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Category: Ellen DeGeneres

Watch out, Ellen Degeneres: Emmy rivals Rosie O'Donnell and Oprah Winfrey are teaming up

August 6, 2010 |  7:37 am

Rosie_odonnell_2Rosie O'Donnell is returning to TV next fall with a talk show on OWN -- the new cable net owned by Oprah Winfrey. In making the announcement, the two TV titans formed a mutual admiration society. Oprah said, "Rosie is an undeniable talent who has captivated TV audiences for nearly 20 years. She’s a true original, who brings her authentic voice, dynamic energy and pure passion to everything she does." And Rosie added, "It's an honor and a privilege to work with Oprah Winfrey on her network. I’m excited to be back on daytime television."

When Rosie first revealed her intention in March to try her hand at another talk show, there was speculation she might even land in Oprah's time slot when the queen of daytime signed off next summer. However, as Joseph Adalian reports, "local broadcasters hate taking risks and were no doubt worried about just what kind of show the sometimes-controversial ex-Queen of Nice might be planning, even though O'Donnell and her partners had made it clear she wasn't looking to turn into the female Keith Olbermann."

The press release promises "a fun, uplifting show with Ms. O'Donnell's playful and energetic style," and that certainly sounds a lot like Rosie's original daytime talker. That self-titled show dominated the Daytime Emmy Awards during a six-year run that began in 1996. A year after Rosie signed off in 2002, Ellen DeGeneres began her own show, and this new queen of nice now reigns over the TV kudos. However, with Rosie's return, we could soon see a repeat of the smackdown that dominated the Daytime Emmys in the late 1990s.

Rosie's gabfest won best talk show five years in a row (1998-2002) and she took home the best host award for all six years of the show's run (1997-2002). Her initial victories were especially impressive because Oprah hadn't bowed out of the Emmys yet. In 1998, Rosie beat Oprah for best talk show and they tied for the hosting trophy. Oprah dropped out of the host race in 1999 and the show race the following year.

Ellen DeGeneres won best talk show from 2004 to 2007 and talk show host from 2005 to 2008. In 2008 and 2009, she lost best talk/entertainment show to "Rachael Ray" while the gaggle on "The View" took the hosting prize in 2009. This year, Ellen bounced back with a win for best talk/entertainment show but refused to submit her name for consideration in the host category. Will she continue to opt out of this race now that Rosie looms on the horizon?

Photo: Rosie O'Donnell at the 1997 Daytime Emmy Awards. Credit: Steve Fenn / Associated Press

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Daytime Emmy predictions: Rachael Ray's show will triumph again

June 25, 2010 | 10:02 am

Two of our forum posters agree that "The Rachael Ray Show" will win the Daytime Emmy Award on Sunday for best talk show/entertainment for the third year in a row. Both Brian "BTN" Niven and Matthew "Boidiva02" Cormier viewed the same DVDs of sample episodes submitted to judges by the nominees, and they express their views in depth below. Also see our posters' predix for best drama series, lead actor and lead actress. Check out our special forum with predix in all races.

Rachael Ray Emmy

(Ranked by likelihood of winning)
1. "The Rachael Ray Show"
2. "The Ellen DeGeneres Show"
3. "Live With Regis and Kelly"

Ellen DeGeneres used to dominate the category and was beaten the last two years by Rachael Ray. I think that Rachel Ray will win again.

I watched Ellen DeGeneres' episode first because of her show's previous success with the Emmys. The episode is from October 2009. She talked about writing for O magazine, and I thought of her mentioning a previous big winner at the Emmys. Then she dances to an Usher song and talks about future shows. Michael Jackson's "This Is It" tour dancers perform.

Her first guest is Taylor Swift, and they talk about Ellen's launch party for her album and how Ellen deserves all the credit for its success. Swift talks about attending an election night party in 2008 where Stevie Wonder addressed the crowd after [Barack] Obama was announced the winner. They write a song together, which is a way for Taylor to guess Ellen's secret phrase for the day (which was "spiral staircase").

