As NewsBusters reported, The Rosie Show on Oprah Winfrey's struggling television network OWN was canceled last Friday.
According to the Daily Beast which spoke to former staffers of the program, Ms. O'Donnell was no joy to work with (vulgarity warning):
Over a short TV life span, through countless reboots and hiatuses, the series had morphed from a delightful comedy hour that nonetheless premiered to weak ratings in the fall to a bleak, Larry King–style interview program with C-list guests like the cast of Dance Moms and Jaleel White. Through all the changes, some 30 employees from producers to writers had left because of budget cuts and possibly because of a boss who couldn’t decide what she wanted and frequently humiliated them in public. “It was such a fucking hellhole,” says one former staffer. [...]
During a taping in the fall, according to a source familiar with the incident, O’Donnell uncontrollably yelled at a publicist backstage because she didn’t like the parameters agreed upon for an interview. When the publicist wouldn’t back down, another staff member physically separated the publicist in another room from the talent so that O’Donnell could get what she wanted.
Several staffers were very upset when O’Donnell clashed with Winfrey’s longtime director Joe Terry (who has since been hired by Katie, the forthcoming Katie Couric talk show). People thought she humiliated him when she scolded him in front of a live audience for using the wrong camera shots, suggesting he didn’t know what he was doing. She fired Winfrey’s stage manager because she felt like he was ignoring her and not doing his job properly. But some of her biggest fights were with “the games department.” She couldn’t decide what she wanted—The Price Is Right, physical games, or trivia—and was constantly belittling the people who worked on them.
As she always came off as such a pleasant sort during her stint on ABC's The View, this must all come as a huge shock.
But there's more. It seems her constantly referring to her sexual orientation - and that of others - was also a problem:
Market research had indicated that even the show’s gay-friendly audience was tiring of all the gay references and hearing O’Donnell talk about being a lesbian, but O’Donnell disregarded that critique. On a recent Friday night, she advertised on Twitter that she was doing a special where she talked about being gay in America. The show ended up being an interview with Randy Roberts Potts, the grandson of televangelist Oral Roberts, and it featured clips of Rosie talking to her staff about coming out. During another episode, she implied on TV that one of the younger staff members was gay, when he had never talked about his sexual orientation. The incident left him upset and embarrassed.
Maybe television executives will learn from O'Donnell's behavior on her past two programs and seriously rethink giving her another one.
Wouldn't it be nice if she just faded away like the Wicked Witch of the West?