Rosie O’Donnell Variety Show Cancelled

Wednesday debut plagued by negative critical response and low ratings

By Matthew B. Zeidman

NEW YORK (RushPRnews/Hollywood Today) 12/01/08 – It was supposed to be Rosie O’Donnell’s crowning achievement following several months of bad press, but a crush of unkind reviews and a thin audience ensured the cancellation of “Rosie Live,” the comedian’s new variety show that premiered Wednesday on NBC.

O’Donnell announced the program’s discontinuation on her official blog Friday, acknowledging the chilly reception, but adding it was “still a thrill” 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 “Rosie Live” boasted several celebrity guests, including Alec Baldwin, Liza Minnelli and Alanis Morissette, it was plagued by unabashed sponsorship plugs that would make even The CW’s “90210” blush, as well as poorly timed skits and awkwardly placed dance and acrobatic acts. O’Donnell’s attempts at self-deprecating humor also fell flat, as did NBC’s blatantly inserted cross-promotions.

During most of her career, the 46-year-old O’Donnell has maintained a generally favorable image in the media, having hosted an Emmy-winning talk show from 1996 to 2002, championed gay rights (O’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 ABC’s “The View” have generated negative headlines since 2006.

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