As its ratings remain disappointingly low, the Oprah Winfrey Network's "The Rosie Show" has laid off some 30 employees and contract workers as it attempts to "evolve" and attract a larger audience.
Crain's Chicago Business reports that new Chicagoan and comedienne Rosie O'Donnell has, as of Jan. 16, shifted her taping into a new, more intimate and colorful set before an audience of about 70, compared to the several hundred capacity of the former studio of "The Oprah Winfrey Show" at Harpo Studios, where the show was previously taped.
Further, the show has eliminated its game show segment and begun taping more one-on-one conversations between O'Donnell and her guests, according to Crain's.
The layoffs, according to a show spokesperson, were due to the fact that the smaller studio requires fewer staff to support the operation.
According to the Hollywood Reporter, "The Rosie Show" also announced late last month that a new producer -- Shane Farley ("Rachael Ray," "Rosie O'Donnell Show") -- had come aboard as the show's new executive producer, replacing Page Hurwitz.
O'Donnell told the Hollywood Reporter she wanted a more "homey feel" to her set, because she was inspired by Bravo host Andy Cohen's "Watch What Happens Live" set when she was a guest there.
"I wanted to re-create that laid-back feeling, less about performing for a huge audience and more about having a one-on-one conversation," O'Donnell explained.
Ratings for "The Rosie Show" dipped considerably from their premiere high of 321,000 viewers last October. According to Variety, the show as of last month averaged 204,000 viewers, which still marked an improvement for the perpetually ratings-challenged OWN.
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