No other family was as obsessed with TV in my neighborhood as mine was. We were allowed to watch TV 24 hours a day. And, we did. My favorite shows were 'Merv Griffin' and 'Mike Douglas.' I would literally run home from school everyday and switch them on. I hope we can bring back that kind of show to television."-- Rosie O'Donnell August 2000
Since premiering on June
10, 1996 to the highest debut ratings of any talk show this decade, "The
Rosie O'Donnell Show" has earned critical acclaim as well as a huge (and
ever-growing) public following.
Newsweek has dubbed Rosie O'Donnell the "Queen of Nice," TV Guide has likened her to Johnny Carson.
She is one of People magazine's "Most Intriguing People of 1996", one of Ladies' Home Journal's "Fascinating Women of the Year," as well as one of Barbara Walters' "10 Most Fascinating People of 1996," and Entertainment Weekly named her 1996's "Entertainer of the Year."
The hour-long, five-times-weekly syndicated show is a fresh, fun and welcome alternative to daytime television. In its short time on the air, "The Rosie O'Donnell Show" already has succeeded in putting the variety back into daytime television. It's a good ol' fashioned talk/variety show -- only updated and revitalized for a whole new generation of television viewers and those who are looking for a purely entertaining hour of TV during the day.-___________
Guests run the gamut from motion picture, prime time and daytime superstars to recording artists, authors, sports heroes, newsmakers and pop culture icons. The first few months of the series featured a stellar and diverse lineup of guests, including: George Clooney, Cher, Tony Bennett, Tipper Gore, Elton John, Bette Midler, Whitney Houston, Liza Minnelli, Meg Ryan, Denzel Washington, Mel Gibson, Gwyneth Paltrow, Jane Pauley, Katie Couric, the Duchess of York Sarah Ferguson, Shaquille O'Neal, Gloria Estefan, Demi Moore, Anne Rice, Luther Vandross, Terry McMillan, Miss Piggy and Elmo, Rosie's role model Mike Douglas and Rosie's dream man Tom Cruise, to name just a few.
Music is also an important element of the show. In addition to "John McD and the McDLTs" (the show's five-piece band headed by Broadway's own John McDaniel), the series features live musical performances from recording artists, dancers and Broadway hits (i.e., "Rent," "Bring in 'Da Noise, Bring in 'Da Funk," "Stomp," "Chicago" and "The King & I"). And, at the drop of a hat, Rosie displays her uncanny memory for TV theme songs and commercials (from the most popular to the most obscure), and wonders out loud what she could have been if her head wasn't filled with all this "useless information."
Popular recurring comedy bits include hilarious restaurant and movie reviews by Mort and Sylvia Drescher (parents of actress Fran), Koosh ball target contests and the occasional revamping of Groucho Marx's classic "Secret Word."
Rosie creates a "kick-off-your-shoes-and-stay-awhile" atmosphere. While she may not soft-shoe through interviews, she has no intention of embarrassing guests or prying into the parts of their lives that they are uncomfortable discussing.
Serving as executive producer with Rosie is talk show veteran Hilary Estey McLoughlin who brings a well-rounded background in development, marketing and current programming to the post. Estey McLoughlin has been with the program since its inception, playing an integral part in the development, launch and day-to-day production of the series in her former post as Vice President, Development, Telepictures Productions.
The series, distributed by Warner Bros. Domestic Television Distribution, has been cleared in more than 99% of the country. Originating from the NBC Studios at 30 Rockefeller Center in New York, "The Rosie O'Donnell Show" is a Kid Ro production in association with Telepictures Productions