Morning round-up: Oprah gets into bed with HBO, 'Cougar Town' shuts down, and 'Fringe' producers talk ... Season 6?
Oprah goes risque at HBO: While industry observers ponder the syndication biz without its queen, Oprah is focused on other projects. The latest (outside of the yet-to-launch OWN)? Her production banner Harpo Films has set up an hourlong series pilot at HBO about a woman who leaves her seemingly perfect family to indulge in "her secret fantasies and desires" in the underbelly of L.A. The project is being written by Erin Cressida Wilson, who wrote 2002's kinky love story "Secretary."
Speaking of Oprah... The talk show host's former personal chef Art Smith (more recently of "Top Chef Masters") has signed a deal to star in his own show on TLC. The series, according to the Hollywood Reporter, "Craving Comfort," will follow Smith as he travels the country exploring different takes on classic dishes, such as fried chicken and apple pie. Variety reports that TLC also has ordered the reality series "Mall Cops: Mall of America" (thanks to the many of you who made "Paul Blart: Mall Cop" a hit) and "Ghost Intervention."
"Cougar Town" shuts down: A rep for ABC told US Weekly, "We can confirm production of 'Cougar Town' has been temporarily shut down in order for [star Courteney Cox] to deal with a private family matter." No word on when production is expected to resume.
David Tennant's end draws near: BBC America has announced the actor's final two "Doctor Who" specials: "Doctor Who: The End of Time, Part 1" and "Doctor Who: The End of Time, Part 2." The first will air Dec. 26 at 9 p.m. Break out the Kleenex!
"Fringe" executive producers plan for ... Season 6? According to Digital Spy, during a conference call with reporters, executive producer Jeff Pinker said, "If we're lucky enough, we have six seasons that we're really excited about." Might have to get those ratings up first, no?
Tune-in reminder: "Battlestar Galactica" fans! Katee Sackhoff guest stars in tonight's "Big Bang Theory" on CBS.
-- Denise Martin