We know a little bit more about Rosie O'Donnell's potential new show for NBC. This is thanks to our pals at the network and not Rosie, who’s keeping mum on all news this time around.
What I’m told is that Ben Silverman and Jeff Zucker like the idea — and it’s a great one that Rosie’s had for a long time. The new show could turn out to be a 2009 version of Carol Burnett or even "The Ed Sullivan Show.’
The latter would even be better with Rosie presenting it all live — as in not on tape — from a Broadway theater, possibly on Sunday night. The show would have skits but more importantly O’Donnell could feature all kinds of acts from comedy to drama to music — exactly what’s missing from prime time.
And what would be cooler than O’Donnell introducing famous folks who are in the audience but don’t necessarily want to do an interview? You could have Leonardo DiCaprio wave to the crowd while a new hot teeny-bopper group like the Jonas Brothers or a classic act like Cyndi Lauper performs live on stage.
Sources tell me that O’Donnell has been kicking this idea around since 2002. No one does live TV better than this comedienne, and with the potential for some kind of controversy every Sunday — something outrageous or cutting-edge — NBC would be certain to grab big numbers.
The first report of Rosie’s new show surfaced last week in a report from "Entertainment Weekly." But the details weren’t so clear then, especially the part of taking over a darkened Broadway theater.
Of course, there’s been talk of NBC doing some kind of prime-time variety show with Jay Leno once he steps down from the "Tonight" show in May 2009. But there’s plenty of room for different types of shows — especially since a Rosie program would be New York-centric while Leno remains a West Coaster.
Meanwhile, talk of Rosie appearing in the Hollywood Bowl all-star version of "Les Miserables" seems to be scotched. One of her kids, son Parker, has broken a wrist — and the dedicated mom doesn’t want to leave him at home. The show goes on, however, Aug. 8-10, with plenty of other stars.
The last show ever by Sting and The Police on Aug. 7 at Madison Square Garden is free, you know — that is, the group is not getting paid. All the money goes to PBS.
The show should be quite a finale after a year-long tour that’s made, I am told, north of $300 million. And like it or not, this is it. It’s the last "Message in a Bottle" from these ground-breakers ... ever. And craigslist and eBay are humming with deals for panicked last-minute tickets, but I’m told the Garden has a few seats left that they put out secretly leading up to the show. …
Lots of excitement about a Whitney Houston "comeback" single that was "leaked" on You Tube this weekend. "Like I Never Left" with Akon is kind of a teaser — but its "release" is also designed to encourage Whitney to finish her album already. Sources tell me she’s only completed a few tracks and it’s not nearly ready. Well, the single is fine! And Whitney should be happy to know that her fans are making amateur videos for "Like I Never Left" and posting them online. So Whitney, listen to what they’re saying. It’s time to wrap it up. …
Maybe I missed it, but I’m still waiting to see a proper obit in the Times for their beloved writer Monique Yazigi. She passed away last Wednesday much too early and very tragically for all who knew her. Monique was a bubbly presence with a hearty laugh and a perfectly nuanced take on the society types she often profiled in the Styles section of the paper. I will never forget her zipping around town in her Jeep Cherokee, just having a ball. Monique, you were the best! ...