Oprah Winfrey made a surprise appearance at the Television Critics Association Summer 2011 Session in Beverly Hills on Friday to introduce her newest member of her Oprah Winfrey Network staff, Rosie O'Donnell.
The new Chief Executive Officer of OWN - Oprah herself - flew in from Hawaii especially to give the returning talk show host, who will helm "The Rosie Show," beginning October 10 at 7 PM ET/PT, a warm welcome.
"Last June I went to see Rosie and we talked about the idea of her coming to OWN," Oprah told reporters from the stage. "She could have gone to any other big broadcasters but she chose to align herself, her talent, her big vision with OWN... and I could not be prouder to have you with this family."
Rosie said the honor of working with Oprah, her new boss, is a thrill and she even had a pedicure done - the second ever in her life-- for Friday's presentation.
"It's a huge stamp of approval that's beyond anyone's dream," Rosie said of working with Oprah. "It's almost like being knighted in some way."
Rosie said she is already thinking of guests for the upcoming show and has her eye on a particular British comedian for her very first week of shows this fall.
"First week, I hope we'll get Russell Brand... I love the guy," she said of the funnyman, who she admitted she first came across when he hosted the MTV Movie Awards several years ago.
"I've been spending time with him in Miami and I just find him fascinating," she added, also noting she'd love to see British chanteuse Adele on her show.
Rosie said her new show isn't going to be too similar to her old syndicated talk show, which she did in her 30s and where she found herself in awe of celebrities like Barbra Streisand.
"I loved these people like Streisand, Tom Cruise. The concept that I could meet them [during the run of my last show] was beyond belief and now that I'm 50, both of these people have stayed in my house," she said, adding her new show is about growth. "It's gonna be one celebrity per show and they're gonna have something to talk about and want to come play.
"I'm gonna do my kind of comedy," she added of the diversity in her new program. "We'll have some audience segments and we're gonna end with one... game... because my goal was to host 'The Price is Right'... Then, [Bob Barker] retired and they chose Drew Carey... He's doing a fine job."
When asked if her new show would cover news-making events like the Casey Anthony trial, Rosie said it might, depending on the topic.
"I don't know why this one became the news driver that it did," she said of the Casey Anthony trial specifically. "We're not gonna look for controversy, but should it be germane... [or important to] current events, [we'll do it]"
Beyond that, Rosie said "The Rosie Show" will feature some behind the scenes stuff, showing her at her current spot in life.
"You're gonna see what it feels like to be 50 years old, to move to another city, to be divorced, which I never thought I would be... It wasn't what I thought it would be [at this age] ... You've got a blueprint when you're in your 20s and 30s and you get to your 50s and you're like holy crap, I didn't expect that."
At the end of the presentation, which Oprah watched from the wings, Rosie and her boss, grabbed each other's hands, before walking backstage with their arms around each other.
"The Rosie Show" premiers on October 10 on OWN.
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- Rosie O Donnell
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