Caroline Rhea is Warner Bros.' solution to its soon-to-depart Rosie O'Donnell Show.
Sources say Warner Bros. executives, who've been on the hunt for awhile for a suitable Rosie replacement, have finalized a deal to hand Rhea her own talk show in fall 2002. It's unclear if the Rhea project will be a complete Rosie replica, using its same production crew and format. But insiders say the show will first be shopped to stations that currently run Rosie.
Warner Bros. apparently wants to put a stop to other 2002 series, like Columbia TriStar's Pyramid, which have been trying to slip into Rosie's ratings-ripe early fringe time slots. O'Donnell's current contract calls for her to stay with Rosie through May 2002. A Warner Bros. executive declined comment. - Susanne Ault