OWN cancels Rosie O'Donnell's show
“The Rosie Show” will tape its final show on Tuesday, according to the network. The final episode will air on Friday, March 30.
The gabfest, which brought in minuscule ratings, debuted on OWN in October 2011 and was on the air for five months. It had occupied the same space where Winfrey’s long-running daytime show was shot in Chicago’s Harpo Studios. After millions were spent to renovate the space, the show underwent a format change, initiated by O'Donnell, in January that downscaled the show, ridding it of the studio audience and band.
O'Donnell also cleared out much of the staff with close ties to Winfrey and her old talk show — which led to clashes between O’Donnell and OWN over the show’s direction. There was concern that O’Donnell was going rogue.
“I thank Rosie from the bottom of my heart for joining me on this journey. She has been an incredible partner, working to deliver the best possible show every single day,” Oprah Winfrey said in a statement. “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.”
This is the latest high-profile exit from the network, which has witnessed a revolving door of executives and on-air talent. Winfrey’s good friend, Gayle King, also left her OWN talk show several months ago to join "CBS This Morning" with Charlie Rose.
O’Donnell, who within the last few weeks had been looking to unload her Chicago home, said in a statement: “I loved working with Oprah in the amazing city of Chicago. I was welcomed with open arms and will never forget the kindness of all I encountered. It was a great year for me -- I wish the show was able to attract more viewers -- but it did not. So I am headed back to my home in New York -- with gratitude. On we go!”
There's no word on what will replace "The Rosie Show."
--Yvonne Villarreal and Joe Flint
Photo: Oprah Winfrey, right, with Rosie O'Donnell on the premiere of "The Rosie Show." Credit: George Burns / Harpo /Associated Press