The reasons have to do with OWN and with O’Donnell, with their partnership appearing doomed from the start. It’s hard to get traction for a new show on a network very few people are watching. It also doesn’t help that Rosie was scheduled at 7 PM, a time period no one associates with talk shows, which normally air in daytime and late-night. Airing Rosie at a time when few soccer moms are available and viewers are not in the habit of watching a talk show against venerable performers like Wheel Of Fortune and Jeopardy proved a tall order. (It was initially announced as a daytime talk show.) Still, as Winfrey’s recent interview with Whitney Houston’s daughter, which attracted 3.5 million viewers, proved, noisy programing can draw eyeballs even on a very low-trafficked network.Let's not forget that Rosie went full 9/11 Truther insisting that "fire had never melted steel" so therefore the Twin Towers had to have been felled by a conspiracy using explosives. The angry lesbian Rosie that became the norm after her "Queen of Nice" show ended have permanently tarnished her image.
Which leads us to O’Donnell, a polarizing figure with strong political views and aggressive style, something that kept station buyers on the sidelines when she was shopping a syndicated talk show in 2010. OWN, which originally branded itself as a network for inspiring women and helping them better their lives, tried to rehabilitate O’Donnell’s image and channel more of her 1990s “queen of nice” bubbly persona than the darker, more controversial one we’ve seen in the final stage of her daytime talk show, on The View as well as on her Sirius XM radio show. But it proved hard for O’Donnell to escape her reputation and get viewers to fully embrace her they way they did 16 years ago. And she didn’t look as natural in that role as she was back in the day.
And I think there's another reason for Oprah's failings. As a syndicated talk show host she had an established audience that pretty much stuck with her even when she went full-on for Obama in 2008. However, those days are gone and her network offers rather little to entice non-Oprah lovers, and those who didn't appreciate her Obama love have turned her off altogether. I'm not sure she could even bring back her talk show on that network and get people to watch.