Rosie O'Donnell will reboot her talk show for one night only to ease coronavirus fears

Tony Award winners Neil Patrick Harris, Idina Menzel and Ben Platt are among those slated to join Rosie O’Donnell next week as the actor and comedian preps a one-night-only reboot of her talk show during the coronavirus pandemic. 

On Wednesday evening, O’Donnell announced plans for a brand-new episode of “The Rosie O’Donnell Show,” the first in nearly 18 years. It’s scheduled to air Sunday as a live-streaming fundraiser for The Actors Fund, a national human services organization that serves as “a safety net for performing arts and entertainment professionals over their lifespan.”

“Everybody who knows me knows that Broadway has been one of the brightest lights in my life since the time I was a little girl,” O’Donnell told HuffPost in an email statement. “It has also been the lifeblood of New York City for generation after generation.”

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Rosie O'Donnell's White House protest
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Rosie O'Donnell's White House protest
WASHINGTON, DC - AUGUST 06: Rosie O'Donnell speaks at the #KremlinAnnex singing protest in front of the White House on August 6, 2018 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Shannon Finney/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - AUGUST 06: Rosie O'Donnell and members of the Broadway community take part in the #KremlinAnnex singing protest in front of the White House on August 6, 2018 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Shannon Finney/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - AUGUST 06: Rosie O'Donnell speaks at the #KremlinAnnex singing protest in front of the White House on August 6, 2018 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Shannon Finney/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - AUGUST 06: Rosie O'Donnell speaks at the #KremlinAnnex singing protest in front of the White House on August 6, 2018 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Shannon Finney/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - AUGUST 06: Rosie O'Donnell speaks at the #KremlinAnnex singing protest in front of the White House on August 6, 2018 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Shannon Finney/Getty Images)
US comedian Rosie O'Donnell, along with other Broadway performers, sing during a protest against US President Donald Trump in front of the White House in Washington, DC, on August 6, 2018. (Photo by NICHOLAS KAMM / AFP) (Photo credit should read NICHOLAS KAMM/AFP/Getty Images)
US comedian Rosie O'Donnell speaks to reporters as she leaves a protest against US President Donald Trump in front of the White House in Washington, DC, on August 6, 2018. (Photo by NICHOLAS KAMM / AFP) (Photo credit should read NICHOLAS KAMM/AFP/Getty Images)
US comedian Rosie O'Donnell addresses a protest against US President Donald Trump in front of the White House in Washington, DC, on August 6, 2018. (Photo by NICHOLAS KAMM / AFP) (Photo credit should read NICHOLAS KAMM/AFP/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - AUGUST 06: Rosie O'Donnell and members of the Broadway community take part in the #KremlinAnnex singing protest in front of the White House on August 6, 2018 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Shannon Finney/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - AUGUST 06: Rosie O'Donnell and members of the Broadway community take part in the #KremlinAnnex singing protest in front of the White House on August 6, 2018 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Shannon Finney/Getty Images)
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Each of the night’s musical performances will be staged in the safety of the artists’ homes. Along with Harris, Menzel and Platt, the lineup will feature Darren Criss, Sarah Jessica Parker and Billy Porter, among other stars.

“After all Broadway has given to the world, now ― in this time of tremendous need ― it’s our turn to give something back,” O’Donnell said. “There is no better way to support this community than via The Actors Fund. And, with a line-up like this, I dare you not to tune in.” 

During its initial run, “The Rosie O’Donnell Show”hosted countless Broadway talents, including Julie Andrews, Carol Burnett and Patti LuPone, among others. The show went off the air in 2002 after six seasons.

The announcement came less than a week after all 40 theaters on Broadway went dark through at least April 13 as part of New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s (D) effort to curb the spread of coronavirus in the Empire State. 

As of Wednesday night, more than 2,382 New Yorkers had reportedly tested positive for the coronavirus, an increase of more than 800 in about 24 hours. Across New York City’s five boroughs, more than 1,870 people had tested positive, compared with 814 on Tuesday. 

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