When The Oprah Winfrey Show left Chicago after 25 years, the stage at Harpo Studios was left empty – but that is no longer the case. As of October 10, Rosie O’Donnell has taken up residency and is OWNing the spotlight. Airing weekdays at 6pm on the Oprah Winfrey Network (OWN), The Rosie Show hosts diverse actors, musicians, public figures, and members of the community.
On Monday, November 14, I had the opportunity to attend a taping of the show. In the element of full disclosure, I have been a fan for many years, so I was excited to be there.
From the very start – standing in line to getting to our seats – the staff and experience started out on a high note. As my good friend and I sat down in front of the band, a producer came out and encouraged us to be ourselves and to have fun. Soon after that, Rosie took to the stage and made everyone feel even more comfortable. She was engaging as she interacted with audience members; encouraging us to ask questions.
As a film student, it was interesting to see the cameras and producers at work. The stage floor rotated and each piece of the background was changed depending on the event. For the game show segment, the band played their tunes and Rosie asked questions about celebrities. Check out the photo above I took from my seat – look at all of that confetti!
The guests for the day were Chaz Bono and Rachael Ray. From Dancing With The Stars to cooking food for Thanksgiving, each had a meaningful interview. Chaz surprised the audience and a fellow guest with his appearance and Rachael Ray cooked up some colorful sweet potatoes.
At the end of the taping, Rosie stayed on stage and continued to take questions. “Was there a teacher who inspired you?” “Will you attend our fundraiser?” No matter the question, she had an answer. From the beginning to the end, we were encouraged to have fun and to be ourselves – and we did. Chicago is lucky to have this leading lady in the city.
Shocking title I know – someone who beat me to the paper just texted it to me! Just wanted to confirm its true and that I couldn’t be more excited! Although I’m sad to see Oprah leave on the 25th, I’m thrilled to join the on-air team for the NEW ABC morning talk show filling her time slot (9a) the very next day (5/26) with such a wonderful group of talent, execs, crew…I can’t wait!
I’m most excited for you all to see my every Thursday segment about Entertainment/Buzz/Social Media/Events (set your DVR’s now just in case!).. But don’t just tune in then, as you never know when or where I might pop up elsewhere on the show… not to mention everyone on it rocks!
As always, follow me on www.twitter.com/BillyDec & www.facebook.com/BillyDec not only for what’s happening behind the scenes & what’s to come, but also to shoot me any events, trends, stories… you think I should share on the show!! Speaking of, be sure to follow http://twitter.com/#!/WindyCityLIVE & http://www.facebook.com/WindyCityLIVE?sk=wall as well!!
Shoutout to all on our team…President & General Manager Emily Barr, Executive Producer Marlaine Selip, Supervising Producer Cindy Patrasso, Senior Producer Hank Mendheim, Co-Host Ryan Chiaverini, Co-Host Val Warner, Producers Dan Barbossa, Mary Hynes, David Plummer and Matt Knutson, Producer/Editor Jared Hoffa, Director Greg Klazura, Associate Producers Jessie Kalin, Dawn Watkins, Ji Suk Yi and Lynne Wisnesfski and the Producer for my segments Emerald-Jane Hunter (who was my Producer when I Hosted her show on NBC!), all our fabulous interns Anna Simovska, Chelsea Collins, Courtney Mosley, Dana Weems, Myke Marinkovich, Steven Hurn… And the many many many other great people on set and behind the scenes that I can’t even name because the list is so long and wonderful.. Hope you all tune in and support!
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As a past guest on oprah radio (click here to hear my radio reel w/a funny clip of me on it!) w/ sex & relationship expert Dr. Laura Berman, I was asked to help spread word about a casting call for her new show “In the Bedroom with Dr. Laura Berman” for Oprah’s new channel, OWN!
as chicago’s very own world-renowned sex & relationship expert, dr. berman is looking for couples in the Chicago area that need help with their sex life & relationships. If you & your significant other are struggling to keep the spark alive, Dr. Berman is looking to show you how to get exactly what you want to have a better relationship inside & outside the bedroom! For further details and to apply to the show, visit www.oprah.com/drberman.
I absolutely loved being live on NBC w/ anchor Marion Brooks for the Oprah taping yesterday on Michigan avenue! Check out the video above- it was so official, up above the crowd stage-side all mic’ed up, filming live while praising the beauty of our great city, the energy of Chicagoans, the talent of Oprah, all the positive exposure she has brought to Chicago and how that translates into value for all of us… wait till you see when it airs tomorrow morning for the world to be blown away by our beauty… you will know what I’m talking about.
Yesterday I started as a guest on Mancow / wls 890am … listening to him scream at me & everyone else angry-faced about obama, david carradine, patty blagojevich and all kinds of crazy stuff… while I’m there to talk about how rockit won “best burger” in the country… (so random right?)… totally live, syndicated, I’m sure with a bajillion people listening… just wondering, what the heck am I doing here?
Then I get out only to go to my gig at harpo studios to be a special guest on oprah xm radio (click here to listen!) sitting in a quiet calm recording studio w/ dr. laura berman talking sex, dating, relationships, love,… also w/a bajillion listeners from all over the country… only this time w/ more love interested women listening than angry opinionated men… again wondering, what the heck am I doing here?
Unfortunately I didn’t come up w/ any answers… but I thanked god that he let me be there to experience it all… and that I live in a community w/ some of the greatest entertainers in the world w/ different backgrounds, talents, positions, character,… that the world listens to out of straight respect, interest and intrigue… and just pray that I only get to be a part of that craziness more and more in the future! Thx for listening!
(btw i tweeted all the behind the scenes details – click here to hook up with me on twitter.)