The second guest is Tim McGraw, who sings his song "Southern Voice." Then he and Ellen talk about his daughters, wife Faith Hill and his new cologne.

Then she talks to a single mother, and Ellen gives her a car and $10,000. Lots of screaming and hugging.

"Rachel Ray" has a Thanksgiving episode that starts with a narration by Morgan Freeman (!) in full Freeman narrating mode. You get background on the town of Wilmington, Ohio, which had just been hit with 10,000 job losses when DHL shut down its plant. Ray is there to redesign its soup kitchen and give the town a big Thanksgiving dinner feast with special guests The Fray singing "How to Save a Life" and "You Found Me." The show is really about the town, its people and its survival. Ray, I think, has like five minutes of screen time. It really didn't seem like that much. Powerful episode.

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Is Ellen DeGeneres wimping out at the Daytime Emmys?

May 12, 2010 |  6:30 pm

Ellen DeGeneres Daytime Emmy nominations news 2

"I didn't submit myself for the 'Best Talk Show Host' Emmy this year," Ellen DeGeneres said at her website today when her name was missing from the list of Daytime Emmy nominations. "I feel my steroid use gives me an unfair advantage."

Well, Ellen's steroid use didn't help her last year when she lost the Daytime Emmy for best host to the gals of "The View."

Prior to that, Ellen won the host award four years in a row. Are we now to believe — her steroid joshing aside — that she's "pulling an Oprah"? That is, presumably stepping aside in order to let other people win? That's what most people assumed today when the news broke that she didn't enter her name. However, Ellen's and Oprah Winfrey's actions may not be all that noble when you examine them closely.

When Oprah pulled out of the Daytime Emmys race for talk host in 1999, she had won the previous year, but in a tie with Rosie O'Donnell. The following year, when she yanked her TV program from competing for best talk show, it had lost twice in a row (1998, 1999) to Rosie's yakfest.

Are both Ellen and Oprah secretly furious that they no longer dominate a contest, so, diva style, they quit the game entirely to avoid further humiliation? For now, Ellen is still permitting her own talk show to compete in the program category, where it's lost the past two years after winning four years in a row (2004-2007). Next, will Ellen yank it from the program contest like Oprah did after multiple losses?

When Candice Bergen withdrew from the prime-time Emmy race in 1996, it was immediately after her fifth victory for lead comedy actress in "Murphy Brown." She's reentered the Emmy derby since then, nabbing two noms in the supporting race for "Boston Legal" (2006, 2008), but no wins.

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Can Rosie O'Donnell grab her old Emmy crown from Ellen DeGeneres?

March 23, 2010 |  9:27 am

Rosie_odonnell_2 Ellen DeGeneres needs to watch her Emmy back. Sure, she's been romping through the Daytime Emmys in recent years, but now Rosie O'Donnell is poised to return to the contest, turning it into a real heavyweight bout.

Back when Rosie O'Donnell had her original daytime gabfest, she won Daytime Emmys for best talk show five years in a row (1998-2002) and took home best host awards for all six years of the show's run (1997-2002). Her initial victories were especially impressive because Oprah Winfrey still hadn't bowed out of the Emmys yet. In 1998, Rosie beat Oprah for best talk show and they tied for the hosting trophy. Oprah dropped out of the host race in 1999 and the show race the following year.

Ellen DeGeneres has won both awards four times -- she took talk show host from 2004 to 2007 and talk show from 2005 to 2008. She proved particularly vulnerable last year -- even without Rosie in the race. She lost best talk/entertainment show to "Rachael Ray" and the host award to the gaggle on "The View." The latter outcome was a shockeroo considering that multiple hosts almost never win.

During Rosie's first TV run, she was still widely perceived to be the "Queen of Nice." Now many industry insiders consider her to be the "Queen of Mean," thanks to her reported diva antics. Also, on her old show, Rosie was still in the closet, pretending to be smitten with Tom Cruise. Do her old viewers feel deceived? Ellen's out and that doesn't appear to hurt her TV ratings. And she's the new "Queen of Nice," while Rosie is viewed as militant, sometimes hostile.

