Rosie O'Donnell, publicly feuding with Barbara Walters since walking off The View in a huff last year, had a chance to show up her old boss Thursday when they both did Thanksgiving-night specials. Result: Rosie got squashed. Rosie Live, a tribute to the old network variety shows of the 1970s, drew a mere five million viewers. Walters' interview with Barack and Michelle Obama pulled in more than twice as many people, 11.6 million. The shows didn't run head to head -- O'Donnell's aired at 8 p.m., Walters' two hours later -- but you can bet that if the ratings were reversed, Rosie would be bragging about it.
The ratings almost certainly killed O'Donnell's ambition to turn the special into a series, and probably crushed the nascent hopes of the networks that variety shows (relatively inexpensive to produce) are poised for a comeback. Go back to sleep, Carol Burnett.