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Category: Rosie O'Donnell

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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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."


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

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Would losing Elisabeth Hasselbeck be Emmy winning for 'The View'?

October 7, 2008 | 10:43 am

Though the producers of "The View" deny the latest rumor that conservative co-host Elisabeth Hasselbeck is leaving the daytime talkfest, would it help the show's chances with the daytime Emmy Awards if she did depart?

While the revolving cast has been nominated as outstanding talk show hosts in each of the first 11 seasons, they have never won the award. Hasselbeck has been part of this losing team effort since 2005. The ladies of "The View" have sometimes blamed this losing streak on the possibility that Emmy voters have found at least one of them to dislike at various time. Could Hasselbeck be the problem most recently? The constant friction evident between her and her co-hosts makes for great TV viewing, but is it possible that TV academy members are taking the side of the majority, thus hurting the whole team's Emmy chances? It may seem unfair to gang up on poor Hasselbeck about this too — she really does get enough grief — but I do wonder about this sometimes.


Personally, I believe the real reason "The View" co-hosts haven't won the Emmy is because voters prefer solo hosts. Over more than 30 years of the category's existence, multiple-host nominees have never won. The voting pattern is clear. Heck, the only time Regis Philbin ever claimed this contest was in 2001 when he was temporarily in between co-hosts of "Live" and got nominated alone.

But if the other theory is true and "The View" losses can be blamed on the presence of one troublesome co-host amongst the batch, it's not to hard to identify who that might have been over time.

For the first nine years, that may well have been Star Jones, whose popularity plunged in direct relation to her ever-shrinking waistline.

Once Jones was jettisoned in 2006, hopes were high that new moderator Rosie O'Donnell's love affair with the daytime Emmy Awards would continue. After all, for hosting her own talkfest, she had won six consecutive Emmys against, among others, "The View" panel. Alas, while her run-ins with Hasselbeck made for gripping TV, they did not sit well with Emmy voters, who preferred the softer edges of Ellen DeGeneres. With O'Donnell's departure last year after only one season, Whoopi Goldberg came on board to steer the conversation. Yet even the presence of Goldberg — one of only 10 people to win the grand slam of Oscar, Emmy, Tony, and Grammy awards — could not win over Emmy voters last spring.

Perhaps creator and occasional co-host Barbara Walters would do well to reconsider her commitment to having the conservative voice of Hasselbeck heard at the table . . . and by Emmy voters.


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

Gold Derby nuggets: Rosie O'Donnell returns to TV ... 'Nottingham' loses Christian Bale? ... George Lucas on 'Indy V'

July 29, 2008 | 12:56 pm

Roger Friedman of Fox News offers an exclusive report on the details of the TV show that will bring daytime diva Rosie O'Donnell to prime time. He says, "The new show could turn out to be a 2009 version of Carol Burnett or even 'The Ed Sullivan Show.' The latter would even be better with Rosie presenting it all live — as in not on tape — from a Broadway theater, possibly on Sunday night. The show would have skits but more important Rosie O’Donnell could feature all kinds of acts from comedy to drama to music -- exactly what’s missing from prime time." The mercurial talent won six consecutive daytime Emmys for hosting her talker, another five for producing it, and a prime-time Emmy for producing the 1998 Tony Awards.


Lou Lumenick of the New York Post is following up on the just announced postponement of "Nottingham," Ridley Scott's revisionist take on the tale of Robin Hood, with bad boy Russell Crowe as the now good sheriff. While initial reports had shooting delayed due to scripting problems, Lou wonders, "If it's because of uncertainty over who will play the still unofficially cast role of Robin Hood, who is apparently a villain in this version (Sienna Miller was recently announced Maid Marion). As late as last week, the IMDB listed Christian Bale (Crowe's co-star in '3:10 to Yuma') as 'rumored' to swap his Batman tights for a more greenish hue. Today, IMDB lists Sam Riley ('Control') as 'rumored' to be playing Robin. Did Christian Bale bail because of his recent arrest? You'd think Universal would be much happier with the red-hot Christian Bale — even if they have to wait for him to straighten out his legal problems and maybe finish the two films he is reportedly currently shooting."

Anne Thompson of Variety faults the Times of London for "burying its lead in a long, unrevealing puff piece on George Lucas in conjunction with the upcoming release of the new 'Star Wars: Clone Wars' animated movie." Says Lucas to the Times on the possibility of another "Indiana Jones" picture: "If I can come up with another idea that they like, we’ll do another. Really, with the last one, Steven (Spielberg) wasn’t that enthusiastic. I was trying to persuade him. But now Steve is more amenable to doing another one. Yet we still have the issues about the direction we’d like to take. I’m in the future; Steven’s in the past. He’s trying to drag it back to the way they were, I’m trying to push it to a whole different place. So, still we have a sort of tension. This recent one came out of that. It’s kind of a hybrid of our own two ideas, so we’ll see where we are able to take the next one."

(Photos: ABC, Warner Bros.)

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

Tonys 2008: Can Whoopi Goldberg outdo Rosie O'Donnell as host?

May 8, 2008 | 12:36 pm

First Whoopi Goldberg took over for Rosie O'Donnell as moderator of "The View." Now she's been tapped to host the Whoopi_goldberg_oscars62nd annual Tony Awards on June 15. As theater fans recall, O'Donnell was an enthusiastic supporter of Broadway and hosted the Tonys three times (1997, 1998, 2000). Goldberg — one of only 10 people to win all four big awards in show biz —has hosted the Oscars four times and the Grammys once.

Rosie O'Donnell was unabashed at using her self-titled talk show to promote her upcoming hosting gigs and drew great ratings for this theater awards show that usually touts its desirable demographic over its numbers. While Whoopi Goldberg did make the announcement on today's installment of "The View," it is unclear how much time she will get to tout the Tony Awards in between Barbara Walters hawking her new memoir.

All we ask of Whoopi, who picked up two Emmy nods for hosting the Oscars, is that she not try to sing for her supper. While Rosie may have won an Emmy Award for producing the 1998 Tonycast, she did not get even an Emmy nom for individual achievement. To see why, watch and wince as Rosie hits all the wrong notes in this medley with Tony winners Patti Lupone, Betty Buckley and Jennifer Holliday. At least one of those divas (Patti) will be back this year.


(Photos: ABC)



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