Rosie's Return Means Round Two With Barbara Walters
And it's a fight Rosie could win.
After Oprah announced that her 25 years on network television would end in September 2011, 'The View' beat out 'Ellen' in a battle for her coveted time slot. But after a brief peace, Rosie has already come out swinging against her former sparring partners.
"I [know] that 'The View' wants to be on in the Oprah spot," O'Donnell said yesterday on her Sirius Satellite radio program, adding that when Walters asked her when her new show would air, "I said, 'Oh yeah, the Oprah spot' -- to which Barbara's face goes slack-ish."
She was joking, but her glee at the exchange sets the tone for a pitched battle over who will be the new Diva of Daytime. So why will Rosie win?
And let's not forget the slew of Emmys she won during her six years at the helm of 'The Rosie O'Donnell Show,' including five consecutive awards for Best Talk Show. While O'Donnell is often portrayed as a "love her or hate her" figure, Finkelpearl believes that her essential popularity will win out. "When I think of Howard Stern or Bill O'Reilly, those are polarizing figures. With Rosie, she reaches much more of a mainstream audience than people give her credit for," he says.
And there's no question that Rosie is hungry for success. Another source, who has worked with O'Donnell in the past, told PopEater, "Rosie loves a fight, it energizes her. When she left 'The View' and clashed with Barbara, some people thought it was a put-on for the cameras, but she was really fired up. Rosie will relish a chance to go hand-to-hand with Barbara Walters on competing shows."
Rosie has already outined the plan for her new series. She told Entertainment Tonight that it will be "a single topic, hour-long show about life, love and laughter."
O'Donnell added that there won't be a desk or stars promoting their upcoming projects. "It's gonna be a lot different, because I'm a lot older, you know. It'll be a dozen years since leaving my own show when we go back on the air and I've grown a lot and I think that it's time," she said.
With Oprah leaving the stage and Ellen Degeneres diversifying into other formats, like 'American Idol,' the timing seems perfect for the one-time "Queen of Nice" to return to talk. Whether the "Nice"-ness will last in a battle with 'The View' remains to be seen.
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