Back in July, we reported a story that originated in EW’s Ausiello Files that Rosie O’Donnell was in talks with NBC for a primetime hour long variety show. At that time it sounded like it would be an ongoing show that aired weekly.
Rosie has confirmed in a statement that she has an upcoming hour long variety show with NBC, but it’s just a holiday special at this point. Rosie’s show will air the night before Thanksgiving and will have celebrity guests, music numbers, comedy and a giveaway. She says her show is inspired by the great variety shows of decades past. If this is a hit for Rosie, it’s likely to become a weekly show on NBC:
Nearly two months to the day since I brought you news of the Peacock-Ro talks, the polarizing funny lady has inked a deal with NBC to headline an hour-long variety show/backdoor pilot to air live in prime time on Thanksgiving eve, Nov. 26.
Appropriately titled Rosie’s Variety Hour, the special will kick off with a topical monologue and feature celebrity guests, musical acts, comedy skits, and a “giant” giveaway for both the in-studio and home audiences.
“This is a dream come true for any performer,” O’Donnell said in a statement. “Old time variety, live from New York with a nod to Ed Sullivan, Carol Burnett and memories of Sonny and Cher.”
For now, Rosie’s Variety Hour is just a one-off special. But if this thing’s a hit — and, c’mon, how could it not be — you can bet it’ll become a regular fixture on NBC’s schedule.
Rosie’s talk show ran for six years, from 1996 to 2002, and was a big hit. She was so much fun as the hostess and her enthusiasm when she met celebrities was contagious. It was only when she was on The View sparring with Elisabeth Hasselbeck that the shine came off and she started to seem abrasive and unwavering in her opinion. When Rosie is running the show, things usually remain upbeat. As long as she keeps it light and fun the show should be a success for her. She can occasionally insert politics if she wants, but it should be in the spirit of comedy because controversial topics go down a lot easier when you’re laughing. NBC will first see how well she does, and how the audience perceives her, before making a commitment for a longer running show. In Rosie’s case that seems like the best way to handle things.
Rosie O’Donnell is shown performing in her True Colors tour in Sunrise, FL with Deborah Cox on 06/19/08. I went to the True Colors Tour Website (link has automatic music) to learn more about it, and just left it up because the music was so good. She definitely has some talented musician friends to bring on for this show.
Photo Credit: A. Gilbert / PR Photos