NBC Shows the Love for Rosie and Gore
By James L. Hirsen, J.D., Ph.D.
It seems Rosie O'Donnell is a mixed bag.
The actress, TV host, and sometimes comedienne has been known to spout half-truths, fling rude affronts and lob conspiracy theories in between her laugh lines.
She's also, at times, alienated the heartland, given sponsors a major headache, and frazzled the nerves of media conglomerates and their shareholders. But Rosie has also been known for roping in a lot of viewers. And at a time when television is suffering a general decline, network producers are taking note.
The controversial May 2007 episodes of "The View," in which Rosie participated, brought in larger audiences than in any other month that the decade-long Barbara Walters show has been on the air. The show averaged a record 3.8-million viewers.
In Rosie's current situation, replacing Paris Hilton on "The Simple Life," getting Paula Abdul's spot on "American Idol," or taking Katie Couric's CBS anchor job don't seem to be in the offing. However, speculation is emerging about where Rosie may turn up in her post-"View" career.
One major network executive reportedly wants O'Donnell for either a daytime spot or a prime-time game show slot, according to Foxnews.com. Recently announced new head of programming for NBC Ben Silverman has let it be known that he'll do whatever it takes to obtain the services of the former "View" cast member. NBC is in desperate need of ratings. Judging by its imbalanced network news division and cable channel MSNBC's lack of impartiality, a decision to cater to its most leftist viewers appears to have been made.
The ex-queen of nice may very well end up on the cockeyed peacock network. Since quitting "The View" three weeks prior to her contract's expiration, Rosie has been working on a memoir to be released in Fall 2007 titled "Celebrity Detox." During a recent speaking engagement, she explained that her memoirs will be written in the same style as her blog.
In another skewed signal, NBC's parent company, NBC Universal, has set aside a mind-boggling 75-hours-plus of broadcast time for Al Gore's "Live Earth: The Concerts for a Climate in Crisis."
On July 7, NBC will devote all of its prime time to the Gore event. CNBC will provide an additional seven hours of coverage and Bravo, another18 hours. MSNBC will cover the Gore event via special reports with correspondents reporting live from New York and London.
"Live Earth" will also be featured for 22 hours on the Universal HD channel, with another hour on Telemundo and two hours on Telemundo's cable network, mun2.
It makes you wonder if all the face time is going to prompt Gore to enter the Democrat campaign follies.
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James L. Hirsen, J.D., Ph.D.
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