Wednesday debut plagued by negative critical response and low ratings
By Matthew B. Zeidman
NEW YORK (RushPRnews/Hollywood Today) 12/01/08 â€“ It was supposed to be Rosie Oâ€™Donnellâ€™s crowning achievement following several months of bad press, but a crush of unkind reviews and a thin audience ensured the cancellation of â€œRosie Live,â€ the comedianâ€™s new variety show that premiered Wednesday on NBC.
Oâ€™Donnell announced the programâ€™s discontinuation on her official blog Friday, acknowledging the chilly reception, but adding it was â€œstill a thrillâ€ for her to perform. Approximately five million peopled tuned in the night before Thanksgiving, according to Nielsen Media Research, a paltry amount for a midweek primetime broadcast on a major network.
Though â€œRosie Liveâ€ boasted several celebrity guests, including Alec Baldwin, Liza Minnelli and Alanis Morissette, it was plagued by unabashed sponsorship plugs that would make even The CWâ€™s â€œ90210â€ blush, as well as poorly timed skits and awkwardly placed dance and acrobatic acts. Oâ€™Donnellâ€™s attempts at self-deprecating humor also fell flat, as did NBCâ€™s blatantly inserted cross-promotions.
During most of her career, the 46-year-old Oâ€™Donnell has maintained a generally favorable image in the media, having hosted an Emmy-winning talk show from 1996 to 2002, championed gay rights (Oâ€™Donnell and her partner have several children together) and supported several charities. However, a public feud with real estate magnate Donald Trump and difficulties with her co-hosts during her time on ABCâ€™s â€œThe Viewâ€ have generated negative headlines since 2006.