In this handout from ABC News, Jenny McCarthy appears on...

In this handout from ABC News, Jenny McCarthy appears on "Good Morining America" April 01, 2009 in New York City. Credit: Getty

Actress, comedian, author and autism activist Jenny McCarthy - who also was the 1994 Playboy Playmate of the Year - must have made an impression on Oprah Winfrey during her frequent appearances on the chat-show queen's program - because Winfrey's Harpo Productions has signed her to star in her own show.

Where the program will appear is uncertain. The syndicated "Oprah Winfrey Show" is scheduled to end next year, and the new cable channel OWN: The Oprah Winfrey Network launches in January.

"We do not have anyone taking over for Oprah," a Harpo rep said in published reports. "We do have a development deal with Jenny McCarthy. We are exploring possibilities across a number of platforms."

There was no indication that any McCarthy show would air on OWN or would be syndicated on broadcast TV.

The blonde funny girl has proved herself as substantial in venues as far-flung as PBS' April 27 "Frontline" documentary "The Vaccine War," about the controversy over a claimed but highly disputed connection between the measles/mumps/rubella vaccine and autism. McCarthy, 37, and her actor-director ex-husband, John Mallory Asher, have an 8-year-old son, Evan, who was diagnosed with autism after having received the vaccine.

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