Oprah courting Maria Shriver to boost OWN ratings?
That's precisely what reports say she's doing with her floundering OWN television network, which recently laid off 30 staffers and has failed to deliver Winfrey-caliber ratings since launch.
Rumor has it Winfrey is courting journalist and estranged Arnold Schwarzenegger spouse Maria Shriver to climb aboard for her own show.
"Oprah knows she needs to pull a rabbit out of the hat, literally," RadarOnline cites a source as saying.
"She has been in discussions with Maria for a very long time about doing a news/special interest driven show for OWN. However, Oprah has ramped up the pressure in the past several weeks."
Winfrey and Shriver are longtime pals, prone to power dinners in Beverly Hills and sweet tributes from one iconic femme to the other. The collaboration makes sense and clearly could fetch some dollars from advertisers.
The catch: Winfrey made a presumably winning bet with Rosie O'Donnell, who returned to television with a chat show for OWN that was canceled last week after poor performance.
The Radar report goes on to speculate that Shriver is in the perfect place to accept a high-profile offer like this. Her camera-friendly son Patrick is about college age, leaving her with only her youngest, Christopher, to tend to, freeing her schedule for an OWN project.
-- Matt Donnelly
Photo: Oprah Winfrey speaks onstage at the 3rd annual Diane Von Furstenberg awards at the United Nations on March 9 in New York. Credit: Andrew H. Walker / Getty Images