Rosie O’Donnell’s Talk Show Go Bye-Bye Now. What’s Next?

Even a last-minute appearance by Liza Minnelli couldn’t save Rosie O’Donnell’s chat fest on OWN. Her eminence Oprah Winfrey has announced that The Rosie Show was getting the axe after just five months on the air:

“I thank Rosie from the bottom of my heart for joining me on this journey. As I have learned in the last 15 months, a new network launch is always a challenge and ratings grow over time as you continue to gather an audience. I’m grateful to Rosie and the dedicated Rosie Show team for giving it their all.”

You’ve learned that growing an audience takes time, so you canceled a show after less than six months? Seems a little counterintuitive, O.

Nevertheless, freed of the bonds of a daily talk show, Rosie can now return to the many other pursuits that have made her beloved. To wit:

* Rosie the Broadway producer! After the smashing success of Taboo, the Boy George musical that… ok, bad example.

* Rosie the movie actress. Didn’t we all rush to the cineplex again and again to see Ro in The Flintstones and the erotic thriller Exit to Eden?  What, no one? okay moving on.

* Rosie the blogger. Her haiku-like posts about cancer, Donald Trump and 9/11 conspiracies are really what made O’Donnell America’s sweethe… oh, forget it.

Look, Rosie, we just want one thing from you: Please read the screenplay we sent you for Riding the Bus with My Sister II. It’s got some real meat to it, and a great romantic storyline. We’re seeing Philip Seymour Hoffman as your love interest—or maybe Melissa McCarthy.

Or, y’know, you could record that country-western song with Rush Limbaugh. Whatever.

Photo: David Shankbone

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  • Curtis

    Dan, great article. I love the way you try to convince Rosie by talking her lingo: “It’s got some REAL MEAT to it… and it’s got a great ‘romantic storyline'” (nice try)

  • zephyr with a Z

    It seems pretty obvious to me that Oprah is looking at the bottom line when it comes to her network, and whatever Rosie’s show cost to produce wasn’t being matched by viewers (and of course the all-important advertising dollars). After the recent cancellations of All My Children and One Life To Live, a lot of soap fans were clamoring for Oprah to jump in and rescue their shows, but Oprah (and I’m paraphrasing here) said she would do it in a heartbeat if there was a nickel to be made off the genre anymore, but there just isn’t. I thought talk shows were cheaper to produce, but even they must have some kind of minimum threshhold to survive.

    Sorry to see Rosie’s show go away, but I don’t get the OWN channel anyway so I didn’t really get a chance to follow her. She’ll bounce back, somewhere. Just stay away from Broadway! Fool me once…

  • Curtis

    @zephyr with a Z:
    Give me a break!
    Oprah is a money hungry whore, who will be bought out because she doesn’t care one bit about the LGBT community. If you think any differently than you are a fool and mindless follower.

  • ian

    What’s next for Rosie? Retirement and fading to obscurity I hope.

  • Franco

    She isn’t a 9/11 conspiracy theorist, she simply questions the original story regarding building 7. It bothers me when the media fosters this type of misinformation. It’s kind of strange how cruel gay people can be. I think that Rosie is a generous philanthropic with a caring heart. It didn’t work out at OWN because OWN doesn’t know what it wants to be. It’s sad, she should have signed that deal with NBC. Who puts a talk show whose core audience are soccer mom’s on at 7 p.m. anyway?

  • BigStella

    It’s not Rosie’s fault that nobody is watching the O network. The channel is a complete failure.

  • DC Dookie

    @ian: And hopefully a stomach-stapling.

  • LittIe,Kiwi

    hating rosie won’t make any of your lives better.

    i like the woman. :D

    and if you’re looking for gays on TV, check out the new series “AWAKE” featuring sexy openly-gay actor BD Wong.

    woof indeed.

  • ousslander

    A lot of things about her but the show at the beginning wasn’t bad then she switched to a one on one style with mostly people i could not care to wacth

  • Riker

    @LittIe,Kiwi: I don’t think they dislike rosie to make her own lives better. I think they dislike her because she’s unfunny and untalented. If you want a talk show host who can actually connect with her audience, try Ellen. She’s far less of a drama queen than Rosie is.

  • steve sydney

    The good thing about Rosie is she made me truly appreciate Ellen.

    A lesbian who is stylish, funny and can speak on a range of issues, not just being gay. Who knew! (I’m talking about Ellen)

  • Curtis

    Yeah.. last time im posting on this site.. Nice censorship.
    You’ve really disappointed me for the last time Queerty.

    Go ahead and justify all you want, just remember, censorship draws no boundaries and makes no distinctions. In other words, you can claim to support free speech all you want, but censorship is a one-way road.

  • Andrew

    Good riddance! Rosie is your stereotypical butch dyke who is an idiot, knowitall, obnoxious, and foul mouthed. She doesn’t know when to STFU and she’s not that funny at all. She also stayed closeted for decades and the way she pretended to actually be sexually attracted to Tammy Cruise and not caring that he’s in the cult of $cientology.

  • Hephaestion

    Rosie is brilliant and wonderful, but her show was on at a time when I couldn’t watch it. Once I saw it when I was home sick, and it was a FABULOUS show. RuPaul was on and he met a little boy who idolized him… it was one of the best things I ever saw on American TV. As brilliant as Rosie is, she will find a new way to be the huge force for good that she is and always has been. GOD BLESS YOU, ROSIE! Ignore the silly haters and keep up the good work!

