Rosie O’Donnell to join MSNBC?


Rosie O’Donnell’s last gig at “The View” didn’t exactly last a long time – nine months was about all she could take. Though as many who worked with her reported, it was about all anyone else could take of her, too. The opinionated comedian/actress/TV host clashed both on and off screen with many people she worked with – and supposedly not just over her political opinions. She was generally considered to be a bit of a self-righteous diva, and clashed with Barbara Walters over her behavior on several occasions. Current rumblings have O’Donnell considering signing a deal with prestigious MSNBC for her own show, which would go head to head with CNN’s “Larry King Live” and Fox’s “Hannity & Colmes.” That’s some pretty serious competition.

Even though much is being made of MSNBC’s ”left-leaning” slant in its nighttime programming, thanks to the constant President Bush-bashing from Keith Olbermann, Chris Matthews and Dan Abrams, a few network insiders say the expected signing of Rosie O’Donnell by the cable network has even some staunch liberals at MSNBC a bit worried.

O’Donnell’s ”loose cannon” reputation, reinforced during her nine-month stint on ”The View,” apparently is a key stumbling block as the comedian-turned-TV talker negotiates with the network. Showcasing alternative political viewpoints to the conservative opinions espoused by Fox News has helped boost MSNBC’s recent ratings, ”but we still get nervous when we think about Rosie,” an MSNBC source told me Tuesday.

Yet, given the big ratings boost O’Donnell gave to ”The View” during her tenure there, MSNBC is definitely interested in snaring her, the source said, ”as long as we have certain controls in place.” As for O’Donnell, a source close to her says the outspoken personality thinks it’s all pretty moot. ”Everyone in America knows where I stand as a liberal Democrat who can’t stand the fact George Bush is president,” the O’Donnell friend quotes her as saying about the MSNBC gig.

[From the Chicago Sun Times]

There’s no official word on what kind of show O’Donnell would have; mostly news, interview, celebrity, political, etc. I’d think a mix, though much is being made of her celebrity connections. Certainly she could beat Larry King, who’s been out of the game for years. His show is generally good for humor’s sake, though that’s not what he presumably intended. O’Donnell would likely be good for ratings, and she’s certainly been known to stir up a controversy or two. I would hope that she’d be able to rise above some of the petty squabbles of the past if she wants to be taken seriously and have a show that will make a real impact.

Picture note by Jaybird: Here’s Rosie at the 207 Book Expo in New York City. Images thanks to PR Photos.


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