Rosie O’Donnell Leaving ‘The View’ Could Lead To Show’s Cancellation, Insiders Say

With news this week that Rosie O’Donnell is leaving The View, experts indicate that the daytime talk show once dominant in the ratings could now be headed for cancellation.

ABC confirmed this week that Rosie is leaving The View, implying that O’Donnell’s impending divorce from wife Michelle Rounds caused her to step away from the show.

“Rosie is an immensely talented star who comes in each and every morning brimming with ideas, excitement and passion for the show,” ABC News said in a statement. “When she told us that she wanted to exit ‘The View,’ we respected and understood her desire to put her well-being and her family first. We’re delighted she’s still part of the ABC family with upcoming guest appearances on ‘The Fosters.’ And we know she’ll return to ‘The View’ often with her unique point of view and updates on her work and her family.”

Rosie O’Donnell has now left The View twice, following a one-year stint that started in September 2006 and ended when Rosie couldn’t reach terms on a contract extension the next season.

When Rosie returned this year, she brought a temporary ratings boost, but that has since disappeared. The View is now struggling and giving up ground rapidly to its competition.

Deadline noted the following.

“Amid all the turmoil and turnover involving the show’s stars, its competition has been biting into ‘The View’s’ viewership. Season to date, ‘The View’ is outperforming CBS’ ‘The Talk’ in all key demos: Total Viewers (+238,000), Women 25-54 (+34,000) and Women 18-49 (+46,000). And, last week the show clocked its biggest total viewer lead over ‘The Talk’ in six weeks. But, the CBS’ rival gabfest beat ABC’s show for the first time in its four-year history during the week of January 11. ‘Talk’ drew an average of 2.95 million viewers that week — a small but psychologically significant 2% jump over the 2.88 million ‘The View’ pulled over the same period. Page Six broke the O’Donnell news tonight.”

Rumors that The View could be canceled have circulated for a few weeks now. Last month, a network insider called the show a “sinking ship” that was losing viewers rapidly.

“There is no leadership on the show,” the source told Fox411. “It’s the news division that pays for ‘The View,’ so the debate now is whether the show is iconic enough to pour money into revamping, or do away with all together. At this stage, the feeling is that it’s pretty much done. They may test a remodeled version for one more season, but that would require work and top brass aren’t sure that it is worth it.”

Rosie O’Donnell is officially leaving The View next week. The show has not announced a permanent replacement.