'The Rosie Show:' What the Critics Are Saying

Most agree that Rosie O'Donnell will be a big boost for Oprah Winfrey's struggling OWN network.
George Burns/OWN

Rosie O'Donnell debuted The Rosie Show on Oprah Winfrey's OWN Monday night.

After a disastrous stint at The View, but a successful six-year span of hosting her daytime talk show that ended in 2002 -- what are the critics saying?

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"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," writes Tim Goodman in The Hollywood Reporter.

"After tonight’s debut of The Rosie Show, I can only hope she doesn’t let anyone tamper with it. Because it’s a little crazy. The Rosie Show is, in fact, something of an oddity in that it looks haphazard and thrown together (though it’s not, despite being live on the East Coast). It looks – and in the tightly packaged world of talk shows, this is a crime – like a lot of fun," he added.

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"At least on the debut of The Rosie Show, there was a runaway train element. You can’t rehearse that or map it out in a meeting room. Which made it interesting to watch," he went on. "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."

In Chicago Now, David W. Quinn blogs, "It was a little rough around the edges. However, unlike most shows, the show is live. Therefore, there is no post production to clean up any missteps."

"However, Rosie did ultimately deliver a great show. There were some good jokes, a great musical number, and a fabulous first guest with Russell Brand," he adds. "Oprah of course had to do a special appearance, because Rosie could be just the thing that Oprah's network OWN needs."

Quinn wasn't the only one that felt O'Donnell would help boost Winfrey's struggling network.

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Writes Linda Stasi in the New York Post: "Oprah gave her a second chance to save her career. And, ironically, if last night was any indication, Rosie might be the one who helps Oprah do the same for her struggling network."

"If you were so turned off to Rosie you never want to see her again, her new show won’t be for you," she cautions. "But I, for one, am tired of the same middle-aged smug men and 30-something skinny women who think that saying four-letter words means they’re hilarious dominating talk shows. When Rosie’s on, she actually is hilarious. Welcome back."

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In the Boston Globe, Sarah Rodman writes that, "O’Donnell pretty much did all of the things for which her original show was known minus the Koosh balls."

"Winfrey had said that she wanted O’Donnell to be herself, and her new hire lived up to that expectation with perfectly familiar results. Whether that familiarity will translate into viewers seeking out OWN will probably require a little more sizzle as The Rosie Show moves forward," she adds.