Oprah and Rosie Smackdown -- Good for Business?

Heather Chaet

rosie o'donnellOkay, it's been well established I'm addicted to TV. When I heard that Rosie O'Donnell was getting a talk show on Oprah's OWN network, well, it was like a marriage made in talk show heaven for me. My two favorite TV talkers joining forces. This was epic news for me.

But now, rumors are swirling. Hitting the pause button for a second: why do rumors swirl? Why do they have a tornado-like or whirlpool-like quality? I think rumors should rush -- I mean who doesn't love a good alliteration? Okay, sorry, but that was bugging me. So, rumors are doing what they do about an Oprah-Rosie feud.

I'm not sure how I feel about this. I feel like rocking myself gently in the corner, as if my two TV moms are bickering. I feel like I should pick a side, but which one? 

I feel like this is really good publicity.

It was big news when Oprah hired Rosie and gave her her own show. In all of the hype before the OWN network hit airwaves in January, there was much hoopla over Oprah visiting Rosie for a "crazy check," how excited each lady was to team up together. Lots of hugs, lots of laughs.

Now, the shine has come off a bit. They're getting into the nitty-gritty, hiring people, figuring out the direction of the show -- and things aren't so, well, rosy. Both women are powerhouses, both have (or had) talk shows, both have (or had) their own magazines. But, Rosie has to just look at the logo at the bottom of the TV screen. Where it says OWN. Yup, Oprah is the boss.

As a devotee of the OWN network (I love it!), I've been wondering how it's been faring in the ratings department. Oy. This Rosie thing isn't the only trouble in OWN land -- ratings have been dipping. It started with a bang, but within weeks, network viewers dropped by 20%, and Queen Oprah's OWN is last among the "women's networks" (Lifetime, Oxygen, and WE TV are the other three).

So, OWN is in trouble. It is common knowledge everyone loves a good fight (and Rosie's a pro at them). Could this tiff be good in the long run? Get people talking, get people to tune in ... ummm, duh. Those ladies are no dummies. As it has been said so many times: there's no such thing as bad publicity.

Will you watch Rosie's new show on the OWN network?


Image via david_shankbone/Flickr

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