Although Rosie may or may not be replacing Oprah in her time slot, she does hope to emulate the soon-to-depart talker with the format for her new show. She told "Entertainment Tonight" that the program, which will begin airing in September 2011, will be "a single-topic, hourlong show about life, love and laughter" and that there will be "no desk" and "no celebs promoting movies," but that there "may be a few giveaways."


George Clooney cast his Oscar vote for Jeff Bridges -- really!

Aziz Ansari devours 'Twilight' to host MTV Movie Awards?

Emmy predix for best drama series: 'Breaking Bad,' 'Damages,' 'Dexter,' 'Mad Men' and ...?

Let's rank the Oscar hosts: Who was the best?

'The Mountaintop,' 'Spring Awakening' top Olivier Awards

Oscar bait 2011: Sneak peek at next year's front-runners

Photo: Rosie O'Donnell at the 1997 Daytime Emmy Awards. Credit: Steve Fenn / Associated Press

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Oscars are the Emmys' biggest winner

February 20, 2009 | 11:25 pm

The Oscars ceremony is the most honored television program in the history of the Emmys. The annual celebration of the best in movies has racked up 42 wins out of 185 nominations from the television academy. That puts it five Emmys ahead of "Frasier," with no end to the winning streak in sight. This year's Oscars promise to be something extra special and are sure to do well with the Emmys. In particular, expect host Hugh Jackman to be a strong contender in the individual performance category if his track record as the host of the Tony Awards is anything to go by — one win, two noms, three years hosting.


In recent years, the Oscars show has averaged seven or eight Emmy nominations per year in various technical categories as well as nods for the host and the program itself. Last year, Gil Cates produced his 14th Oscars and, while the show sagged in the ratings, it did earn nine Emmy nods, winning for art direction and direction of a variety, music or comedy program. Jon Stewart earned an individual nom for his second time hosting, but lost to Don Rickles ("Mr. Warmth"). And the program — shunted off to a special class category created just for awards shows — lost to the Tony Awards.

Two years ago Laura Ziskin returned for her second try as producer of the awards show, having helmed the 2002 telecast hosted by Whoopi Goldberg. The 2002 ceremony went one for eight at the Emmys, winning only for choreographer Debra Brown (a feat Debbie Allen never managed even with her "Schindler's List" ballet). And the 2006 Oscars won two of nine noms — art and music direction. Host Ellen DeGeneres lost the individual race to Tony Bennett ("An American Classic").

For the first 25 years that the Oscars were telecast, the shows earned little in the way of Emmys simply because the TV kudos didn't have categories to accommodate them. The first two Oscar telecasts, in 1953 and 1954, were huge ratings hits, but the first Emmy nomination came only with the third telecast, in 1955. The show competed in the category of best special event or news program. The NBC telecast — hosted by Bob Hope in L.A. and Thelma Ritter in NYC — along with the World Series, the Rose Bowl and even the Emmys, lost to the CBS coverage of the A-bomb tests. That Oscar night is remembered as much for who lost (Judy Garland in "A Star is Born") as for what won ("On the Waterfront" with eight statuettes).

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Can Hugh Jackman continue the Oscars' love affair with Emmys?

February 20, 2009 |  6:24 pm

Hugh Jackman certainly has the potential to be one of the all-time great Oscars hosts. A consummate showman, Hugh Jackman should be able to handle everything asked of him by Bill Condon and Laurence Mark, first-time producers of the Oscars. As you can see from this sneak peek of Hugh Jackman in rehearsals for Sunday's Oscars, he sure looks like he can deliver the old razzle dazzle. Bill Condon certainly knows all about that having adapted 2002 best picture "Chicago" from the Broadway tuner and directed another stage-to-screen musical — the spectacular "Dreamgirls" — in 2006 with Mark producing.

