Just when you thought the greatest feud ever witnessed on television was long over, Donald Trump jump-started it today by gleefully pouncing on the news that Rosie O’Donnell’s daily talk show on OWN was being canceled by Oprah Winfrey.
The Rosie Show seemed doomed from the start when it debuted less than a year ago to 500,000 viewers — a far cry from the huge ratings she used to get with her previously syndicated show. Despite a complete overhaul with a more intimate set, the number of viewers plunged by more than half before Winfrey had no choice but to pull the plug.
The last show will air March 30, but The Donald wasn’t going to wait that long to gloat. Like a vulture hovering above, he tweeted today: “Rosie O’Donnell has failed again. Her ratings were abysmal and Oprah canceled her on Friday night. When will media executives learn that Rosie just hasn’t got it.”
Of course, all of this originated five years ago when O’Donnell was still on ABC’s The View. Mocking Trump for not firing Tara Conner — the embattled Miss USA winner who was under fire for partying — O’Donnell impersonated Trump’s hair and voice and referred to him as a “snake-oil salesman.” She also claimed that he had been bankrupt several times, left his first wife and had an affair.
Trump responded by telling People magazine at the time: “You can’t make false statements. Rosie will rue the words she said. I’ll most likely sue her for making those false statements – and it’ll be fun. Rosie’s a loser. A real loser. I look forward to taking lots of money from my nice fat little Rosie.”
Last December, Trump posted a video on YouTube slamming O’Donnell’s new show, referring to it as a “complete and total disaster.” O’Donnell replied back via Twitter saying, “How many billionaires sell ties and have crappy non reality shows – none – go back to selling snake oil.”
Winfrey took a leap of faith in hiring O’Donnell, who has become a polarizing personality over the years. She is a far cry from being the “Queen of Nice,” a nickname she earned when she was ruling the airwaves from 1996-2002. Her love of Broadway musicals and obsession with Tom Cruise made The Rosie O’Donnell Show one of the most popular talk shows ever.
“I thank Rosie from the bottom of my heart for joining me on this journey,” Winfrey said this week in a release. “She has been an incredible partner, working to deliver the best possible show every single day. As I have learned in the last 15 months, a new network launch is always a challenge and ratings grow over time as you continue to gather an audience. I’m grateful to Rosie and the dedicated Rosie Show team for giving it their all.”
Thankfully for all of us, the entertainment just seems to be getting started again between Trump and O’Donnell. And because I honestly don’t care very much for either one of them, I’m just going to sit back and enjoy the verbal barrage of insults being hurled back and forth. Pass the popcorn!
Photo Credit: Sharkpixs/ZUMA Press/Newscom