One of the most popular women in the history of television, Oprah Winfrey, says she's calling it quits -- but not until the end of the 2006 season. She made it official on Monday, telling world media that she intends to keep going full tilt for the next few years, but wants to go on to other things.
Obviously she's not worried about her retirement plans. It's just that the multi-faceted Winfrey may seem confined in a format that has kept her behind the desk for a long time already.
In making the announcement, a spokeswoman for Harpo Productions (her private production company) noted that the mega-star recently signed a two-year contract extension for "The Oprah Winfrey Show." If she is able to continue the daily broadcast through the completion of 2006, it will mean that the program will have been on the air for nearly two decades.
Winfrey began her career in Nashville, then spent several years in Baltimore before moving to Chicago.
(Thanks to UPI's Dennis Daily)
JAMES BOND: 'DIE ANOTHER DAY'
Producers have finally announced the title for the upcoming James Bond movie -- which had a working title of "Bond 20," since it is the 20th picture in the series that began 40 years ago when "Dr. No" transformed Sean Connery into an international star.
The picture -- starring Pierce Brosnan in his fourth go-round as 007 -- will be called "Die Another Day." Producers Michael Wilson and Barbara Broccoli of EON Productions announced the title in a prepared statement.
"'Die Another Day' carries on the tradition of the Ian Fleming stories," said the statement, "and reflects the excitement and mystery of our latest script."
The title may be public information now, but the script and storyline remain closely guarded secrets. The picture is due in theaters Nov. 22.
Although it hasn't officially premiered, Winona Ryder's new video has apparently been screened for some newspaper critics, who declare that it doesn't make her look like a shoplifter.
The video -- shot by surveillance cameras in Beverly Hillsm Calif., last December -- somehow was leaked to the Los Angeles Times and the TV tabloid show "Extra." Both have reported that the footage shows Ryder on a shopping spree, but contains no conclusive evidence to support police allegations that she was caught on-camera clipping security tags from the merchandise.
The Oscar-nominated star of "Little Women" (1994) and "Girl, Interrupted" (1999) pleaded innocent last month to shoplifting and drug possession charges arising out of her arrest at Saks Fifth Avenue. She was released on $20,000 bail.
Ryder is charged with trying to steal about $4,800 worth of apparel, handbags and hair accessories. The drug charge was filed over an unmarked container of painkillers police found in Ryder's purse, allegedly without a prescription. Ryder's lawyer said the actress does have a prescription for the painkillers.
(The above two items thanks to UPI Hollywood Reporter Pat Nason)
Three lucky sailors from the real-life U.S.S. Enterprise will make guest appearances on the aircraft carrier's 22nd-century counterpart. They'll play starship crewmen on an upcoming episode of "Enterprise," the latest TV installment in the "Star Trek" legacy.
The sailors -- Aviation Electronic Technician First Class Robert Pickering, Aviation Electrician's Mate Second Class Timothy Whittington and Personnelman Third Class Sara Elizabeth Pizzo -- were chosen by an internal Navy committee as "Sailors of the Year." To honor them, the cast and crew of "Enterprise" invited them to be on the show.
Their appearance in an episode titled "Desert Crossing" was taped last Thursday on the Paramount lot in Hollywood and will air May 8 on UPN.
Enterprise was the first aircraft carrier deployed to the Arabian Sea after the tragic incidents of Sept. 11. To keep morale high, Paramount has been providing the crew with advance tapes of "Enterprise" episodes.
During a break in shooting, the sailors presented executive producers Rick Berman and Brannon Braga with a specially designed plaque in gratitude for all the support and encouragement given the crewpersons of the U.S.S. Enterprise.