C.J.: No. Yes. Heather Brown back at 'CCO

  • Article by: C.J. , Star Tribune
  • Updated: November 5, 2012 - 10:42 PM

"Not coming back," former WCCO-TV reporter Heather Brown told me in a column item that ran June 19.

Well, whaddya know?

"After spending two years reporting for WNYW in New York, reporter Heather Brown is coming back to WCCO," read Rick Kupchella's Bringmethenews.com last week. "In an interview with WCCO radio, Brown said her first day on the job in Minneapolis is Monday."

Too bad we don't have any snow banks around so as to make it easier for Brown to extinguish her pants should they erupt in flames.

Before telephoning Brown in New York, I'd heard she was definitely trying to return to WCCO-TV. She's marrying a St. Paul man with unbreakable metro ties. It made sense. What bride and groom don't want to be in the same city if they can work that out?

But Brown insisted to me that newsroom chatter about her returning to WCCO-TV, which she left in October 2010, was not accurate.

Didn't feel as though I was hearing the unsullied truth as Brown was spinning that story line: "No, I'm here for a while, and love it here. My family's here. Right now, there are no plans to head back that way. Like I said, I'm under contract through this year."

The latest on the Brown family scene, according to TVSpy: "After much thought and consideration, I've decided to leave New York and spend more time with my family."

Monday I called WCCO-TV PR woman Kiki Rosatti and asked when Brown would be available to talk to me about her return.

"We'll see if we can get you two together," said Rosatti, noting that Brown may be busy with election matters and reporting. She "was not lying to you in June."

Not holding my breath on that one.

Bad girl on the prairie

"Confessions of a Prairie Bitch" was reportedly too hot for St. Cloud, based only on the title of Alison Arngrim's production.

Better known as Nellie Oleson -- that nasty piece of work who could make Laura Ingalls' "Little House on the Prairie" unpleasant -- Arngrim returns to the metro this week with her bitching confessional. She has shows scheduled Thursday to Sunday at Cabaret Theater at Camp Bar in St. Paul. Arngrim had a sold-out stand at the theater when she was here in July.

The child actor, comedian and author of "Confessions of a Prairie Bitch: How I Survived Nellie Oleson and Learned to Love Being Hated," is also the subject of my Sunday Q&A.

When I was shooting video on Monday at the Camp for my interview with Arngrim, done in July when she was at FOX 9, Bill Collins, managing director of Actors Theater of Minnesota, had "Prairie Bitch" stories coming out of his ears.

"I tried to book this show up in St. Cloud and the theater manager at Paramount said Oh, I don't know if we can run a show with a title like that. Our audiences are too conservative," Collins told me.

Collins described "Prairie Bitch" as racy, not blue.

Collins also told me that while driving Oleson to FOX 9 in July he was pulled over for speeding.

"You know how crazy traffic is? I'm a businessman downtown. I've got Nellie Oleson, I've got to get her to a TV interview," Collins told the police officer.

That's not Nellie Oleson, the cop replied, leaning into the car where Arngrim was holding a publicity photo next to her face. OK, said the cop, letting them go, according to Collins.

Collins said that anybody who gets a kick out of Arngrim will also love Leslie Jordan, who is starring in "Fruit Fly" next week at Camp Bar.

Jordan, who played the newspaper editor in "The Help" and won an Emmy for his work on "Will & Grace," appears more difficult to contain than Arngrim.

Pondering the ways ...

Vikings QB Christian Ponder needs to have about 20 different ways to say "I have to get better" when he makes this morning's scheduled 9:20 a.m. appearance on Paul Allen's KFAN radio show.

Radio listeners had their long cleats out for Ponder shortly after the defeat by the Seahawks (which KFAN's Dan Cole, the Common Man, predicted here on Thursday, right down to the 10-point margin).

One Vikings Whine Line caller said ESPN's Samantha Steele should come to Minnesota, collect her boyfriend and take him with her to Bristol. Someone on KFAN suggested Ponder might not throw for more than 100 yards in any remaining game. Some are calling for a QB reliever.

As I recall, the problem was Donovan McNabb. Now we have Ponder's pretty face. So I don't want to hear about any problems.

C.J. is at 612.332.TIPS or cj@startribune.com. E-mailers, please state a subject -- "Hello" doesn't count. Attachments are not opened, so don't even try. More of her attitude can be seen on FOX 9 Thursday mornings.

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