Forget the N-word. If you really want to see Elisabeth Hasselbeck cry,
try uttering the R-word — especially in this next context.
Multiple sources confirm to me exclusively that Hasselbeck’s former View
nemesis, Rosie O’Donnell, is in active talks with NBC to return to
television with her own weekly primetime variety show.
The news comes just as the Peacock is said to be courting exiting
Tonight Show host Jay Leno for a similar gig. It’s possible O’Donnell’s
series would be a fallback in case Leno defects to ABC after his
late-night reign ends next year (as many expect he will). NBC was unavailable for comment.
The possible NBC-O’Donnell hook-up is particularly ironic in light of
the fact that less than a year ago the network’s cable news arm, MSNBC,
was close to giving the Koosh Ball-lovin’ funny lady her own one-hour
showcase. But when word of the discussions leaked out before the ink
was dry, O’Donnell claimed the network “panicked” and the deal went
O’Donnell’s rep declined to comment, but an insider with knowledge of
the Peacock negotiations tells me that NBC isn’t the only major network
making a play for the ex-View moderator. CBS is (or was) also said to
be interested in giving the ratings magnet her own series, but at this
point, NBC is said to have the upper hand.
My take: This is great news for O’Donnell, who’s getting the biggest
platform of her career, and NBC, which could certainly use some of her
ratings mojo. The average viewer also makes out pretty good, because
we’d (presumably) get O’Donnell doing what she does best: making us laugh.
Agree/disagree? Sound off below!