Meredith Vieira, who came to TCA Summer TV Press Tour 2014 to plug her new NBCUniversal daytime talk show debuting on September 8, got asked if, were she not launching her own daytime show, would she be interested in returning to ABC’s daytime talker The View. Vieira served as that show’s original moderator from its debut on August 11, 1997, until June 9, 2006.
“No,” Vieira responded firmly. “I knew after nine years it was time to leave The View; I have a pretty good sense of timing and I always like to get out before something bad happens.” Having since appeared on The View several times during which she said she was treated “lovingly,” she came to realize “you can’t go back.” Going back, she said, would have seemed “crazy aunt going back.”
That’ll be news to Rosie O’Donnell, who in fact is going back to the show she famously left after one short, acrimonious season. ABC confirmed Rosie’s hire in a tweet, ending a mad media chase of this The View Is Out Of New Ideas story. Read More »
Rosie O’Donnell is officially confirmed to rejoin ABC’s daytime talker The View for Season 18. ABC confirmed this morning in a tweet:
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With reports of Rosie O’Donnell‘s return to The View growing louder and more detailed, Fox News Channel this morning had vacationing Elisabeth Hasselbeck call in to say Rosie has not changed from her previous, short, unhappy time on the ABC talk show, and was calling the shots on the episodes leading up to Barbara Walters’ retirement as The View’s on-air Den Mom.
“Here in comes to The View the very woman who’s spit in the face of our military, spit in the face of her own network, and, really spit in the face of a person who stood by her and had civilized debates for the time that she was there – coming back with a bunch of control, ready to regain The View with a seat at that table, Hasselbeck said this morning on Fox & Friends.
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All 11 co-hosts of The View turned up today to send off Barbara Walters — it’s her final week on-camera on the show. Joy Behar, Rosie O’Donnell, Meredith Vieira, Elisabeth Hasselbeck, Lisa Ling, etc. Walters said she loved them all — a lot — across the broadcast, Hasselbeck insisted she is Babs’ fave, Babs got wrong the names of several co-hosts’ children before declaring “What does it matter?” and a good time was had by all: Read More »
Daytime talker The View will reunite all 11 of its co-hosts on Thursday, May 15 which is Barbara Walters‘ second-to-last day on the program. Walters, the show’s creator and EP, is ending her on-air run on the show May 16. (Babs will continue to be EP of The View along with executive producer Bill Geddie, her producing partner of more than 25 years.)
Pulling this off is no small feat, given the less-than-happy circumstances under which some of the co-hosts have left over the years. In addition to journalist Meredith Vieira, the list of returning co-hosts who will appear that Thursday includes lawyer Star Jones, comedian Joy Behar, television personality Debbie Matenopoulos, journalist Lisa Ling, comedian Rosie O’Donnell, and Fox News Channel host Elisabeth Hasselbeck — joining current co-hosts Sherri Shepherd, Jenny McCarthy, Whoopi Goldberg and Walters. Walters, for instance, recently acknowledged Hasselbeck and Behar were pushed out, but insinuated it was done by ABC, in an effort to shake things up on the show. “These are not Barbara and Bill’s decisions,” Walters told Variety. “The network is also involved. I think the feeling was if one went, both had to leave. We needed to shake things up.” Read More »
Rosie O’Donnell returned to The View today for the first time since her headline-grabbing bow-out in 20007. Outgoing Den Mom Barbara Walters explained at the top of the show that they decided it was the perfect time to have Rosie back: “Valentine’s time, heart — everything — to catch up.” Today also is designated as Nation Wear Red Day — it’s a plug for women’s health issues, heart disease being the No. 1 killer of women in the U.S., according to a study. The Ladies of The View are wearing red. Rosie had a major heart attack a couple years ago. Match made in heaven.
“It’s good to have you back on the couch,” Babs says as Rosie comes out onstage. “If feels kinda weird – but good weird,” Rosie says. “I have a red bra on for heart week” she adds. She shows us the bra. “You have your own heart trouble, Babs says, getting down to business. Rosie: “I certainly did – I had a major heart attack.”
They talk about that. They talk about Rosie’s wife’s cancer. They talk about Rosie’s youngest child, and her oldest. “I have known you for a long time, and there are things we disagree on,” Walters says. “One thing I never disagreed: You’ve been a wonderful mother.”
