New star in Oprah orbit

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Jenny McCarthy is poised to become the next star in Oprah Winfrey's media empire.

McCarthy has inked a multiyear overall deal with Winfrey's Harpo Prods. to develop projects on various platforms, including a syndicated talk show that the actress-author would host.

The first collaboration under the pact is a blog by McCarthy on Oprah.com, which launched Friday. Like other Winfrey proteges-turned-TV moguls, including Rachael Ray and Dr. Phil, McCarthy has been a frequent guest on "The Oprah Winfrey Show."

McCarthy talked to the chat queen about her struggles with her son's autism in conjunction with the releases of her best-selling books "Louder Than Words: A Mother's Journey in Healing Autism" and "Mother Warriors: A Nation of Parents Healing Autism Against All Odds."

McCarthy also was part of Winfrey's Friday Live panels twice, including this past Friday.

A former Playboy model, McCarthy burst on to the TV scene as a host of MTV's dating show "Singled Out," a gig that jump-started her acting career. She segued into writing with a string of best-selling books and became an activist.

McCarthy is repped by WMA and attorney Leigh Brecheen. (partialdiff)
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