OPRAH REMAINS: The talk show queen of queens has changed her mind about retiring from her syndicated “Oprah Winfrey Show” at the end of the 2005-06 season and is close to sealing a deal to renew her program for two more seasons, through 2007-08, said the Hollywood Reporter. For several weeks, Winfrey, 49, has been quietly negotiating with distributor King World Productions and seven ABC-owned stations that form the show’s affiliate base, reports the trade paper. Last year, Winfrey — one of the wealthiest people in showbiz — had announced she would bow out of her program in 2006. This week, TV execs and viewers breathed a huge sigh of relief.
REESE’S SPECIES: It’s official: Reese Witherspoon and her husband of four years, actor Ryan Phillippe, will become parents for a second time, the “Legally Blonde” star confirmed to Jay Leno on the “Tonight” show. After much speculation (but no official confirmation from the mom-to-be), Witherspoon, 27, said she and Phillippe, 28, learned she was pregnant after returning from a second honeymoon in the Caribbean. The arrival is reportedly due in December. Daughter Ava Elizabeth Phillippe turns 4 in September.
WILLS’S WAY: A British tabloid reported that Prince William is considering a move to the Big Apple, and, according to the Associated Press, the Palace did not deny the story — entirely. The Sunday Mirror said William, who turns 21 next month, may seek a postgraduate degree at an American college, or else a job with a U.S. art auction house or gallery. A spokesman for St. James’ Palace, the office of William’s father Prince Charles, stressed that a final decision about William’s future had yet to been made. “He has two years left at university. Anything about what he might do then is pure speculation.”
STARS’ WAR: Christina Aguilera, Angelina Jolie, Mariah Carey, Ashanti, Justin Timberlake and Arnold Schwarzenegger are rising to the defense of 12-year-old Ali Ismail Abbas, a limbless Iraqi orphan who has become a symbol of civilian suffering in the recent war. According to France’s AFP news agency, the all-star group of angels is working to bring the boy to Los Angeles for medical treatment. “My hope is that with the help of these stars we can raise enough money to cover his medical treatment and then take care of this child for the rest of his life,” said Hollywood marketing expert Cheryl Schuman, who helped organize the effort.
IT’S THE WORD: Paramount Pictures announced that it is planning “Grease 3,” a sequel to the sequel of the original 1978 monster hit starring John Travolta and Olivia Newton-John, said the Hollywood Reporter. The story of the new movie, to be set in the ’70s disco era, will involve the children of Travolta and Newton-John’s characters (Danny and Sandy), and both Travolta, now 49, and Newton-John, 54, have been informed that their services will be sought.