Rosie O’Donnell WANTING to Move Her Show to NYC Doesn’t Mean It Is Happening

Despite the disjointed article on Huffington Post this morning with the title that proclaims The Rosie Show is moving to New York, there is absolutely nothing other than their “insider” to base that title on. After just five months, The Rosie Show has gone to hell in a handbasket and there is all kinds of behind the scenes drama taking place.

The most important problem is ratings. The show has averaged only 234,000 viewers per episode in the past month,  with episodes dipping as low as 150,000 viewers. That’s baaaaad. Really bad. Bad ratings seem to be making Rosie, Cranky McCrankypants on camera and off. Gone are the days of The Queen of Nice facade that Rosie started out the filming season trying to revive. Back is menopausal Rosie who snaps on the set and seems to have lost interest in the show altogether. There is no greater indicator that Rosie is ready to leave the whole thing behind than putting her stunning Chicago home on the market resulting in an immediate sale.

So what is the real tea?

It does seem true that Rosie would love to be living full-time in NYC with her kids again. However, it is Oprah Winfrey’s call on whether that will happen. With ratings in the toilet Oprah would prefer Rosie stay in the expensive Chicago studio she owns rather than sinking more money into studio space in New York. Oprah has an entire team of longtime employees in Chicago who she is loyal to and she does not want to put them all out of work only to replace them with a NYC crew.  Oprah’s employees are extremely loyal to Oprah and not so loyal to Rosie. Word is there is tension on the set between the few employees brought on by Rosie and the rest of the staff who are solidly Team Oprah. Without any kind of ratings at all to use as leverage, Rosie is pretty much stuck in Chicago or even more likely out of luck all together.

According to who interviewed several staffers of the show off the record, the staff only learned that Rosie wanted the show to relocate to NYC when Rosie made a comment to a guest during a commercial break. That caused a lot of ill will between the staff and Rosie. Staffers on the show have recently been told that their services will no longer be needed after this season wraps in May. Rosie has a contract through 2013. It seems more and more likely that Harpo will decide to buy out Rosie’s contract as the less expensive solution to the current situation. There is further speculation that the time has come to shut down the Chicago location of Harpo Studios altogether.  In fact, Mayor Rahm Emanuel already has his eye on the studios location to build a “cultural and entertainment center.”

The Rosie Show did not really fit into the Harpo production style used for Oprah Winfrey. This caused producers to try a variety of formats to try to work with Rosie’s more  off the cuff style. Rosie herself claims to have come up with the current format after being a guest on Bravo’s Watch What Happens Live. She moved into a smaller auxiliary studio, got rid of the audience, the live band and the silly games at the end of each episode. The more intimate setting is actually a pretty good fit for Rosie, but it seems to be too little to late. Nobody is watching OWN in general, so unless they advertise the show on other cable stations, viewers are not going to just magically reappear.

So that one little article in the Huffington Post has everyone convinced that The Rosie Show is moving to NYC.  I say it will never happen and The Rosie Show will film its last episode in the very new future. It may even been the last filming in Harpo Studios.


Filed under Oprah, OWN

2 responses to “Rosie O’Donnell WANTING to Move Her Show to NYC Doesn’t Mean It Is Happening

  1. Good tea. You have been out in front on this. As someone familiar with tv production, I think you are reading the tea leaves correctly. We should know how ipatient out soon enough. I am betting on a contract buy out as you have indicated, but hoping for the NYC production since I think the smaller show was a good astrategy.Sadly,at times like this, Rosie's personality not in her favor,as she gets explosive when facing adversity. I have to imagine that neither Oprah nor Rosie are holding back behind closed doors! Shazaam!

  2. Thanks for this! Nice to see SOMEONE's doing some reporting on it, seems the greater media is afraid to touch this for some reason! Keep u the great work!

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