October 11, 2011 3:52pm PT by Philiana Ng
Rosie O'Donnell's New OWN Talk Show Soft in Ratings Debut
Rosie O'Donnell's new daily talk show on OWN debuted Monday night. How did it do in the ratings?
With Russell Brand as the first guest on O'Donnell's 7 p.m. series, The Rosie Show lured 497,000 total viewers to its premiere telecast. That number -- though a vast improvement from the previous year when it was still Discovery Health -- is down significantly from the premiere of Shania Twain's unscripted series Why Not? With Shania Twain, which drew 839,000, for a point of comparison. (It should be noted that The Rosie Show airs five days a week, while Twain's series was broadcast weekly on Sundays.) Our America With Lisa Ling launched to 574,000 earlier this year on a Tuesday, before rising 24 percent to 733,000 in its second week.
Among women 25-54, The Rosie Show drew a 0.44 rating. Broadcast across five Discovery networks at 7 p.m., including TLC, Investigation Discovery, Discovery Fit & Health and Planet Green, the talker averaged 1.5 million.
"The thing to know about Rosie O’Donnell is that she gets it. She’s done a standard talk show – her own, which ran for years. She’s done The View a show calculated in so many ways. O’Donnell knows the formula at work in these kinds of shows. So when she signed on with Oprah to get back in the game with her own show on Oprah’s OWN, there must have been a part of her that knew she could do something vastly different, perhaps even fresher," reviewed The Hollywood Reporter's chief TV critic Tim Goodman.
He added, "I don’t think Rosie stumbled at all in this first show. I think she was herself. I think the looseness is an asset. And if anyone tinkers with that, they’ll be making a huge mistake."
Following The Rosie Show, Oprah's Lifeclass -- airing weeknights at 8 p.m. -- debuted to 333,000 viewers on OWN and dipped just slightly among women 25-54 (0.4) from its lead-in. When the five networks' simulcast is tallied up, the hourlong drew 1.2 million. Notably, Lifeclass counted 250,000 streams to its live webcast on Oprah.com and through Oprah Winfrey and OWN's Facebook pages.
“The new fall season on OWN is off to an encouraging start,” said Erik Logan, president of OWN. “This is the next right step as we continue to build the network.”
The Rosie Show marks the network's first daily talk show.