See Rosie O'Donnell's return in A League of Their Own TV show
Rosie O'Donnell is stepping up to the plate — again.
When the TV reboot of A League of Their Own debuts Aug. 12, it'll introduce an entirely new lineup of female ballplayers, including Abbi Jacobson, D'Arcy Carden, and Chanté Adams. Like the iconic Penny Marshall film it's adapted from, the new series will once again center on the women who fought to play professional baseball during World War II, this time focusing on an all-new set of characters and storylines.
But when the show premieres on Amazon Prime Video this summer, it'll also feature at least one familiar face: O'Donnell starred in the original film as third base player Doris Murphy, and now, she's returning for a small role in the show.
EW has the exclusive first look at O'Donnell's new character, a local bar owner named Vi. A "warm, gregarious" fan of the Rockford Peaches, Vi crosses paths with Jacobson's catcher Carson and soon welcomes her into her orbit.
In addition to appearing in the new A League of Their Own, O'Donnell will also host an upcoming event for the show at Outfest Los Angeles on July 19. The actress will moderate a post-screening Q&A, joined by co-creators Jacobson and Will Graham, executive producer Desta Tedros Reff, and actors Adams, Kelly McCormack, and Melanie Field. They'll also be joined onstage by original 1940s ballplayer Maybelle Blair, who served as a consultant on the series.
Like Marshall's beloved original, the new A League of Their Own is an ensemble comedy, inspired by the real-life women who played in the All-American Girls Baseball League in the 1940s. (The series will once again follow the Rockford Peaches, with Nick Offerman starring as the team's irascible coach.)
Jacobson and Graham both grew up loving the film, and they previously told EW that when crafting the show, they wanted to honor the spirit of Marshall's original, while also taking a closer look at some of the challenges female ballplayers faced during the era. (The two creators also met and consulted with Marshall before her death in 2018.)
The series will take a deeper dive into some of the themes the film only hinted at — like how Black women were forbidden to play in the All-American Girls Baseball League, and they instead found other ways to play. The show will also explore how many queer women were drawn to the league, a historical fact that the film never explicitly acknowledges. O'Donnell has said before that although her character Doris wasn't necessarily written to be a lesbian, the actress has always interpreted her as queer. Now, the show will further explore those themes by introducing multiple queer characters.
"We talked a lot about the show being about these characters' journey to finding their team," Jacobson previously told EW. "Team has a bunch of meanings in terms of baseball, but also, a lot of these characters are finding their community. That joy of finding others that are like you is pretty special."
A League of Their Own will premiere Aug. 12 on Prime Video.
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Based on the iconic 1992 film of the same name, this ensemble comedy series follows a wide variety of women who devote their lives to baseball at the height of World War II.
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