Turns out adding a mean-spirited personality who embraces the ugliest conspiracy theory in modern times isn’t good for a show’s ratings.
The press dutifully hyped Rosie O’Donnell’s return to The View last month as the addition of a smarter, kinder personality. Gone would be O’Donnell’s bullying tactics of yore, her willingness to fight fellow panelists and insult large groups of audience members.
This was a new O’Donnell, the hard-left comic and 9/11 truther told reporters, who transcribed every syllable she said without much questioning or skepticism.
The Hollywood Reporter notes the new, improved O’Donnell isn’t helping the show out as expected.
The show’s 18th season, with Rosie O’Donnell back at the table and joined by veteran Whoopi Goldberg, actress Rosie Perez and Republican analyst Nicolle Wallace, has seen post-premiere-week viewership drop below last year, back when the need for a Barbara Walters-free makeover became apparent.
O’Donnell couldn’t personally promise big ratings, but she did vow to bring a smarter sensibility to the all-female show. So far, that meant mocking NFL players for allegedly being unable to separate on-field violence from the family lives, claiming U.S. air strikes against Syria were about oil, not fighting terrorism and saying the NFL’s punishment for a Muslim player’s prayer was meant to lead the country into another war.
She also announced that when someone like author John Grisham questions the severity of child porn laws they should have their own computers confiscated by law enforcement.
Weak ratings may be the least of The View’s problems now that O’Donnell is back in the fold. She sparked a fight with co-star Goldberg during a View taping during the show’s first few weeks. More recently, O’Donnell exploded when the program re-introduced a “flash sales” segment.
At the end of the show in the production meeting, O’Donnell went nuclear. ‘Why didn’t someone tell me about this segment? Who in the hell approved that concept?’
I hated it on the previous version of the show. I won’t stand for this crap,’ she yelled at producers, who sat and took their scolding.
The View did all it could to minimize on-air feuds, hiring Nicolle Wallace as the show’s token conservative, a pundit eager to applaud Bill Clinton but trash Sarah Palin, and installing ex Rachel Maddow producer to oversee the reboot.
Seems the old, cantankerous O’Donnell is back.