Bob Woodruff back in the anchor’s seat

Two years after suffering a near-fatal bomb attack in Iraq, Rye resident Bob Woodruff is anchoring the news once again. Only now it’s not ABC’s “World News Tonight,” but instead a new series on Planet Green called “Focus Earth.” The show is still produced by ABC, and features many of the network’s usual suspects (George Stephanopoulos, for example), but it’s one of the first chances that we’ve had to see Woodruff shine on television since his tank in Iraq hit that IED.


The first episode of “Focus Earth” aired last Saturday, and while I missed it, I hear it was pretty decent, for tree huggers and tree ho-hummers alike. Woodruff went to the Northeastern corner of Montana to see how the American prarie is under siege by developers and agriculture. In particular, he profiled the American Prairie Foundation, which is buying up land to create a 3-million-acre reserve for bison and other native wildlife. [recap here]

No word yet on what episode 2 has in store, but be sure to set your TiVos for this Saturday, 6 p.m., to find out.

Woodruff goes green

Rye resident Bob Woodruff is returning to the anchor chair. No, not the ABC World News Tonight one woodruff-cu.jpg— Charlie Gibson still has dibs on that. Rather, he’ll be anchoring a new weekly series for the Planet Green channel, formerly known as Discovery Home, which is supposed to premiere in July, according to TV Newser. It’ll be about all things ecological, including political debates and climate-change science. “This is controversial and also complicated information that needs to be talked about more,” said Woodruff of the announcement.

(Photo: Mark Vergari / InTown Westchester)

Audra McDonald is the new Ruby Dee

Over the course of the next month, as we build up to the Oscars, we’re going to try to uncover every conceivable thing to write about New Rocheller Ruby Dee, who’s up for Best Supporting Actress. Today, courtesy of Friend of Suburbarazzi Amy Vernon, we’ve got something for you to add to the DVR queue.

On the night after the Academy Awards, ABC is airing an update of the classic “A Raisin in the Sun,” produced by Sean “Puffy” Combs. The original 1961 film starred Dee (bottom left) opposite Sidney Poitier (a former Pleasantville resident), and while this one doesn’t actually feature either, it does have SUNY Purchase Performing Arts Center regular Audra McDonald (bottom right) reprising Dee’s role, this time opposite Combs.

Be sure to check it out: MONDAY, FEBRUARY 25 (8:00-11:00 p.m., ET)


(Dee: AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill; McDonald: photo by Michael Wilson)

Rosie O’Donnell leaves ‘The View’ weeks before her contract is up

tjndc5-5eis0aessjo1md0wjj0i_layout.jpgLet us all have a moment of silence.

OK, now what the hell happened?

Rosie O’Donnell wasn’t supposed to exit “The View” until June 20, her one-year anniversary. And indeed, even on last Wednesday’s show, in which the South Nyack resident got into her now-infamous war of words with Elisabeth Hasselbeck over the Iraq war, she was still talking about her three remaining weeks on the show.

O’Donnell even asked guest Elizabeth Mitchell, of “Lost,” how she pulls off her icy “Others” death stare — in part because she suggested it would come in handy while dealing with her conservative co-host in the coming days. But yesterday, ABC dropped another Rosie bombshell: Brian Frons, the president of the network’s daytime television group, said that O’Donnell would not be returning after Memorial Day weekend.

After Wednesday’s heated exchange between O’Donnell and Hasselbeck, she didn’t return on air for the rest of the week. Thursday’s show was preempted for a White House news conference with the President, and Friday’s show was pretaped. Barbara Walters had issued a statement late in the week saying that O’Donnell had asked for time off to celebrate her partner’s birthday, and that all would be peaceful in the kingdom of “The View” next week. In retrospect, Walters comments now seem more like a verdict than obsequious optimism.

“We had hoped that Rosie would be with us until the end of her contract three weeks from now, but Rosie has informed us that she would like an early leave,â€? Mr. Frons explained. “Therefore we part ways, thank her for her tremendous contribution to ‘The View’ and wish her well.â€?

