November 21, 2005

Letterman finally gets Oprah to return

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Daytime talk queen Oprah Winfrey
will appear as a guest on David Letterman's late-night CBS show
next month, sealing a long, gradual thaw in the once-testy
relations between two of television's biggest stars.

Winfrey's visit to the "CBS Late Show with David Letterman"
is set for December 1, the same night as the red-carpet
premiere of the Broadway musical production of "The Color
Purple," which she is producing.

Letterman has pressed Winfrey to join him on the air since
Time magazine quoted her in 2003 vowing never to go on his show
again. She had said two guest stints on the old NBC "Late Night
with David Letterman" show during the 1980s left her feeling
"like the butt of his jokes."

At one point, Letterman even jokingly suggested that he and
Winfrey could patch up their differences in a "Super Bowl of
Love" officiated by self-help guru Dr. Phil McGraw, who himself
took a lot of ribbing from Letterman until becoming one of the
most popular "Late Show" guests.

Winfrey finally turned the tables on Letterman in December
2003 by inviting him to appear on her top-rated nationally
syndicated daytime show, an offer he acknowledged on his
program -- "Oprah no longer hates me" -- but never accepted.

A month earlier, Letterman revealed on his show that
Winfrey had sent him collection of children's book as a gift
marking the birth of his son, Harry.

It took the prospect of promoting a Winfrey-produced
Broadway musical on Letterman's New York-based show to bring
the two TV personalities together again. The 1985 film version
of "The Color Purple" was a milestone in Winfrey's career,
earning her an Oscar nomination for best supporting actress.

"What a big night that is going to be -- not only for us,
not only for Oprah, but for Broadway," Letterman said,
announcing Winfrey's upcoming guest appearance during Monday's
taping of his Manhattan-based show.

"Put bygones behind us," Letterman added, "the water under
the bridge, over the dam, wherever water goes -- standing in
your basement -- she's going to be here on this show and it's
going to be fantastic."