‘Rosie Show’ Ratings Sinking: What’s Oprah To Do?

by | November 9, 2011 at 1:35 PM | Oprah Winfrey, The Rosie Show

The Rosie Show (George Burns/Harpo, Inc.)

The Rosie Show (George Burns/Harpo, Inc.)

Do you know what happened on “The Rosie Show” last night? We didn’t think so. For a show that hosts a major star, Rosie O’Donnell, and is backed by an even bigger star, Oprah Winfrey, it doesn’t seem like there’s much buzz around the show. And the ratings reflect it; they’re tiny and getting smaller.

A report in the New York Post states that Rosie’s new talk show on OWN is losing audience during its live 7 pm Eastern showing, now averaging about 185,000 viewers. The show has lost over 40% of the audience it attracted during its first week, and has lost viewers each of the four weeks it’s been on. “Oprah’s Lifeclass”, with the Big O herself, is attracting more viewers than Rosie, but is also losing viewers week-to-week.

So, what’s a media mogul to do? Winfrey hasn’t been shy in expressing how frustrating it’s been to be in charge of a fledgling cable network that’s somewhere in the triple digits on most people’s cable and satellite boxes (and not in HD in many places), but she’s also been energized by the opportunity to build a cable network from scratch. But at what point will the channel’s overall direction — one that’s a whole lot less caustic than many of the channels around it — will need to change out of ratings desperation?

The network got minor buzz for one of its reality shows — “Ryan and Tatum: The O’Neals” — mainly because of the conflict between the long-feuding ’70s movie stars. Conflict in reality TV always pays off, as the folks at Bravo and E! could tell you without hesitation. Perhaps more shows where there’s conflict, but with the O-patented “teachable moments” included, might need to be developed.

But there’s another solution, one that Winfrey has vowed will never happen: Resurrect the “Oprah” show on OWN. Can’t you just see that happening? Oprah gets so desperate to up the network’s ratings that she pulls the couch out of storage and picks up where she left off this past May? Stranger things have happened on TV, including seeing Rosie O’Donnell doing a talk show. Remember when we thought we’d never see that again after she left “The View”?

Watch a clip from “The Rosie Show”:

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