Kirstie Alley Signs with Oprah Winfrey’s Harpo Productions

Oprah Winfrey’s production company, Harpo Productions, signed former Cheers star and Jenny Craig spokeswoman Kirstie Alley to a TV-development deal, possibly including a syndicated daily strip.

“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, in a statement. “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.”

“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. 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,” said Alley, who has appeared on Winfrey’s show several times.

Besides the top-rated Oprah Winfrey Show, Harpo is behind ABC’s latest reality show, Oprah’s Big Give; Winfrey is partnering with Discovery to launch OWN: The Oprah Winfrey Network, a digital-cable channel; she has her own magazines, O and O at Home; and she produces her own radio channel called Oprah & Friends on XM Satellite Radio.

Paige Albiniak

Contributing editor Paige Albiniak has been covering the business of television for nearly 25 years. She is a longtime contributor to Next TV, Broadcasting + Cable and Multichannel News. She concurrently serves as editorial director for entertainment marketing association Promax. She has written for such publications as TVNewsCheck, The New York Post, Variety, CBS Watch and more. Albiniak was B+C’s Los Angeles bureau chief from September 2002 to 2004, and an associate editor covering Congress and lobbying for the magazine in Washington, D.C., from January 1997-September 2002.