollywood Reporter also ranks the industry's highest-paid actresses each year. Angelina Jolie is No. 1, commanding more than $15 million a movie, followed by Julia Roberts and last year's top earner, Reese Witherspoon.

She's the blogger that decided to live her life for a year like Oprah Winfrey told her she should.

So how did her year living the Winfrey lifestyle shape up? Sun-Times Centerstage Chicago writer Sarah Terez Rosenblum gets a Q&A with Robyn Okrant:

"If you've heard anything about LivingOprah.com blogger Robyn Okrant, you probably fall into one of two mistaken camps. "One, that I'm an Oprah fanatic," says the Lincoln Square resident. "Or the other, that I'm out to disparage Oprah."

In January, writer-performer Okrant embarked on what she called a "social experiment, living entirely according to Oprah Winfrey's advice from her television show, in her magazine and on her Web site. If she says, 'Girls, you gotta have these 10 things in your closet,' or 'Make this pie,' or my husband's favorite, 'Build your man up,' everything she advises for her audience to 'live their best life,' I do.""

Click here to continue reading ...

We never would have guessed it, but apparently one of Oprah Winfrey's dreams -- is to be a dancer.

"In my wildest, wildest, crazy, crazy dreams, I am a dancer," Winfrey told Extra. "When I've like had too many tequila shots and I go to sleep, I dream of being a dancer."

There you have it.

Is Sarah Palin snubbing Oprah Winfrey?

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It's no secret Oprah Winfrey has gotten unwarranted flack for not having Sarah Palin on her show during the campaign season.

But even after Winfrey offered Palin an open invitation to come on the show after the election, it looks like the former Republican veep candidate is snubbing the queen of talk.

"[I] went and tried to talk to Sarah Palin and instead she talked to Greta [Van Susteren]. She talked to Matt [Lauer]. She talked to Larry [King]. But she didn't talk to me. But maybe she'll talk to me now that she has a [multi-million dollar] book deal," Winfrey told Extra earlier this week.

When asked whether the Obamas would be making an appearance on her show, Winfrey said they're more than welcome.

"There's always an open invitation for the President-elect and First Lady."

Oprah Winfrey herself confirmed earlier this week she'd be taking her show on the road to D.C. for Barack Obama's inauguration bash -- so how do you get your hands on what'll be some of the hottest tickets in the District?

Winfrey will tape at least two shows in the nation's capitol from the Kennedy Center Opera House -- with a live episode airing Jan. 19.

If you're looking to possibly score tickets to Winfrey's D.C. shows, start checking the show's reservation page like it's your day job. Ticket reservations are sure to go like hot cakes -- especially with an estimated 4 million people expected to flock to witness Obama's swearing in.

The show also is looking for people who'll be trekking it to the inauguration and Winfrey's people want to hear what you're doing to get there and witness history.

If you're one of the lucky to get tickets -- shoot me an e-mail -- was it hard? What did you have to do to get them?

This clip surfaced on the Internet about Sam Perry, who lent his shoulder to a weeping Oprah Winfrey the night of Barack Obama's election win, about the experience.

Oprah Winfrey confirmed last night she'll be broadcasting her show from the Washington National Opera.

Winfrey broke the news to Access Hollywood last night at a fundraiser for Essence Magazine's Susan Taylor.

Oprah Winfrey mum on Obama inauguration bash

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Oprah Winfrey said in an interview last night she hasn't decided on whether she's having an inauguration bash for Barack Obama which was rumored last month.

"Everybody's calling me about a party. I'm like, 'Isn't somebody else having a party?'...I don't know about the party thing yet...There is extreme party confusion. I'm trying to get to the bottom of it myself!" she told Extra.

Sources last month told the Washington Post's Reliable Source that Winfrey -- who said Election Day she'd already picked out her inauguration dress -- is hoping to broadcast three of her shows from the nation's capitol that week, potentially from the historic Kennedy Center.

Event planners also working for Winfrey apparently were apparently combing D.C. to find a site for a big inauguration bash.

Winfrey also told Extra she's still on her post-election Obama high.

"[When] I flew to South Africa, I get off the plane and I take three magazines - Time, People and Newsweek - all that have Obama's picture on the cover and I just use them to fan myself as I'm going though the airport just in case somebody doesn't know I'm American. Just in case somebody wants to say, 'How's it going in America?' I know, I'm ridiculous."

Oprah Winfrey isn't going anywhere just yet -- and might stick around daytime TV even after her contract is up in 2011.

Winfrey told Extra last night at a fundraiser for Essence Magazine's Susan Taylor that she'll definitely be fulfilling her contract, and hinted at the prospect of a new one.

"I'm a girl that keeps her word. I have a contract till 2011, so right now that's what I have until someone writes me another one....I'm going to fulfill my contractual obligations and fulfill them happily."

Rumors speculated last month whether Winfrey might be leaving daytime TV after Discovery CEO David Zaslav -- who is helping launch the "Oprah Winfrey Network" -- made remarks that Winfrey might bring her show to the new cable channel in the future.

"The expectation is that after [2011], her show will go off of ABC in syndication and she will come to OWN."

A Harpo spokeswoman at the time made clear that no decision about the show has been made at the time.

"While David Zaslav's comments are true that Oprah's current contract to produce 'The Oprah Winfrey Show' will expire in 2011, she has not made a final decision as to whether she will continue her show in syndication beyond that," said Lisa Halliday.


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About this Archive

This page is a archive of recent entries written by Mark Bieganski in December 2008.

Mark Bieganski: November 2008 is the previous archive.

Mark Bieganski: January 2009 is the next archive.

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