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Rosie O'Donnell flops in OWN talk premiere

October 11, 2011 |  4:41 pm

Oprah Winfrey and Rosie O'Donnell

So, Rosie O'Donnell must've packed 'em in for the rollout of her new, Oprah Winfrey-approved talk show, right?

Well, er, no.

Monday's 7 p.m. premiere of "The Rosie Show" on OWN, with first guest Russell Brand, drew a very modest 497,000 total viewers, according to Nielsen. It's O'Donnell's first talk show since she left ABC's "The View" in 2007.

At 8 p.m., "Oprah's Lifeclass" -- with OWN boss Winfrey discussing insights learned over her years as a talk host -- opened even worse, with just 333,000 viewers.

Not surprisingly, OWN is looking for rays of hope amid the ratings, saying that "The Rosie Show" improved on what Discovery Health was doing a year ago in the time slot by more than 200%. But it's important to remember that Discovery Health was always considered an underachiever -- that's why it's not around anymore. It's also important to remember that you don't hire an expensive talent like O'Donnell in hopes of failing to draw even half a million people for her premiere.

The numbers show that OWN is continuing to scrounge for an audience, even after executive changeover and promises of a renewed commitment from Winfrey herself.

What did you think of "The Rosie Show"? Will you watch in coming days?

ALSO:

Fox pulls 'New Girl' off schedule till November

Michael Douglas attached to HBO Liberace biopic

Hank Williams Jr. slams Disney, calls Mickey 'a mean mouse'

-- Scott Collins
twitter.com/scottcollinsLAT

Photo: Oprah Winfrey hired Rosie O'Donnell for a new OWN talk show. Credit: M. Spencer Green / Associated Press.

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