Oprah Winfrey

is expanding her empire yet again.

O's company, Harpo Films, has inked a deal with HBO to "develop and produce scripted television programming for the network," the pay cabler says in a statement.

The deal comes at the end of the Big O's exclusive-rights deal with ABC, which most recently yielded the rad TV pic

Oprah Winfrey Presents: Mitch Albom's For One More Day

.

HBO honcho

Richard Plepler

says no specific programs have yet been discussed.

Alzheimer's strikes Falk

Peter Falk

, 81, who made his bones as one of

John Cassavetes

' regular actors, suffers from Alzheimer's disease and dementia, says the thesp's daughter,

Catherine Falk

, who says she should manage his affairs. In court papers filed in Los Angeles Superior Court, Catherine says her father is easily "deceived into transferring away property." She says she wants to protect his health and assets. A hearing has been scheduled for next month.

Quaid's settlement

Dennis Quaid

has reached a $750,000 settlement with Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in L.A. over a November 2007 incident when his then-two-week-old twins,

Thomas Boone

and

Zoe Grace

, were accidentally given a potentially deadly overdose of a blood thinner. The settlement does not affect a lawsuit filed by the actor and his wife,

Kimberly

, against the drug's makers, Baxter Healthcare Corp.

Casting news

Dark Angel

alum

Jessica Alba

will be the guest star on an hour-long episode of

The Office

following Super Bowl XLIII on Feb. 1.

Broadcast News

director

James L. Brooks

has cast

Reese Witherspoon

to star in a yet-to-be-titled comedy. This will be only the sixth picture directed by the film genius, whose last outing,

Spanglish

, came out in '04.

Striking news

Guess even celebs worry about the economy: Variety says more than 130 stars, including

George Clooney

,

Alan Alda

,

Matt Damon

,

Charlize Theron

and

Tom Hanks

, have asked Screen Actors Guild members to vote against the union's strike authorization. In a letter, the boldfacers said a strike would cause too much economic hardship.

Diamonds 4-ever? Not!

Whatever

Joel Madden

gifts his beloved

Nicole Richie

for Christmas, it won't be a diamond. "She's not really into diamonds," the Good Charlotte rockdude tells E!Online. So what will it be? Not sure, Madden says, except that it'll be creative: "She appreciates more of the creative." The couple's 11-month-old,

Harlow

, should expect "a lot of organic toys like wooden blocks," Madden said.

Bringing home the boy

Divorcé

Ryan Phillippe

will spend the holiday with the parents of his gf,

Abbie Cornish

, she told reporters.

"It's wonderful!" said Abbie, who has denied she is expecting Ryan's baby.

Hef, not so broken up

Octogenarian

Hugh Hefner

tells celeb show

Extra

that he was "blindsided" by his breakup with gf

Holly Madison

, who turns 29 on Tuesday, but he has recovered from his heartbreak. Said Hef: "Within two weeks, a pair of twins arrived and it turned out they were interested in being my girlfriends. Several girlfriends are easier to handle than one wife." Yuck.

On Jen's GQ cover

"Is it just me or is

Jennifer Aniston

getting hotter?"

Hefner says about the star's faux-nude GQ pose.

Jen's bf

John Mayer

is proud: "If you have a problem with that cover, go make bagels!"

More TV for Fishburne

Laurence Fishburne

, who last Thursday made his debut on

CSI: Crime Scene Investigation

, has signed a first-look development deal with

CSI

's producer, CBS Paramount Network TV.

This column contains information from Inquirer wire services. Contact "SideShow" at sideshow@phillynews.com.