Battle-scarred talk-show diva Rosie O’Donnell has declared that she will wait until May before deciding whether to stay at ABC’s The View. Now word comes that she is in negotiations about a potentially rich overall studio deal.
With O’Donnell’s View contract ending in June and recent boycott threats against Disney and ABC over her Sept. 11 conspiracy theories, rumors about her future plans are flying.
What impact the latest controversy will have on her asking price, believed to be $40 million annually—$5 million more per year than Dr. Phil’s estimated take—is unknown.
According to O’Donnell’s publicist Cindi Berger, "Nothing has been decided." For her part, the star says on her video blog, "I have no idea. We take a family vote in May. We are going to decide then."
None of the potential bidders, including CBS Television Distribution, will comment.
Disney has rights to negotiate with O’Donnell first.
Studios must weigh whether the onetime "Queen of Nice" will continue to gain strong ratings out of almost daily controversy if she goes solo. Says one doubtful industry executive, "Horseradish tastes better when it’s mixed than when it’s alone."