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Will Rosie O'Donnell's return to TV find favor with Emmy voters?

October 3, 2008 |  1:55 pm


Now that it has been confirmed that Rosie O'Donnell is returning to TV with a one-hour variety special on NBC, could she also be making another appearance in the Emmy race?

Airing Thanksgiving eve, this showcase of variety of acts with Rosie O'Donnell as ringmaster will serve as a backdoor pilot for a regular series.

Assuming that it is not a turkey, O'Donnell — who will be exec producing as well — could land another prime-time Emmy Award to join the one she won in 1999 for co-producing the Tony Awards, winner of best variety, musical or comedy special.

Though she did not pick up a nod for hosting that kudoscast, Rosie O'Donnell did compete for the individual performance in a variety program back in 1995 for her first HBO comedy special. Though she lost, given that it was to her childhood idol Barbra Streisand, one can assume she was happy just to be nominated.

For her daytime talker, O'Donnell won six consecutive daytime Emmy Awards for hosting (1997-2002) and another five (1998-2002) for producing. Since then, this mercurial talent has bounced around, landing for a controversy-filled season on "The View" and making headlines with incendiary postings on her own blog. Now, with a kinder, gentler O'Donnell in the offing — she promises "old-time variety, live from New York with a nod to Ed Sullivan, Carol Burnett and memories of Sonny and Cher" — she could well win over Emmy voters again.

Photo credit: Steve Fenn / Associated Press