When Hugh Jackman hosted the Tony Awards for the second time in a row in 2004, he opened the show with a specially written version of "One Night Only" from "Dreamgirls," which was a Tony Award-winning best musical long before it was a film.

At the time Hugh Jackman was wowing Broadway audiences with his performance as showman Peter Allen in "The Boy From Oz," and he would win a Tony Award that night as best actor in a musical. During the Tonycast, he performed an electrifying number from the show, enlisting the help of a suddenly shy Sarah Jessica Parker.

For his 2004 hosting efforts, Hugh Jackman won the 2005 Emmy Award for best individual performance in a variety, musical or comedy program. He picked up another nod for hosting these Broadway kudos again the following year, but lost to Barry Manilow.

The last time the host of the Oscars took home an Emmy was back in 1998 when Billy Crystal won for his sixth time emceeing. Crystal had already won in 1991 for the second of four consecutive appearances and he was nominated for all but the first of his eight turns as host.

Whoopi Goldberg received an Emmy nomination for the first two of her four times hosting in 1993 and 1995, while Steve Martin picked up a nod for the first of his two appearances in 2000. Daytime Emmy darling Ellen DeGeneres was nominated for hosting in 2006, while Jon Stewart had to wait till the second of his two turns last year to get an Emmy nod.

And while David Letterman and Chris Rock are multiple Emmy winners, neither merited a nod for their dismal one-time hosting of the Oscars in 1994 and 2004, respectively.


Sneak Peek: See Hugh Jackman warming up his Oscar act

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VOTE: Who should host the next Emmys?

July 9, 2008 | 12:52 pm

Since ABC is telecasting the Emmys this September, the emcee will probably be Jimmy Kimmel. Networks usually tap their late-night hosts. However, the last time the alphabet web staged the telecast, we got stuck with we got the never-hilarious Garry Shandling. (Why? And why is that man still in show business?) But perhaps Emmy chiefs are actually open to suggestions? Let's hear yours. Since this discussion is already under way in our forums (CLICK HERE), I've culled some of those suggestions for this poll.

Let's see the ultimate Daytime Emmy smackdown between Oprah Winfrey and Ellen DeGeneres!

June 19, 2008 |  1:20 pm

Back in 1987, when Oprah Winfrey won Daytime Emmys for best talk show and host for the first time, Us Magazine reported that she celebrated by dancing "till the wee hours at two New York nightclubs."

Afterward, when she kept winning year after year, Oprah Winfrey no longer boogied up to the podium. She took herself and her show out of competition, quitting the race for best talk show host in 1999 and the series contest one year later.


Her reasons, Oprah being Oprah, were noble, of course. She wanted to let other folks get their share of Emmy gold and she still lets some of the staffers compete, including her directors, sound mixers, editors and makeup artists, for example. Oprah Winfrey's lighting directors can't seem to lose — they sweep their category year after year.

But by declining to compete for best talk show, she's denying her hard-working producers the chance to reap the recognition of their TV peers. Is that fair?

Right now Ellen DeGeneres is romping through both categories — program and host — apparently unbeatable, just like Oprah used to. It's not a fair and open contest anymore. No young newcomers are winning, which is what Oprah wanted to happen when she bowed out.

Memo to Oprah: Come back! Let's see the Emmy Battle of the Behemoths: Ellen DeGeneres vs. Oprah! No doubt Oprah's fans would like to see her return to the Emmy derby — and so would the Daytime Emmys, which are sagging in the TV Nielsens.

And hey, do you think Oprah even knows that she's got a pesky problem with Phil Donahue? While "The Oprah Winfrey Show" holds the record for most wins as best talk show, Phil has more Emmys for hosting.

Currently, here are the scores for best talk show: "The Oprah Winfrey Show" (9), "The Rosie O'Donnell Show" (7), "Donahue" (6), "The Merv Griffin Show" (6), "Martha Stewart Living" (5), "Ellen" (4).

