Well that was quick. Just one month after ending her 25-year reign on daytime TV, speculation is intensifying that Oprah Winfrey could be headed back to the small screen as host of next February's 84th Annual Oscars.
The Chicago Sun-Times got the rumor mill churning with word that Winfrey is the top pick for the job, with Academy Awards execs hoping the media mogul can help expand the show's audience.
So is the onetime Oscar nominee actually thisclose to landing the big gig? We checked in with Oprah HQ and found out the report is...
Oprah's rep tells E! News that the Sun-Times report is "not true--it's only a rumor."
The Motion Picture Academy'sTeni Melidonian is also chiming in:
"Every year there's great interest and excitement about who will host the Oscars," Melidonian says. "With that, various rumors begin to take on a life of their own. This is a wonderful example of just that, and at this point, there is nothing for us to comment on regarding who is or is not on the rumored Oscar host list." The Academy hasn't even named a producer of the telecast--it's typically the producer who pitches ideas for the host.
Too bad. We could actually see Winfrey holding her own at the Oscars' helm. And if she ever did want the job, she'd only be the third solo female MC in the show's history (Ellen DeGeneres and Whoopi Goldberg have both hosted).
But this isn't the first time the Big O has been rumored to be hosting a major awards show.
In 2006, Winfrey denied reports she would be hosting the Tony Awards back when she was producing a stage version of The Color Purple.