Rosie O’Donnell v. Oprah — Is Oprah at Fault for the Canceled Show?
First, when Rosie’s show debuted it was a critical success. But the ratings didn’t match its praise. That’s likely because it had a daytime format with a nighttime time-slot. Because Rosie didn’t know it would air at night, she was forced to make last minute show-changes. With its waning success, the network asked that she relocate to Chicago, which made it an enormous challenge to book high-powered guests who don’t visit Chicago on their press-tour. Additionally, since OWN flies their talent coach, it made it even more challenging to convince A-listers to make the trip. She was also forced to hire the HARPO staff (i.e. Oprah’s team), and since Rosie is a notorious perfectionist who didn’t make the hires, it’s no surprise that they didn’t gel. When the ratings continued to decline, OWN made suggestions that Rosie enacted, which further tanked the ratings.
In short, I’m confident Rosie would have succeeded with her original format on another network. OWN has been struggling for some time now, and the network put an enormous amount of pressure on Rosie as its saving grace while taking no responsibility for its failure. Rosie had one of the most successful daytime shows in history, and she completely revived The View (though The View will never admit that). She’s a force.