In Depth

Alley Signs TV Deal With Harpo

Harpo Productions has inked actress Kirstie Alley for future television projects, including a possible daily strip, which sources say could land in syndication or on Oprah’s new cable network.

“Kirstie is a tremendous talent who is incredibly relatable and a true fan favorite, and we are thrilled to welcome her to Harpo,” said Tim Bennett, president of Harpo Productions. “Audiences love her and it’s easy to see why: She is always at ease, whether speaking up about the most intimate aspects of her life or even appearing in a bikini on the ‘Oprah’ show. We are looking forward to working together to bring viewers everywhere her distinctive voice and comedic flair.”

Ms. Alley previously drew national attention for appearing in a bikini on Ms. Winfrey’s show after dropping 75 pounds.

“I’m very open with what I’ve been through in my own personal life, and nothing—I mean nothing—is off-limits for me to talk about. Nothing shocks me,” Ms. Alley said. “I’m a great listener. I’m a good comedian. And I won’t lie—I live a beautiful life. So I hope to bring those elements together to offer something totally fresh for the television audience.”

Ms. Winfrey’s Harpo Productions has a strong track record in syndication, having launched both “Dr. Phil” and “Rachael Ray” successfully to stations. Ms. Alley’s show could be another notch on that post. (Ms. Alley had a syndication deal in previous years for a talk show but the series never launched.)

In addition, Ms. Winfrey likely is shoring up programming possibilities for the launch of the Oprah Winfrey Network, which was announced in January as a partnership with Discovery and is scheduled to launch in 2009.