Variety’s Ramin Setoodeh reports that “The View” is in so much trouble, “rumors are swirling” that Rosie O’Donnell might be brought back.
After a ton of controversy, that included O’Donnell using the program to spread her 9/11 Trutherism with the absurd claim that fire can’t melt steel, the left-wing comedian left the show in 2007 after just one season.
Walters has since claimed that “Rosie imploded” and has “emotional problems.”
The road to bringing Rosie back is apparently clearer with Walters off the show and other rumors about the potential replacement of “View” executive producer Bill Geddie. Geddie reportedly clashed with O’Donnell throughout her run on the show and even during O’Donnell’s one-episode return as a guest back in February.
The 17 year-old talk show’s famous revolving door is spinning even faster these days after Walters’ exit last month and the news last week that both Jenny McCarthy and Sherri Shepherd are on the way out. This leaves longtime co-host Whoopi Goldberg as the show’s sole returnee next year.
Bringing O’Donnell back feels like a desperate move on ABC’s part. Oprah’s OWN network spent millions a few years ago under the same assumption ABC seems to be working under: that Rosie can save the day and stabilize the bleeding. That experiment was a costly debacle for OWN that lasted only one season.
Though not as well-publicized, Rosie had another costly post-“View” failure when her NBC variety show was immediately cancelled after its premiere due to low ratings.
With the television audience so fractured due to a world filled with over 100 channels, it is possible that bringing O’Donnell back could boost viewership at “The View” enough to call it a success. But outside of a skewed reality, O’Donnell is regarded as an unstable, mean-spirited laughingstock who has failed at everything that doesn’t involve her being a public train wreck.
Follow John Nolte on Twitter @NolteNC