As tipped by Sun-Times celebrity columnist Bill Zwecker back in July, Rosie O'Donnell is indeed returning to TV as host of a variety show for NBC.
NBC will air ''Rosie's Variety Show'' as an hourlong live special the night before Thanksgiving, with an eye toward expansion to a full series order should viewers embrace the project.
The special will feature celebrity guests, musical acts, comedy skits and a prize giveaway for the show's in-studio and home audiences. David Friedman (''Last Call With Carson Daly'') has been tapped to executive produce along with O'Donnell. It's apparently meant to be a updated revival of the old Ed Sullivan show, with comedy skits reminiscent of those on Carol Burnett's long-running variety show.
According to Zwecker's original report, "her new NBC bosses have made it very clear -- this will be strictly about entertainment. No politics."
The closest modern variation of the variety show that has drawn significant viewers has been NBC's ''America's Got Talent.'' The show's Nov. 26 premiere date manages to trump Fox's upcoming Osbourne family variety show, which is expected to debut in the winter or spring.
Contributing: The Hollywood Reporter