Babs invites Rosie to do the Hot Topics segment with them. “Don’t worry, I’ll be good,” Rosie whispers to Babs as they go to commercial. “I’m not worried,” Babs whispers back. ”Is Hasselbeck here? Just checking!” Rosie snarks as Hot Topics gets underway. Elisabeth Hasselbeck and Rosie frequently got into verbal brawls on The View, during Hot Topics. We miss that. Hasselbeck’s gone from the show too; she’s now a host on Fox News Channel’s Fox & Friends.
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Sweeps tend to bring together the strangest bedfellows in pursuit of ratings. On February 7, The View will welcome back former co-host Rosie O’Donnell six years after her nuclear exit from the show amidst a reported feud with View co-host/executive producer Barbara Walters. Now the two will reunite in Walters’ final season on the show. Said Walters: “I have great affection for Rosie and we have remained in contact through the years. I am happy to welcome her back to the program. She is always a lively and engaging guest and a part of the show’s successful history.” O’Donnell is part of the Disney-ABC family, recurring on ABC Family drama The Fosters.
There has been a lot of chatter over the past couple of days that Rosie O’Donnell may replace Sharon Osbourne at the judging table of NBC’s America’s Got Talent. “I am very interested in doing America’s Got Talent with Howard Stern and I am talking to them,” she was quoted as saying two days ago, triggering a slew of stories that the former talk show host may have been hand-picked by returning AGT judge Stern to join the show. Well, that is news to the network. “NBC is not in talks with Rosie O’Donnell for America’s Got Talent and has no future plans for her to be a judge,” a spokesperson for the network said. O’Donnell will still appear on NBC but in a different role. “She will be playing herself on an upcoming episode of Smash when Bombshell opens on Broadway,” the spokesperson said.
EXCLUSIVE: The struggling OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network has laid off 30 employees or 20% of its workforce today as the network is restructuring its operations in Los Angeles and New York. The responsibilities handled by the eliminated positions will be redistributed among remaining executives as well as employees of OWN’s owners, Discovery Communications and Winfrey’s Harpo Studios. “It is difficult to make tough business decisions that affect people’s lives,” said Oprah Winfrey, OWN’s CEO and chief creative officer, “but the economics of a start-up cable network just don’t work with the cost structure that was in place. As CEO, I have a responsibility to chart the course for long-term success for the network. To wholly achieve that long-term success, this was a necessary next step.”
Departing as part of the layoffs is OWN SVP Production Julie Stern. Additionally, OWN COO John MacDonald went to management a few months ago to let them know he was not planning to renew his contract. He was asked to stay on to help with the transition, which he agreed to and will stay through May. In light of MacDonald’s pending departure, Neal Kirsch, CFO of Discovery’s U.S. networks, will be moving to OWN in the role of chief operating officer and chief financial officer, reporting to OWN presidents Erik Logan and Sheri Salata. In addition, following the recent exit of SVP Business and Legal Affairs Alan Saxe, Tina Perry, VP Business and Legal Affairs, OWN, will now oversee the department and partner with Lee Bartlett, EVP Global Production Management, Business and Legal Affairs, Discovery. Michelle Holt, VP Production, OWN, will oversee production, replacing Stern; and Ian Parmiter, SVP Marketing, Discovery Ad Sales, will oversee integrated marketing for OWN. “We have been on the air for 15 months, and since September we have gained momentum in ratings and viewership,” Logan said. “Restructuring our business will allow us to build a solid foundation for long-term growth.” After a disappointing start, OWN has posted modest ratings gains in the past few months, culminating with the record 3.5 million viewership for Winfrey’s interview with Whitney Houston’s daughter earlier this month. Winfrey officially took the reins of OWN as CEO last summer when Harpo Studios presidents Logan and Salata were named network presidents.
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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.
Related: OWN Cancels Rosie O’Donnell’s Talk Show
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? Read More »
OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network has canceled its low-rated Rosie O’Donnell daily talk show after five months on the air. The network just announced that The Rosie Show will tape its final episode this coming Tuesday, March 20. The finale will air 10 days later, on March 30. “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,” said Oprah Winfrey. “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.”
