Wednesday, April 24, 2024

Rosie O’Donnell: Can She Save Oprah’s OWN Network?


Can Rosie O’Donnell save Oprah’s OWN network? My guess is, yes. Tonight at 7 eastern time, Rosie goes live with “The Rosie Show” and her first guest, Russell Brand. During the day she’ll do a warm up test show with Melissa Gilbert. It won’t happen overnight. But given that Discovery, which owns OWN, is turning over all their channels to Rosie’s debut, and putting a lot behind this, I think Rosie should have an easy comeback to talk TV. And the 7pm slot suits her: she can be a little bawdy, she doesn’t have to be the Nice Guy all the time. On the other hand, O’Donnell’s new show will certainly be upbeat and funny. It also has to stay away from national politics. What everyone needs now is entertainment. Rosie’s success could be pinned to her idea of emulating her heroes, Mike Douglas and Ed Sullivan. Rosie is on Channel 115 in Manhattan, by the way. You can look up OWN (I had no idea where it was) at

Early this morning she blogged about her anticipation of the first day. Here it is:

eggs r hatching
vulnerable exciting

write a blog
4 the new rosie dot com
due after lunch
its past midnight

watching conan
who always makes me laugh
poker on ESPN next
i pray for a dance mom marathon

tomorrow morning i tape my first test show
a live audience ready
melissa gilbert flying in to play
all in chicago

i have fallen in love with this city
and it came as a surprise
shocking – really
i knew nothing of chicago

its beauty is startling
the wide clean streets
smiling hellos
the buckingham fountain took my breath away

tonight at GIBSONS steak house
i met a man named mo
who waits tables with such style and grace
survived a heart attack last year

a young couple newly engaged
so completely happy
ready 2 begin
life together

in the next booth
an 89 year old woman
with her daughter and adult grandson
jewish perfect real

another woman from africa
with the most genuine smile
eyes that sparkled as she squirted soap into my palms
here 4 only 8 months

as i prepare to return
2 something much bigger than a show
i am reminded how lucky i am
have always been

thank u oprah
here we go


Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.

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