  • LittIe,Kiwi

    Andrew, my my my aren’t we angry? How do we know that YOU are fully Out, eh?

    got a link to your own webpage or youtube page? Rosie is Out to millions. i dare say billions, possibly.

    are you? prove it, or STFU yourself.

    calling her a stereotypical butch dyke from a place of online anonymity makes you sound like a bitter closeted loser.

  • prettygirls

    @Curtis: and the LGBT community has done WHAT for Oprah??? It kills me how some of you girls think EVERYONE must support your asses. Mindless follower indeed. Plus Rosie ain’t funny worth a damn.

  • Farquart

    She destroyed her own brand a number of years ago. I’m not sure why show business execs keep trying to resurrect her in this format.

  • Clifton

    I enjoyed the humor show first and liked the one-on-one discussion shows even more … I am really sorry to hear that her show is getting axed … We are just in process of moving and connecting cable … we may not bother going up to that next tier of service as the Rosie show was the main reason we went up to that tier. Hope she comes back on regular lower-number channel!!!!

  • Kyle412

    Rosie’s time has passed. She should retire…..her show on OWN failed, her NBC special in 2010 tanked in the ratings, her show she produced on LOGO failed, her magazine flopped, TABOO was a failure, her stint on THE VIEW ended with her being ousted. She has flopped with every project since she officially came out. Her daytime talk show in the 90s was good but she lost her audience once she came out. Not because she was a lesbian, but because she lied for so many years.

  • Nathan

    Taboo was an excellent show that got doomed by everyone’s malice towards early 2000s Rosie.

  • Sam

    Bye bye! I agree with Kyle412. She was closeted and gives all lesbians and all LGBT people a bad name.

    Little Kiwi, your coercion will not work, give it up already dude. Not everyone has to have a blog, site, or u-tube vids whatever. No one has to give into your demands. Always the same crap, different day, “…show your self, show me your site and videos or you’re not out, put up a pic, or you’re not masculine and hate effeminates…” Give it a rest. Everyone is entitled to an opinion, we got it…you’re here, you’re queer, good for you haha thankfully not everyone is exactly like you.

  • Chris

    BD Wong is not hot or what you’d call “Woof” he’s a nellie AZN, and girly rice isn’t sexy. As for out Lesbians Ellen is actually funny, and this is something Rosie will never be, and Ellen can actually host a successful talkshow and connect with her audience.

  • Fuck Rosie

    Rosie doesn’t care about the LGBT community or for LGBT rights or causes, or equality unless it comes to having us LGBT people give her money!

  • Alex Sarmiento

    Personally, I prefer Rosie to Ellen. I haven’t watched Ellen’s talk show at all since it aired (not even once). I liked Ellen best during her sitcom years, including the years before she came out. Granted, Rosie has become bitchier over the years, but at least there’s never a dull moment with her. She’s had her highs and her lows, but she’s always interesting, at least to me.

  • ebarnard

    I’ve often wondered, why you have such a negative view on Rosie.
    Perhaps you don’t know her. I do. She is a lovely mother. A great voice for our community. Please stop the hate.

  • David

    [quote]Ellen can actually host a successful talkshow and connect with her audience.”
    Rosie did that for years, and she did it more successfully.

  • xamthor

    @Andrew: right…. let’s hate her cause she’s gay!… brilliant.

    Yep…. nothing worse than a “Stereotypical butch, dyke”….. except maybe a “Stereotypical bitchy queen”?
    do you even know what site you are on?

  • zephyr with a Z

    @Curtis: Um, OK I read your post and mine a couple of times and am trying to determine what I said that set you off. Honestly, I’m not finding the connection, but perhaps I just need some more coffee. Anyway, since you’ve decided to sprinkle your happy seeds somewhere else, take it easy.

  • kat

    When Oprah chose Rosie, I knew it was destined for failure. Rosie had a great show years ago, fast forward, she’s been loud, obnoxious, in you face for all the wrong reasons, and I don’t know anyone who watched her on O, not once. Oprah went out with such success, it was time to live life with her Stedman and dogs, not start up another network.

  • Fuck Rosie

    Rosie O’Donnell’s OWN Show Was ‘Fucking Hellhole’ Says Staffer

    Now that it’s been canceled, staffers from Rosies disastrous talk show are coming forward with behind-the-scenes revelations about what really went on with the former Queen of Nice.

    “It was such a fucking hellhole,” one former staffer told The Daily Beast in an in-depth look at what went wrong with the show.

    There were O’Donnell’s frequent clashes with The Rosie Show staff, and the host often lost her temper. During one taping last fall, “O’Donnell uncontrollably yelled at a publicist backstage because she didn’t like the parameters agreed upon for an interview.”

    Several staffers were also very upset “when O’Donnell clashed with Oprah Winfrey’s longtime director Joe Terry. People thought she humiliated him when she scolded him in front of a live audience for using the wrong camera shots, suggesting he didn’t know what he was doing. She fired Winfrey’s stage manager because she felt like he was ignoring her and not doing his job properly.”

    She was also unhappy with her bandleader, Katreese Barnes from Saturday Night Live, because he couldn’t play obscure Broadway songs off the cuff right when she named them on live TV. “I’m not upset that I don’t know Into the Woods by heart. A little heads-up would have been nice,” Barnes said.

    And in what is seen as a final insult to the staff, on Friday, when the cancellation was publicly announced with a glowing statement by Oprah Winfrey herself, Rosie was not in Chicago to personally break the news to her crew. She was in New York tweeting about what a great time she was having on Broadway.

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