Broadway booster and Tony hostess Rosie O'Donnell won a Daytime Emmy Award May 15 for her eponymous talk show at the May 15 ceremony at Radio City Music Hall -- the same location where O'Donnell will hand out Tonys in less than a month. O'Donnell tied for the prize with Oprah Winfrey. The Emmy is the program's first; Winfrey has won nine previous times. O'Donnell's two-year-old, syndicated program has become the most influential television show in the theatre industry. Since she debuted, O'Donnell, an admitted theatre junkie, has devoted significant blocks of time to theatre artists and production numbers, bringing Broadway fare to a large television audience in a way not seen since the days of "The Ed Sullivan Show." In recent weeks, the casts of Ragtime, The Lion King, and Cabaret have performed. Upcoming programs will feature numbers from The Sound of Music and 1776. Some have credited O'Donnell's persistent stumping for the musical Titanic as having saving of that once troubled production.
O'Donnell helped announce the Tony Award nominations on May 4 and, on June 7, will host the Tony ceremony for the second year in a row. The winners of the Daytime Emmys are selected by members of the National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences and the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences.
-- By Robert Simonson