Rosie O’Donnell is taking over Oprah Winfrey‘s former soundstage in Chicago, she announced Tuesday morning in a video to Harpo staffers.
“It’s me, Rosie O’Donnell, star of The Flintstones!” O’Donnell joked in a video, before hushing one of her four kids, “Quiet, mommy’s working!”
“I just wanted to say: Hi, I’m coming to Chicago. Yes, I am, and I’m thrilled about it. And I get to work with all of you, who have created magnificent television for two decades-plus,” she added. “Thank you, Oprah. And thank all you people there. Some of you are going to be sticking around and helping us make a kick-ass show for the Oprah Winfrey Network.”
O’Donnell will host a one-hour daytime talk show on Winfrey’s OWN. Winfrey will air her last talk show on May 25.
“There is an enormous personal respect and value to that little bit of real estate to Oprah,” Sheri Salata, president of Harpo Studios (and executive producer of the The Oprah Winfrey Show), tells the Chicago Sun Times. “I think it’s safe to say they have an excellent relationship.”
“It’s exciting for the neighborhood here, and certainly for Harpo. To have Rosie come here and do 130 original hours — it’s a lot of work. There’s a lot of energy and excitement,” she adds.
“Rosie so values Oprah’s team,” Salata goes on. “She’s thrilled to walk onto a stage that was once Oprah’s. It gives me a little tingle.”
There may even be a Rosie: Behind the Scenes.
“We might as well keep the cameras rolling,” Salata jokes.
O’Donnell has said her show will be less celebrity-focused than her prior Emmy-winning daytime show.
“The show will be about real people and real issues,” she told Oprah magazine. “I’ll focus on a single topic for one hour, things people deal with every day. Raising children. The education system in America. Autism. Relationships, health, weight, depression — and happy stuff too, of course. I envision the show being full of love and laughter.”