She's given up her platform as a daytime talk-show host, but could Oprah Winfrey be back in front of a national audience as the host of the Oscars?
The Chicago Sun-Times reported Friday morning that the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has Winfrey "topping the list of candidates" to host next year's show, which ABC will broadcast from L.A.' s Kodak Theatre in late February.
"Academy honchos firmly believe Winfrey could greatly expand the show's audience," wrote columnist Bill Zwecker. An academy spokeswoman did not immediately reply to a request seeking comment.
Winfrey has a history with ABC, whose affiliates carried her long-running syndicated program before it went off the air earlier this year.
It remains to be seen whether Winfrey would accept the gig, of course; according to Zwecker it could come with preconditions for behind-the-scenes access for OWN, the Winfrey-founded network that has been struggling to attract viewers.
If Winfrey indeed presides at the Kodak, she'll join an elite group, becoming only the third solo female host in Oscar history. (Whoopi Goldberg has hosted four times and Ellen DeGeneres once.)
New 'Dallas' set for TNT
J.R. rides again.
TNT has ordered a new version of "Dallas," the iconic TV series about the battles, loves and power struggles within a Texas oil and cattle-ranching dynasty.
The series will be set in Texas, and combine new cast members with stars from the original series. Joining new "Dallas" stars Josh Henderson, Jesse Metcalfe, Jordana Brewster, Julia Gonzao and Brenda Strong will be original "Dallas" stars Patrick Duffy, Linda Gray and Larry Hagman as J.R. Ewing. TNT has ordered 10 episodes of "Dallas," which is scheduled to premiere in summer 2012.
The cable network will unveil its first look of 'Dallas" Monday with a sneak peak during the season premieres of "The Closer" and "Rizzoli & Isles." The original series ran from 1978 to 1991.
Perry concerts rescheduled
Katy Perry postponed concerts in St. Paul, Minn., and the Chicago area because she's suffering from food poisoning.
A statement released by her publicist says the Friday show at Allstate Arena in Rosemont, Ill., was rescheduled for Aug. 21 and today's show at St. Paul's Xcel Energy Center is now set for Aug. 23.
The statement says the food poisoning led to severe dehydration. She performed ill at Summerfest in Milwaukee on Thursday.
John Boler, vice president of sales and marketing at Summerfest, says Perry wasn't feeling well when she arrived. He says a doctor attended to her during the day and the performance.
Perry said she plans to give fans the best show ever when she returns.
Smith joining NBC
Harry Smith is joining NBC, the network confirmed, leaving CBS News after a 25-year career there.
He is expected to join Brian Williams' upcoming primetime new magazine program, according to TVNewser, which also obtained a copy of a memo CBS News President David Rhodes sent to his staff: "Harry Smith has been a fixture here at CBS News for a generation — he joined us in Dallas in 1986 — but today he's decided to move on. ... During the course of his career here, Harry sat down with six presidents, from Barack Obama back to Richard Nixon."
Smith was an anchor at CBS's "Morning Show" until a shakeup late last year.
NBC would not confirm his role in Brian Williams' hour-long news magazine, saying an official announcement is planned for Monday.
Another year older
Today's birthdays: Actor-singer Ed Ames , 84... actor Brian Dennehy , 73... actor Richard Roundtree , 69... author Dean Koontz , 66... actor Chris Cooper , 60... TV personality John Tesh , 59... actor Jimmy Smits , 56... actor Tom Hanks , 55... actress Kelly McGillis , 54... actress-rock singer Courtney Love , 47... musician/ producer Jack White , 36 ... actor-director Fred Savage , 35.