TV Week Asks: Can Rosie O'Donnell and NBC Revive "Variety Show" Genre

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November 17th, 2008

My prediction is unless it is NBC's goal to steal the 55+ viewers away from CBS...no, they can't. From the TV Week story:

Having already revolutionized daytime talk and reinvigorated "The View," Rosie O'Donnell is now hoping to resurrect one of television's storied genres: the variety show.

It's a tall order-which may be one reason Ms. O'Donnell has enlisted some serious showbiz firepower for her Nov. 26 NBC special, dubbed "Rosie Live."

"Liza Minnelli will be on the show," Ms. O'Donnell revealed last week in an exclusive interview with TelevisionWeek. "It's showbiz royalty. I couldn't do it without her."

Will Ms. O'Donnell perform a duet with Ms. Minnelli, whose 1972 variety/concert special "Liza With a Z" won multiple Emmy Awards?

"Of course! What, are you kidding me?" Ms. O'Donnell laughed. "This is the dream for every girl from Long Island who ever sang in the mirror to ‘Cabaret.' This is as good as it gets for me."

- read the full story via TV Week

Sure, every girl over 45. No offense, but if 18-49 really fuel the ratings, Rosie needs to grab Britney, Lindsay (ok, so she's hard to work with according to the Ugly Betty people) and Jessica Simpson. Liza is not serious showbiz firepower anymore. This isn't 1978, it's 2008. Others planned to appear are Kathy Griffin, Jane Krakowski from 30 Rock, hip-hop artist Ne-Yo and singer Alanis Morissette.

I will be happy to eat crow if I'm wrong, but it just seems like NBC is flailing around now. This idea just seems dumb to me as a means of reaching 18-49 year olds. I predict bad ratings for what right now appears to be a futile attempt at throwing crap at the wall and seeing what sticks. Not spectacularly bad Quarterlife style ratings, mind you, but it won't surprise me if Knight Rider (which I believe it is airing instead of) pulls better 18-49 ratings.

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