Looks like the folks at OWN are trying to pull out all the stops make the media queen’s newest venture a success.
Was Rosie O’Donnell behind the Oprah net work’s decision to dump the long-in-the-works Mark Burnett talk show? The talk-show queen’s fledgling cable channel suddenly scrapped plans this week for an expensive daily morning show, which was being developed by the “Survivor” producer and featured his wife, “Touched by an Angel” star Roma Downey.
“We have to be really smart about what goes on our air and when,” OWN CEO Christina Norman said announcing the move.
The start-up network, already saddled with lackluster ratings, also needs to keep an eye on its purse strings.
And word is that it was just too expensive to produce both the Burnett show and a new daily show starring O’Donnell.
Rosie has told fans that her program will be taped in New York before a live studio audience and will likely debut in September.
Rosie’s salary alone will be in excess of $4 million, say sources.
OWN’s financier aren’t too worried though, sounds like they have total confidence that Oprah will make this ship sail.
It is estimated that OWN — which was financed by Discovery Networks, not Oprah’s own fortune — has already burned through more than $110 million of its $189 million in start-up funds, in part by producing then scrapping expensive pilots. “We recognize it is going to take a while to find a voice,” Discovery CEO David Zaslav told The Los Angeles Times. “But we have an advantage, because we know what that voice is going to be.”
Aight now Oprah, let’s go ahead and get this thing together. Those white folks that gave you that bread are only gonna be patient for so long…