The XX Factor

Rosie Can’t Be Oprah, So She Joins O’s New Network

Earlier this year I wrote about the demise of the Tyra Banks Show and wondered whether it meant that the daytime confessional talk show was in permanent decline. The one ray of hope for the genre at that time was Rosie O’Donnell, who told the New York Times in March that she was gunning for Oprah’s syndicated talk show spot for September 2011-right when Oprah’s show goes off the air.

Rosie has ankled the plan to be the next Oprah and, instead, has just inked a deal with OWN-Oprah’s new cable network -to host a daily talk show. One of Rosie’s producers said to the New York Times that OWN offered “the best business proposition” out there for Rosie. As audiences for network daytime talk shows have declined since their heyday in the mid-’90s, perhaps Rosie thinks the best way to reach the niche that is still deeply invested in the confessional genre is through a cable network like Oprah’s, one that still bears her hugely influential stamp. Even more to the point, maybe Rosie just realizes that there will never be another Oprah, so it’s better to join her than to try to replace her.

Photograph of Rosie O’Donnell by Michael Loccisano/Getty Images.