Rosie O’Donnell is not one to give up on something or go away quietly. Throughout her career, Rosie O’Donnell has either had smash hits, or projects that have failed big. Viewers and critics almost unanimously judged last week that Rosie Live, her variety show special, was one of those big failures. As such, O’Donnell’s plans to turn Rosie Live into a full fledged series have also failed big, as she will not be bringing the program back for any further shows.
Airing last Wednesday, Rosie Live was Rosie O’Donnell’s attempt to bring back the variety show. Guests like Conan O’Brien, Liza Minnelli, and 30 Rock stars Alec Baldwin and Jane Krakowski appeared to help her out. But only 5 million viewers found time to watch Rosie Live, and few liked what they saw.
Critics savaged Rosie Live with little mercy, and whatever buzz Rosie herself created was from her talks about her relationship with Barbra Walters, not for Rosie Live itself. The special finished a mere third in the 8 p.m time slot.
O’Donnell was aiming for Rosie Live to be her return to the TV spotlight. This time, it would be on prime time, after her years on daytime talk shows. It also had O’Donnell performing comedy again, which is how she got her start before becoming better known as a talk show host and lighting rod for controversy.
Her initial talk show was a big hit in the late 90’s, which proceeded her coming out as a lesbian. O’Donnell then took some steps back with the failure of her magazine, some nasty behind-the-scenes stories about her, and the bad performance of Taboo, the Boy George musical that she produced.
O’Donnell achieved an even bigger level of celebrity, in both good and negative fashions, by joining The View. Thanks in part to Rosie, The View’s political arguments and controversial discussions were raised to a new level.
O’Donnell got into several heated arguments with Elisabeth Hasselback and raised the ire of many a right-wing blog and pundit. It was O’Donnell’s relationship with Barbra Walters, however, that dominated a lot of gossip, especially during her interviews for Rosie Live.
After leaving The View, O’Donnell stayed out of the spotlight, political or otherwise, until coming back for Rosie Live. But now that her foray into the variety show format has failed, and her talk show career has stalled, fans and followers will now have time to speculate on what Rosie’s next move might be.
New York Times- “That’s All, She Wrote” www.nytimes.com/2008/12/01/arts/television/01arts-THATSALLSHEW_BRF.html
Metro- “Life of Rosie Live was nasty, brutish and short” www.metronews.ca/calgary/entertainment/article/148811