Rosie O'Donnell

"Rosie": Slow start, strong finish

The worst and best moments of Rosie O'Donnell's new show came at the beginning and end.

The worst, surprisingly, came with the opening monolog. O'Donnell, a smart stand-up comic, had hired joke-writers, but there was little evidence of them here. She had some mild remarks, then turned to questions from the audience -- never a good idea unless the whole thing is sharply edited -- and (belatedly) a witty song.

And the best came at the end. Her first mini-game show was quick and fun and let O'Donnell play off the contestants cleverly.

Rosie O'Donnell: The Oprah makeover begins

For the Oprah Winfrey Network, this is sort of Launch Day II.

The cable network started on Jan. 1, with high expectations and low ratings. Looking at this sea of talk and reality, viewers shrugged.

But today (Monday, Oct. 10), it sort of starts over -- Rosie O'Donnell's  new talk show at 7 p.m., "Oprah's Lifeclass" (built from 25 years of "Oprah" reruns) at 8, reruns of Lisa Ling documentaries at 9, "Oprah" reruns at 10. A lot more new shows, including the start of Ling's new season, start this weekend.