For 'The View,' The Bloom Is Off the Rosie

By Lisa de Moraes
Thursday, April 26, 2007

Rosie O'Donnell's wild ride on "The View" is coming to an end, not even one year after it began.

"They wanted me three years, I wanted one year . . . it just didn't work. That's show business," she said at the top of yesterday's show.

Barbara Walters, the ABC daytime show's executive producer and on-air den mother, jumped in to make it "perfectly clear" that she had not participated in the negotiations to renew Rosie's contract.

"It was between [Rosie's] agents and ABC daytime. This was not my doing -- nor my choice," Walters said on-air, noting that it was she who had "induced" the longtime daytime talk show host to join "The View" gaggle.

Rosie, who replaced Meredith Vieira as co-host and moderator in September, will stick with the show until the end of June, Walters told the studio audience and viewers at home.

"Yes, per my contract," Rosie said, adding, "They're not kicking me out, don't worry."

Rosie has, in fact, been very very good for "The View." In the time she has been on the show, ratings among all viewers are up 17 percent compared with the same period of time in '06. And among women ages 18 to 34 -- the Holy Grail of daytime TV -- "The View" is up a whopping 20 percent with Rosie on board.

The Reporters Who Cover Television have had a full-time job keeping up with Rosie in her short 7 1/2 months on "The View."

Most famously, she traded insults with Donald Trump, who co-owns the Miss USA and Miss Universe pageants.

That headline-grabbing war of words started in December, when Trump announced he would let then-Miss USA Tara Conner hang on to her crown in spite of reports of underage drinking, if she went into rehab.

The next day, Rosie called him a "snake-oil salesman" and said the twice-divorced Trump had no right to be a "moral compass" for the pageant winner.

Trump -- whose sagging NBC reality series "The Apprentice" was about to return -- retorted by calling her, repeatedly, fat and unattractive, sometimes adding "pig," and saying that he planned to send someone to lure away Rosie's partner, with whom she has four children. In the course of that media blitz, Trump also said that Walters told him she wanted to ditch O'Donnell. Walters has denied that claim.

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