In a video message that was recently shown to the Harpo staff, O'Donnell said, "Hello people of Harpo, it's me, Rosie O'Donnell, star of 'The Flintstones.'...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...It's a huge thrill for me, and I'm beyond the beyond. And thank you, Oprah. And thank all you people there, some of you who are going to be sticking around and helping us make a kick-ass show for the Oprah Winfrey Network. And that's it: Thrilled, thanks, and I hope I didn't blow the surprise. Figure you already knew. Right?"
The new hour-long talk show is scheduled to launch this fall.
Rosie O'Donnell made her Broadway debut as Rizzo in the 1994 revival of Grease!, played a limited engagement as the Cat in the Hat in the Ahrens-Flaherty musical Seussical, and portrayed Golde in the recent revival of Fiddler on the Roof. The performer also spent some time on the other side of the footlights as producer of the Broadway version of Boy George's Taboo.
O'Donnell rose to fame as a stand-up comic before landing roles in such films as "A League of Their Own," "Sleepless in Seattle," "The Flintsones" and "Exit to Eden." Her Emmy-winning talk show, "The Rosie O'Donnell Show," ran from 1996 to 2001, and her more recent TV credits include appearances on "Will & Grace" and "Queer as Folk" as well as the made-for-television movie "Riding the Bus with My Sister" and the cable series "Nip/Tuck." She also spent a year as co-host of ABC-TV's "The View."