Best talk show host: Phil Donahue 9, Oprah Winfrey 6, Rosie O'Donnell 6, Martha Stewart 4, Ellen DeGeneres 3.

Photos: AP, ABC

Will the wedding of Ellen DeGeneres and Portia de Rossi bring Emmy trouble?

May 16, 2008 | 11:16 am

Will Ellen DeGeneres' decision to marry long-time love Portia de Rossi hurt her chances with Emmy voters? In the wake of yesterday's California court ruling, the talk-show host announced today on her self-titled show that she intended to tie the knot with the "Arrested Development" beauty.

Ellen DeGeneres' talkfest has won the Emmy four years in a row beginning with its debut season in 2003-04 while she has taken talk show host for the last three years. DeGeneres is the only solo act competing for talk show host at next month's Daytime Emmys. Rival nominees the ladies of "The View" have explained away their 10-year losing streak by saying that there will always be one of them not to like. And Regis Philbin won his only hosting Emmy in 2001, in the wake of his controversial co-host, Kathie Lee Gifford, leaving.

Now Philbin is coupled with an equally sassy sidekick, Kelly Ripa. The twosome is back in the host race after being snubbed last year. Before that, they had lost six years in a row. As Philbin is getting a lifetime achievement award at this year's festivities, voters might decide that is reward enough for him.

Emmy voters unsure of DeGeneres may be tempted by the addition of awards darling Whoopi Goldberg (one of only 10 people to win the grand slam: Oscar, Emmy, Grammy and Tony) to the ever-changing cast of "The View." Will Emmy voters finally reward this female fivesome?

Ellen will flop as Oscar host (Part 2)

October 6, 2006 |  6:03 pm


Uh-oh. There's more reason than ever to believe that Ellen DeGeneres is gonna be a really lousy Oscar host!

She just told the New York Times that she won't insult people like Chris Rock did or get political like Jon Stewart! Has she already forgotten that the only time she's received decent reviews for hosting an awards show was when she got political at the Emmys in the aftermath of the Afghan invasion? In case you missed it, check out my original rant against Ellen as the choice for Oscar host, complete with quotations of reviews dissing her many bad jobs as kudocast emcee in the past — CLICK HERE!

"I know what the job is," she said. "It's to honor movies and to honor people who worked hard. Those people take it seriously. I'm there to make them feel good and take their minds off it a little bit and make it a fun night."

"I really am aware that no matter how strongly I feel about something, there's someone else who feels just as strongly about the exact opposite," she said. "Maybe because I was penalized in a way when I came out, there are certain areas that I am aware would get me in trouble," she added. "I talk about my life and I talk about Portia and it's not a big deal if it comes up. But it really doesn't come up."

Oh, gawd, reading that blah-blah, I'm already bored to tears and nominations are months away! Why, oh, why can't they hire some new brilliant choice like Tom Hanks or Jim Carrey? Why have they slotted a consistent, proven failure? Please click on the link above and read the rotten reviews she's received over and over again!

Photo: "I have a certain philosophy — that if it feels good, that if I feel good doing it, then it will just feel good to watch," Ellen says. (AMPAS)

Ellen will flop as Oscar host

September 8, 2006 |  2:01 am

Didn't I warn you back in January that Jon Stewart would be a poor Oscar emcee? Yes, and all I got in return were 1,472 nasty emails and no thanks.

Now Ellen DeGeneres?! I say no thank you and, excuse me: zzzzzzzzzz.

In general, Ellen has proven to be a dull, unremarkable awards-show host in the past — with one remarkable exception: when she saved the Emmys in 2001 after the TV awards had been delayed twice because of U.S. warring in Afghanistan, then had to go on up against the seventh game of the World Series. Ellen hit it out of the park that night. The next day the Hollywood Reporter hailed her in a headline correctly as "The Miracle Worker" after she welcomed viewers to "the 53rd, 54th and 55th Emmy Awards" and said how proud she was to have the job because "what would bug the Taliban more than seeing a gay woman in a suit surrounded by Jews?" Another highlight came when she emerged on stage later to face attendees, who'd been told to dress down for the occasion, wearing a rip-off of the swan gown Bjork once wore notoriously to the Oscars, noting, "I guess this is business casual."

