The stations groups that passed on a daytime syndicated talk show Rosie O’Donnell was shopping two years ago are probably having a “we told you so” moment today as O’Donnell’s daytime talk show on OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network got the ax after five low-rated months on the air.
OWN went for broke with the launch of The Rosie Show, whose October premiere, along with that of Oprah’s Lifeclass, were broadcast on five Discovery networks. The struggling and money-losing OWN spent some $10 million to market the two shows, whose debut was touted as an unofficial OWN relaunch. That $10 million went where the previous $250 million+ in investment from Discovery went — down the drain. 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, while Lifeclass was pretty much DOA. 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? (more…)