In her own statement, also released through ABC, O’Donnell said, “I’m extremely grateful. It’s been an amazing year, and I love all three women.” And as hard as that may be to believe on the surface, in a video posted to her rblog yesterday, she recapped her tumultuous year at “The View” in a kind of scrapbook montage of clippings and photos. Titled “True Colors 2007,” the vid even including many of Hasselbeck right near the beginning (none of Trump that I could see, though). Cyndi Lauper’s “Sisters of Avalon” played in the background.

So folks, you know it’s true. If you’re hearing Cyndi Lauper-scored retrospectives, it’s over for good. A tear.

Godspeed, Rosie.

“Rosie fights last fight on ‘The View'” [LoHud]

Rockland native Dave Annable is off to war

Brothers and Sisters on ABC may not be the most buzzed about show on TV this year. But it is consistently excellent and fun to watch. Three words: Sally frickin’ Fields! Need I say more? And the show’s creator, Greg Berlanti, recently told TV Guide that one of the characters on the show—baby brother Justin Walker (played superbly by former Rockland resident, Dave Annable) will likely head off to war pretty soon. For those of you who watch (all seven of you), you already know that bad boy Justin has been struggling with drugs, alcohol, and a serious black sheep complex all season (he already served one tour of duty in Afghanistan to please his uber-patriotic father). Now the army wants him back, and Berlanti teases it’s likely he’ll go. Earlier this season, Justin ditched re-enlisting to head into a drug rehab program. But Berlanti says:

<blockquote><div>I think it’s doubtful we’ll postpone it twice. It’s the reality of his character’s situation.</div></blockquote>

Just don’t send him back in a body bag, Berlanti! The actor by the way, has mixed feelings about his upcoming deployment:

<blockquote><div>At first I was excited but then I was like, ‘Wait, didn’t they kill [Ian Somerhalder] off from Lost in the first season?’ This could suck.</div></blockquote>

Elisabeth Hasselbeck + The Palisades Center = 5 minutes of painful television


Yesterday, The View aired a pre-taped segment with Elisabeth Hasselbeck shopping at the Palisades Center in West Nyack to find Christmas gifts for her fellow co-hosts. She checked out the racks at Old Navy, H&M, and Lane Bryant (where she sang a little song that was truly show-stopping—as in, please God, help me find the remote so I can put a stop to this show: “Lane Bryant, Lane Bryant, you’re only a deal away�).

She also sat on the lap of our friend, Santa, who looked about as comfortable as—well, a grown man should look being used as a prop by a strange 30-year-old woman. For the record we didn’t get the joke she was going for either (something about helping her get back to Manhattan in time to give her presents to the other hosts—but it was December 21st, why didn’t she just take the bus?).

Anyway, she managed to get back to the studio in time and the other hosts gave an impromptu fashion show. From now on can we agree that Rockland is Rosie’s territory?

(Photo: Peter Carr / The Journal News)

ABC tells Rosie O. there’s no need to worry: she won’t have to learn to play well with anyone else, anytime soon…

odonnell.jpgSo when is Rosie O’Donnell going to get a new co-host on The View? Apparently, not for awhile. ABC executives tell The Boston Herald that they’re super-pleased with how the show is doing in its current incarnation (with just four co-hosts and the occasional guest-host). The ratings are up 9 percent from last year and the content seems fresher than ever, despite what some people call O’Donnell’s “bullying� of fellow co-host Elizabeth Hasselbeck. “We haven’t started looking,� ABC spokesman Karl Nilsson told the paper. “Right now, (they’re) content with the way the show is going.�

But the real question is how’s The Hasselbeck doing? Reports earlier this year were that the youngest host was often reduced to tears around the studio because of O’Donnell. Not true, say network execs.

Nilsson insisted to the paper that the two co-hosts are friends.

“They have play dates with the kids,� he said. “They just did a Race for the Cure together. If they really hated each other, they wouldn’t do that. But, you know, people love it.�

They’re all like one big—unbelievably dysfunctional and over-paid—family.

Good news about Television

daveannabale.jpgABC has picked up “Brothers and Sisters� for a full season, the net announced last week. And we couldn’t be happier since one of its stars is Suffern-born Dave Annable. He plays Kevin Walker, the troubled son of a wealthy southern California family who joined the army and fought in Afghanistan, only to return home with a drug problem and a serious quarter-life crisis. The ensemble also includes Sally Field, Calista Flockhart, and Rachel Griffiths.