So Oprah Winfrey’s Harpo Films is doing a multiyear exclusive relationship with HBO announced today to develop and produce scripted television programming — miniseries, movies, documentaries and series. This will replace Harpo’s deal with ABC/Disney which expired. Of course, Oprah has her own cable channel OWN: The Oprah Winfrey Network starting up in 2009 that will be available in more than 70 million homes. But because OWN is taking over the Discovery Health Channel, Oprah’s affiliates agreement with cable is that OWN will devote itself to non-fiction about health and well-being. So scripted shows are verboten. But the documentary portion of her HBO deal could conflict, I’m told. Harpo’s track record with scripted is only so-so. But Hollywood registered surprise today that Harpo didn’t re-sign with Disney since Bob Iger has fawned over her for 10 years now (even if the ABC execs can’t stand her because she’s impossible to deal with, I’m told). “This is a ‘fuck you’ to Iger,” one of my insiders explains. “This is just another nail in the coffin of Oprah’s relationship ith Disney.”
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