Rosie O’Donnell’s Talk Show on OWN Canceled. It Never Gained Traction With Viewers

Mar 17, 2012  •  Post A Comment

Rosie O’Donnell’s talk show on  the Oprah Winfrey Network has been canceled, OWN has announced.

“The Rosie Show” will tape its final show on Tuesday, March 20, and the final episode will air on Friday, March 30 (7-8 p.m. ET/PT).

The handwritng seemed to be on the wall when it came out recently that O’Donnell was moving back to New York frm Chicago.

However, a popular entertainment columnist on The Huffington Post named Naughty But Nice Rob was apparently used by a source to get out false information about the move on March 6, 2012, when he wrote in a story that was widely picked up, "When Rosie O’Donnell listed her 12-room, 6,000-square-foot house in Lakeview Chicago for $2.5 million last Monday, many speculated that her show was over. However, that couldn’t be further from the truth. Rosie and her show are moving to New York. ‘It was a mistake to take the show to Chicago just because Oprah’s old studio was sitting there empty,’ an insider tells me. ‘Rosie loves New York. This is where she grew up, goes to the theater and has dinner with her friends. No one was more part of this city. But instead of standing up for what she knew in her gut, she agreed to film out of Chicago and even work with Oprah’s old staff rather than hire her own. But it’s not just Rosie that isn’t happy about flying to Chicago to film. It’s proved much harder to get guests to travel to Chicago than come to New York.’"

Clearly the biggest problem with O’Donnell’s show is that not enough viewers were watching. Nellie Andreeva on Deadline. com writes, "After an OK start with 500,000 viewers tuning in to the premiere, Rosie quickly lost more than half of that to average under 200,000 viewers for most of its run…."

"Why did O’Donnell, who had two successful previous daytime talk show stints under her belt, on her own syndicated show and on ABC’s ‘The View,’ fizzle so quickly? The reasons have to do with OWN and with O’Donnell, with their partnership appearing doomed from the start. It’s hard to get traction for a new show on a network very few people are watching. It also doesn’t help that Rosie was scheduled at 7 PM, a time period no one associates with talk shows, which normally air in daytime and late-night. Airing Rosie at a time when viewers are not in the habit of watching a talk show against venerable performers like ‘Wheel Of Fortune’ and ‘Jeopardy’ proved a tall order."

Andreeva also opines, "Which leads us to O’Donnell, a polarizing figure with strong political views and aggressive style, something that kept station buyers on the sidelines when she was shopping a syndicated talk show in 2010. OWN, which originally branded itself as a network for inspiring women and helping them better their lives, tried to rehabilitate O’Donnell’s image and channel more of her 1990s “queen of nice” bubbly persona than the darker, more controversial one we’ve seen in the final stage of her daytime talk show, on ‘The View’ as well as on her Sirius XM radio show. But it proved hard for O’Donnell to escape her reputation and get viewers to fully embrace her they way they did 16 years ago. And she didn’t look as natural in that role as she was back in the day."

One Comment

  1. That network can’t do anything right. Can’t run on a network on ONE big celebrity-death interview (Bobbi Kristina). Time to fold up this tent.

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