Oprah Takes Over TV, Obama Poster FTW, ScarJo Sings Again, Plus More!

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HBOprah: It looks like Oprah continues to monopolize American culture, as she has signed a multi-year contract with HBO to produce TV series, movies and documentaries for the network. Interesting move from the home of Carrie Bradshaw and Tony Soprano — we can’t wait for HBO to get a million times more optimistic and inspiring. [EW]

Fairey tale: London’s Design Museum has released its shortlists for its 2009 Brit Insurance Design of the Year Awards. After this year’s win by Yves Behar, the contenders have a lot to live up to. Shepard Fairey is on the list in the Graphics category for his now-iconic Obama poster and campaign logo. Miuccia Prada, Steven Holl Architects and Alber Elbaz are also vying for awards. [Mediabistro]

Scarlett letters: After Scarlett Johansson’s surprisingly successful album of Tom Waits covers (appearing on some top-50 albums of the year lists), the actress-cum-crooner is considering another stab at recording. She says maybe she’ll try original material. But if it’s going to be more covers then she ambitiously opts for moody crooner Leonard Cohen. At least he’s too old now to notice. [Stereogum]

SF Ballet’s Nutcracker to air on TV: Helgi Tomasson’s version of The Nutcracker will air on PBS tonight, aiming to delight American audiences a week before Christmas. Performed by the San Francisco Ballet, the production includes lavish costumes (including an eight-pound headpiece for the Nutcracker himself) and an elaborate set. [Bloomberg]

Abrams, Ford to do comedy: J.J. Abrams (Lost, Star Trek), Harrison Ford and Rachel McAdams make an unlikely team, but the trio is planning to work together on a news comedy, Morning Glory, about a failing morning news show. We’re smitten with Abrams (okay, we’re smitten with Sawyer), so might this be good? [Variety]