TV Bites: HBO Liberates Oprah


· Following her eye-opening Jenna Jameson interview, Oprah will expand her horizons with a sexually charged hourlong series on HBO. The Harpo Films production will follow a woman who "leaves her seemingly perfect marriage and children in Santa Monica for the underbelly of L.A., where she indulges her secret fantasies and desires." Lest anyone think these "secret fantasies" are just barrels of liquid chocolate flown first-class from Switzerland and the cuddliest cashmere sweater capes, the pilot is being written by Secretary scribe Erin Cressida Wilson. [Variety]

Courteney Cox shuts down Cougartown, Avatar rattles Fox's Bones, and more TV Bites after the jump.

· While Oprah liberates herself on premium cable, her former personal chef, Art Smith, who competed in last year's Top Chef Masters has landed his own show on TLC called Craving Comfort. The southern chef will travel the country, exploring variations on classic comfort foods like apple pie, fried chicken and macaroni and cheese. [Hollywood Reporter]

· On December 3, pour yourself a nice tall Blue Lagoon, tune into Bones and take a sip every time the quirky detective drama mentions James Cameron's Avatar. Fox, which airs Bones and is a sister wing of Avatar studio 20th Century Fox, has packed the episode with more than the four references captured in this promo alone. Can you count more? [Slash Film]

· Production on ABC's Cougar Town was shut down late last week so that Courteney Cox could deal with a family matter. [Hollywood Reporter]

· TLC will try to free mall cops nationwide of their anger-plagued, schlumpy Segway-riding stereotypes (thanks to Paul Blart and Observe and Report's Ronnie Barnhardt) with a reality series chronicling the security detail at America's second largest mall. Mall Cops: Mall of America will premiere in 2010. [Hollywood Reporter]

· Premium cable, low-stakes crime-fighting does pay. Just ask Bored to Death creator Jonathan Ames who has reaped many benefits from his HBO program including television fame, Zach Galifianakis's phone number and now the weed-smoking device featured prominently in one episode: "[Production] gave us a vaporizer. Yeah ... it's really good. Was yesterday Monday? So Sunday, I vaporized mid-day. I love it. I love my vaporizer. One bag, it's like getting heroin." [Vulture]


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