Rosie O’Donnell Looks For Her Inner Oprah
As the jockeying in daytime TV continues in anticipation of Oprah Winfrey’s departure in 2011, a new contender to Winfrey’s throne emerged last week: Rosie O’Donnell. Three years after O’Donnell hustled out of her gig on The View following an on-air argument with cohost Elisabeth Hasselbeck, the 48-year-old comedian announced plans to return to the genre that once earned her the title ”The Queen of Nice.”
Together with two former Warner Bros. execs who helped launch The Rosie O’Donnell Show in 1996, O’Donnell hopes to follow Winfrey’s lead by doing shows with and without celebrities, focusing on a single topic. ”This is really about Rosie’s call to action to find a way to bring some good, positive energy back into the world,” says Scott Carlin, who formed a company with O’Donnell and Dick Robertson to produce and distribute the proposed show. ”This is clearly a tipping point in daytime TV. Here’s a chance to get out there and do something that’s exciting, not polarizing.”
That last part might take some convincing. Her talk show won multiple Emmys from 1996 to 2002, but O’Donnell began losing audiences in later years when she used it as a political platform. (She came out as a lesbian just before the show ended.) Her ability to speak her mind led to record ratings on The View, but that same outspokenness helped spark the fireworks that ended her stint. ”The Rosie of the original daytime show has evolved into a much more complex person that isn’t as nice,” says Brent Baer of the ad-buying firm MediaVest. ”I think people will definitely tune in to see what it’s about, but they may keep watching to see the train wreck.”
— Lynette Rice
Will Leonardo DiCaprio Play J. Edgar Hoover for Clint Eastwood?
He’s worked with Martin Scorsese, James Cameron, and Steven Spielberg. Now Leonardo DiCaprio may be circling Clint Eastwood’s next film, a biopic about the notorious FBI director J. Edgar Hoover. No deal is yet in place, but DiCaprio confirms that he has met with Eastwood on the project, from Milk screenwriter Dustin Lance Black. ”It sounds interesting, to say the least,” DiCaprio tells EW. ”There’s no contract, no anything, but I’m a huge fan of Clint’s.” The movie will track Hoover’s long tenure at and influence on the FBI. Brian Grazer and his Imagine Entertainment are producing. DiCaprio can next be seen in Christopher Nolan’s summer drama Inception.
— Nicole Sperling