Monday, April 15, 2024

Rosie Goes Into Business with Oprah, Clears Way for Katie Couric Talk Show


Rosie O’Donnell is going to put her new afternoon talk show on Oprah Winfrey’s OWN network.

This column first reported the return of O’Donnell to afternoon on March 19, 2010. But it was unclear whether she’d try syndication again.

Instead, O’Donnell has signed on with OWN, making her the jewel in Oprah’s crown. It’s a coup for Oprah and a coup for Rosie. On OWN Rosie will be able to do what she likes. She won’t have to worry about networks or local channels.

For OWN, a network that doesn’t exist yet, this is the equivalent of Howard Stern leaving terrestrial radio for Sirius. It will put them on the map. Oprah plus Rosie equals a hit.

Meanwhile, Katie Couric has to look at this news and wonder why she’s not planning for her own fall 2011 start in syndication. With Rosie opting out of competition and Oprah off the air, only Ellen DeGeneres is the queen of daytime talk on broadcast channels. Couric — whose CBS News contract ends in May–could make a fortune and have a much better life style should she choose to go this route.

With Rosie’s decision, the whole playing field changes.

Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.

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