Rosie O’Donnell finding Oprah Winfrey was in a league of her own
BY BILL ZWECKER March 7, 2012 9:06PM
Rosie O’Donnell gets a kiss from Dr. Mehmet Oz on “The Rosie Show.”
Updated: April 10, 2012 11:26AM
A s Rosie O’Donnell prepares to move on to what appears to be the next chapter in her professional life — with the comic supposedly bringing her OWN show to her New York roots — many Chicagoans likely are sad that she was unable to maintain Oprah Winfrey’s magnetic “pull” of celebrities to the Windy City.
It must be noted that OWN and O’Donnell spokesfolks have yet to comment on speculation about the show’s move to the Big Apple. It also should be said that it’s unfair to compare Rosie’s small audience share on the cable channel to the enormous ratings Winfrey pulled in as a syndicated broadcast phenomenon over a quarter century. If “Rosie” does relocate to New York, it will be far easier for her to attract A-list guests, no matter her ratings. Given the concentration of talkers there — from “Live With Kelly” to “The View” to Exposure on “The Oprah Winfrey Show” promised millions of viewers, compared to the roughly 200,000 “Rosie” has been averaging lately.
If “Rosie” does relocate to New York, it will be far easier for her to attract A-list guests, no matter her ratings. Given the concentration of talkers there — from “Live With Kelly” to “The View” toDavid Letterman’s “Late Show” — a stop at “Rosie” would be a no-brainer for a star promoting a film, a book or a charity project. Jumping on a plane to Chicago just for O’Donnell is another story.
Exposure on “The Oprah Winfrey Show” promised millions of viewers, compared to the roughly 200,000 “Rosie” has been averaging lately.
† The New York Daily News reports Houston attempted to reconnect with Jermaine Jackson — whom she had a fling with in the ’80s (while he was married to his first wife) — five years ago, as her marriage to Bobby Brown was collapsing. Nothing supposedly happened, but during her final months, she reportedly spoke frequently with Jackson, with whom she remained intrigued.
JONES JOURNEY: Though Micky Dolenz is respecting key Davy Jones family members’ wishes — to skip the private funeral for his Monkees bandmate — there supposedly were some relatives who wanted Dolenz and the other surviving Monkees present. Dolenz,
Dolenz,Peter Tork and Mike Nesmith all are expected at one of the proposed public memorials to Jones in New York and London, yet to be scheduled.
Nealon, who spent nine years on “Saturday Night Live,” has starred in the TV show “Weeds” and such films as “The Wedding Singer” and “Happy Gilmore.” His first book, Yes, You’re Pregnant, But What About Me?, was released in 2008.
† Broadway mainstay and Tony winner Laura Benanti — who starred on NBC’s short-lived “The Playboy Club” — will be the star attraction at the Goodman Theatre’s annual spring gala. The May 11 fete, chaired by Denise Stefan Ginascol and Renee Tyree, will be held at the Fairmont Hotel.
† Soap fans will want to know that Lisa Rinna , who is returning to “Days of Our Lives,” will join other cast members at the Chicago Flower & Garden Show preview Friday at Navy Pier. Among those expected are Kristian Alfonso, Deidre Hall, Lauren Koslow, Bryan Dattilo, Susan Seaforth-Hayes and Bill Hayes. The garden show will include a special “Days of Our Lives” display.
Bill Zwecker reports regularly on “Good Day Chicago” and “Fox Chicago News at 9.”