Variety was not so appreciative of her hosting turn that night, by the way. While the tradepaper did acknowledge those highlights as "amusing," it noted that "some of her more laborious material was weak" and described the whole evening as a "sluggish three hours." Overall, however, it conceded, "DeGeneres' deadpan style was welcome, and her modest approach to her duties was appealing."

Now the bad news.

The last time she hosted the Emmycast, in 2005, Variety dismissed it as a "ho-hum affair that failed to deliver on officials' promises to be a more lively event. CBS presented a safe and uninspiring show that puttered along and got the job done with no sparks. Nothing that host Ellen DeGeneres said or did fell flat or rattled the roof with laughter." In general, the paper accused her of "flaccid, seemingly ad-libbed hosting."

Back in 1996 when she presided over the Grammys, Variety said the show "lacked fire — it was nearly as smooth and sanitary as TLC's lip-synched performance."

The Hollywood Reporter called that night one of "minimal thrills" and "low-octane efficiency" and begged the Grammys to come back the next year with "a host who can ignite the audience." The Grammys returned with DeGeneres again and the Hollywood Reporter called the result a "yawn-inducing" occasion, adding, "In three hours of bland presentations and forgettable musical numbers, appropriately flagged 'TV-PG' by the on-screen ratings designator, the 39th Annual Grammy Awards telecast seemed to reflect the current lack of excitement in the record industry. Host Ellen DeGeneres' humor never caught fire, and her remark, well into the ceremony, that 'it's a shame you don't see what happens during the commercials,' spoke unintentional volumes about what viewers did see."

So why are the Nielsen-plunging Oscars having such a consistently poor host head their next party? Are they crazy? Apparently so: they were so eager to announce the news that they did so four months before Jon Stewart was unveiled as the last emcee!

Ellen has many of the same drawbacks that Jon had. Neither are movie insiders. Jon's meager film credits include "Death to Smoochy" and "Big Daddy" (ouch! ouch! ) while Ellen appeared as a coach in "Coneheads" and the voice of a fish in "Finding Nemo." Sure, TV icon Johnny Carson pulled off the task successfully five times, but there's always an exception to a rule and, frankly, this rule sounds like a pretty good one: movie insiders should host movies' Big Night.

Don't believe me? I have two words for you: David Letterman.

Academy Awards telecast writer Bruce Vilanch once warned about picking an Oscar host: "You don't want (the audience) to feel like this is a person you jobbed in."

The Oscars are the film industry's annual family reunion and — sorry — Ellen ain't related. The night works best when kin presides over kin, as Steve Martin proved when he once addressed Mickey Rooney in the audience, saying, "Mickey, I'm sorry we couldn't get you a better seat, but Vin Diesel is here."

Or, at another Oscar show prior to the 2002 kudos for "The Pianist," back when industryites weren't quite ready yet to forgive one of their fugitive kind, Martin gasped: "Roman Polanski's here . . . . Get him! "

The chief reason the Oscars are giving Ellen the job and are so excited about it is — let's be honest — because she's so nice. Everybody likes her and she's kind of hip, being a lesbian and all that. Yes, yes, we all adore Ellen and she's funny and a niceypooh talk show host. But she has little potential to turn out to be a great Oscar host and that's what the film academy needs most next time up.

The first Oscar prediction this derby: Ellen won't be a disaster, but she won't be terrific either. Because expectations are so high at Hollywood's Super Bowl, that means she'll be remembered as a flop. So why should viewers bother tuning in?

If those viewers have seen many of her past Emmys and Grammys perfs, it's possible they won't. If it's OK to have a TV gal topline, then why not one who'd really wow us — like . . .

CLICK HERE to Continue Reading!

Photos: After failing at many past award shows, Ellen isn't the right fit for Oscar.

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