The Rosie Show launched with much fanfare and was hailed as a potential game-changer for OWN that would lead the struggling network’s ratings turnaround. Rosie premiered on October 10 to decent ratings — about 500,000 viewers — but quickly faded, averaging less than 200,000 in its 7-8 PM slot. OWN tried a complete revamp, including moving the show from the Oprah Winfrey Show stage to a new, smaller set and changing executive producers in January, but the shake-up failed to provide a ratings boost. “I loved working with Oprah in the amazing city of Chicago,” O’Donnell said. “I was welcomed with open arms and will never … Read More »
Rosie O’Donnell’s new daily talk show on OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network is looking to shake off lackluster ratings with a new executive producer and a new set. Shane Farley, who worked with O’Donnell on her previous Emmy-winning syndicated talker The Rosie O’Donnell Show has come on as executive producer. He replaces Page Hurwitz, who as executive producer oversaw The Rosie Show‘s launch and first three months on the air. Farley has more than 15 years of experience producing talk shows, most recently Rachael Ray. The Rosie Show kicked off 2012 with a new smaller and brightly colored set. It fits about 70 audience members, about a fifth of the original set, and is inspired by Rosie’s art studio at her home in New York. The radical downsizing does not allow for a band setup, though OWN said that “musical director Katreese Barnes will continue to be fully engaged behind the scenes, creating original music for the show, including digital shorts and musical parodies.” “Having worked with Shane for a number of years, I knew he’d be a great addition to the team as we continue to develop the vision for the show,” O’Donnell said. Read More »
Oprah Winfrey and Discovery Communications CEO David Zaslav have run out of excuses: With their unofficial relaunch today of OWN, they’ll have no one to blame but themselves if their struggling joint venture fails to show a big improvement in the ratings following a dismal 3Q. In its targeted demo, women 25-54, OWN delivered a rating of .16 — down 16% vs. the same period last year when the channel was still Discovery Health. OWN may have set a deceptively low bar for itself; word is that it cut back on marketing in preparation for the relaunch. Still, the channel is betting everything on Oprah’s star power — and, to a lesser extent, Rosie O’Donnell’s — and that will be put to the test beginning today with the launch of The Rosie Show (7-8 PM) and Oprah’s Lifeclass (8-9 PM). Winfrey’s program, built on clips from her syndicated talk show, begins with one of her classics: for an episode about “ego,” she will include scenes from the show where she illustrated how much weight she lost from a liquid protein diet by wheeling in a wagon filled with 70 pounds of fat. Discovery will air both shows today on TLC, Investigation Discovery, Discovery Fit & Health and Planet Green as well as OWN. The joint venture also is spending more than $10M for marketing, not including free ad time on Discovery-owned networks. The cash is going for ads on hit shows such as The X Factor and Dancing With The Stars, as well as radio and billboards, and websites including Yahoo, Google, People.com, Technorati, and TVGuide.com. Read More »
Ray Richmond is contributing to Deadline’s TCA coverage.
TCA: OWN Announces Premiere Dates For ‘Rosie’ & ‘OWN Your Life’
Oprah Winfrey blew through the TCA press tour today to address critics at a morning session promoting OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network, having been freshly installed as CEO of the network owned by Discovery Communications. She’d acknowledged earlier this summer that she hadn’t been dedicating all of her energies to OWN and aimed to change that going forward, in part to address its growing pains in the form of falling ratings. ”In my new role, I am focusing on the unity of Harpo and OWN, aligning them together,” she told the gathered critics. To that end, she introduced OWN’s new co-presidents Sheri Salata and Erik Logan, former heads at Harpo Studios who joined the new network in June. It’s no secret that OWN has struggled to find its footing and an identity, with a lineup of cheesy reality shows and little programming flow. Key to that new push is the hiring of Rosie O’Donnell, whom Winfrey also introduced today.
O’Donnell charmed the room with her wisecracking, no-nonsense style, discussing how her coming to OWN went down when she’d been courted by much larger and deeper-pocketed networks. ”I called my agent and told him to call the Oprah people, because I wanted to go to OWN,” she said. “And you know how agents only care about what you want to do, not finances? My agent was thrilled that I wanted to go to basic cable and not one of the major networks. … Oprah came in with a bunch of people from her staff and asked, ‘Why do you want to do this?’ And I’m like, ‘Because it’s you.’ With Oprah, it’s a huge stamp of approval, almost like being knighted in a way.” Read More »
The Chicago soundstage that has housed Oprah Winfrey’s syndicated talk show for years won’t go vacant after Winfrey tapes her last show, slated to air May 25. Rosie O’Donnell, who will host a daily talk show for Winfrey’s new cable network OWN will move into the Harpo Studios facility. O’Donnell broke the news to Harpo staffers today in a video. “It’s me, Rosie O’Donnell, star of The Flintstones!,” she quipped. “I just wanted to say: Hi, I’m coming to Chicago. Yes, I am, and I’m thrilled about it… Thank you, Oprah. And thank all you people there. Some of you are going to be sticking around and helping us make a kick-ass show for the Oprah Winfrey Network.”