Rosie O'Donnell returns to daytime TV on Oprah's net
Want to know what Oprah Winfrey thinks of public television?
Oprah Winfrey spits on public television.
Oprah Winfrey announces that Rosie O'Donnell is returning to daytime TV in a talk show (gak) on The Oprah Winfrey Network, in the middle of PBS's day at Summer TV Press Tour 2010 when, if she'd waited until the next morning, she could have announced it during Discovery's day at the tour -- Discovery being Oprah's partner in OWN.
So instead of listening to Benazir Bhutto's cousin Mahin Hemmat, and Pakistan's ambassador to the United States Husain Haqqani talk about a new PBS Independent Lens project, "Bhutto," they were madly typing on their laptops about how the sometimes polarizing Rosie -- or, as Oprah's camp calls her, "Multiple Emmy award-winning television host, celebrated performer, renowned philanthropist, and all-around talent, Rosie O'Donnell -- has had a love hate relationship with daytime TV for years.
From 1996 to 2002, she hosted the syndicated daytime talk show "The Rosie O'Donnell Show" during which time she won six consecutive Daytime Emmy Awards for best talk show. She left because, she said at the time, she wanted to do other things.
But that didn't take and she accepted the gig as Meredith Vieira's replacement on ABC's daytime talk show "The View" in 2006, where she had some interesting exchanges of ideas with Donald Trump about her body type, her sexual partner, and the role of beauty pageant owners. This resulted in a hefty 27 percent ratings increase for that show but even so, show exec producer Barbara Walters was not sorry to see Rosie go after a single spectacular train-wreck of a season, and they did not part friends.
After that, Rosie made an unofficial run to helm CBS's re-mounting of "The Price is Right" early in that show's development, but that gig went instead to Drew Carey.
Rosie's as yet unnamed daily, daytime, one hour talk show will be based in New York where she lives with her children. OWN promises "fans can anticipate a fun, uplifting show with Ms. O'Donnell's playful and energetic style." And, presumably, Rosie will do her part to contribute to OWN's mission to "entertain, inform and inspire people to live their best lives."
Here's hoping PBS can return the favor to Discovery on Friday.
Lisa de Moraes
August 5, 2010; 8:26 PM ET
Categories: TV News
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