Rosie O’Donnell NOW PLAYING in Chicago on OWN Gives Interviews Today


Rosie O’Donnell is  bringing her wisdom, talent and brilliant sense of humor (and don’t forget NICE!) to THE ROSIE SHOW.  Airing begins October 10th on OWN.

At the heart of the show is Rosie’s genuine desire to entertain, inspire and connect with America.  As a down-to-earth mother, passionate advocate for children and all-around inquisitive individual, Rosie will relate to her audience in meaningful ways-touching their hearts, sparking their minds and making them laugh.

The out, proud mom of four is ever funny, packed with high-energy and AUTHENTIC – a talk show with a heart – no two days of THE ROSIE SHOW will be alike. Rosie will cover current events, spotlight hometown heroes and newsmakers, showcase the arts, celebrate kids and families, as well as feature well-known and upcoming talent. All done here in Chicago at Harpo Studios.

I caught up Rosie today in between press meetings. Shows will be taped and aired the same day to be relevant.

I am very excited to be here in Chicago. I really didn’t know much about Chicago. I had only been here a few times. BUT WOW!  Chicago is EPICALLY BEAUTIFUL!  I  got a  Segway tour last week and we covered about 10 miles.

The other day in Chicago, I went to Millennium Park, to a Broadway concert. I’m acting as if I’m allowed to live like this, and the people in the city are allowing me.  It feels good to be here.  I even had to wait for a table at Gino’s East. I walked in, and they said, “Name?” I said, “Rosie.” They said, “Hi, Rosie. Welcome to Chicago. Sit down, it’ll be 20 minutes.” It wasn’t like there was a line outside—and there were empty tables, too!  I thought, Well, this is going to take some getting used to, but it’s a good lesson!”

I was stuck in a hotel downtown for my first couple months here, but now have purchased a condo in Lakeview. One of the producers had owned the condo, it was totally redone and I told him I wanted it. Furnished. Leave me a couple night shirts and even some toilet paper. Everything!  So I bought it!”
  she  laughs!

 “It’s in a cool neighborhood, I can walk everywhere, walk to restaurants…I love it. Eveveryone keeps warning me about  the WINTER. The COLD. My new place has a heated garage and even the roof deck has this melting device – so I think I am ready! I am just very excited to be here. The outpouring of love and support has been truly wonderful!”

Lucky for Chicago, Oprah grabbed Rosie when she did. Rosie had an offer on the table from NBC for a show. “Something kept me from signing on the dotted line. I had the contract on my desk for over week.  But network TV didn’t feel right. And then,  Oprah and I had a 4 hour meeting, and that was it.”

The Rosie Show is destined for greatness. This is just what OWN  needed. The network has gotten off to slow start but the Rosie Show is just the shot in the arm, the network needs.   O’Donnell isn’t worried about her new home on OWN. “I have tremendous faith in Oprah’s  ability to do almost anything,” she says. “When she puts her mind to anything, it gets down. People ask if I feel pressure. I feel nothing but privilege, really.” She lated added, “If you look at the launch of any cable channel, it takes three years. The people are just waiting for us to fill up the programming. Its going to be a huge hit like everything else Oprah touches.”

OPRAH  SAID, “In 25 years of doing my show, only one competitor ever seriously challenged me in the ratings: Rosie O’Donnell. From the day Rosie took her place among the crowded field of talk show hosts, I knew she had that “It” thing: She was as sharp as she was authentic, as forthright as she was funny. During six seasons of NBC’s The Rosie O’Donnell Show, she not only won 11 Emmys—she knew how to use her screen time to truly connect.”

One thing that sounds really great about the new show, is its not about quantity, but quality of guests. Rather than trying to cram in 3 guests a day for 5 minute spots,  the show will feature one guest on for several segments. 

Since I’ve been off the air, television has become saturated with celebrities. In America we’re addicted in a way that’s embarrassing. So it’s not going to be all about celebrity. It’ll be a celebration of humanity, of connection, of authenticity and love.

Because it’s on at 7, we’re going to do a hybrid between a late-night show and a daytime show. We’ll incorporate the audience. We’ll use Twitter. We’ll use Facebook. We’ve come up with a new kind of talk show that mixes the old single-topic format with fun and social media. So it will have a reality feel. We’ll have to get the kinks out, but the same way I knew the first one would work, I know this will work

Watch for a star studded opening week including a who’s who list of stars! Appearances by Salma Hyek, Lisa Kudrow, Gloria Estefan, Roseanne Barr, Sharon and Kelly Osborne, Ricky Lake, Gloria Steinem, Wanda Sykes, the cast of Priscilla Queen of the Desert. Kevin Bacon, Fran Drescher , but she still has a wish list of other stars. “Adele has throat issues but as soon as she’s up and healthy she’ll be on,” she says. “I want to have Melissa McCarthy on. Never seen anyone as funny their first time as host of ‘Saturday Night Live.’ Emma Stone… Ryan Gosling I think is an amazing actor. I have a huge wish list.”

I’m going to come out and do stand-up with a mic. I don’t really tell jokes and my stand-up was always more about stories, so I need a mic and a stand. I felt like Henny Youngman [without it]. I’ll do about ten minutes of stand up, then take questions from the audience like Carol Burnett did. So we’re gonna have a real lengthy sit down interview, not always a celebrity with something to promote. Then we have a human interest segment and we play a game at the end of every show…. This will be more fun than anyone imagined. I cheat, but it’s still fun.”

Whether it’s hilarious comedy and game segments, (Rosie LOVES The Price is Right) a live performance by a major recording artist, a celebrity visit, or a discussion of an issue important to Americans, THE ROSIE SHOW’s candid exploration of a wide variety of subjects will encourage all of us to laugh, love and live our best lives.

JERRY NUNN, freelance writer in Chicago, asked Rosie if we would see her at Sidetrack for  Sunday ShowTunes anytime soon. “OH MY GOSH, WHEN?   I didn’t know about it!! Will they play THE RINK with Chita Rivera and Liza Minnelli?? Very few people know the words to that. I could have a solo.  I know all of the words!  I could perform it!”  –  so keep an eye out for Rosie at Sidetracks!

* I have RCN and OWN is part of a news and information package I had to buy, for an additional $5.95 a month. But hey, it’ll be worth it!