Rosie O’Donnell might be one of the most polarizing celebrities on the planet. One minute she’s espousing opinions about how relatable she is to the average audience-a truth. The next minute she’s talking about initially retiring at 40 ‘cause she truly thought she would die young-ridiculous, and assumes a level of cognizance we just don’t have. After that she might bluntly discuss not wanting to return to NBC because of the way they treated Conan—a lie, a joke, or poor word choice? At the end of the day, O’Donnell’s a household name, and she has the capacity to do very well on Oprah’s OWN.
Though Cinema Blend announced months ago O’Donnell was looking for work, it was a bit of a surprise she decided to move to OWN instead of basic cable. According to THR, O’Donnell was very close to signing up to host a program on one of the major networks. Regarding her mind change, O’Donnell said:
” “It was right at the time when NBC had thrown Conan [O’Brien] under the bus…. taking 15 years of service and treat it as if it was nothing [I didn’t] desire to align myself with a major corporation.”
That seems like more of a cheap shot at NBC than a real reason to say no to a major network contract. Likely, O’Donnell was ready to try something new. Aligning yourself with the biggest talk show mogul of all time is certainly a smart way to do that. She’s clear on one thing, though:
“I think that the reason for my success is that I am really not aspirational. I am inspirational in that the people at home feel like they can really relate to me. I am really more the audience. Nobody is really at home saying, ‘God if I could only be Rosie O’Donnell: an overweight lesbian who yells to much.’”
O’Donnell may not be as motivated as Winfrey, but she’s right when she says she brings an ease of viewership Oprah can’t match. Her format should fit well into the OWN programming. She’ll begin with a punny monologue, move into conversations with celebrity guests, and do games with small prizes. The host does hasten to add the gifts will be small and she’s not trying to do what Oprah does. Not that Oprah was worried, but I’m sure it’s nice to know her new host really won’t “aspire” to step in her shoes at any point.
The Rosie Show will air on Monday, October 10.