"I have had the most amazing six years of my life creatively. I didn't want to continue doing it just because I could," O'Donnell told reporters at the Daytime Emmys last week.
Even as studios scramble to fill the void left by the Queen of Nice--Caroline Rhea is set to replace O'Donnell in the fall and Wayne Brady of Buena Vista's The Wayne Brady Show is a strong contender for a similar show--there's no doubt that the talk show as a genre is in serious trouble.
According to Media Week Online television analyst Marc Berman, talk-show ratings have been slipping for the past five years, and recently the drop has been more precipitous. Even media darling Rosie has seen her audience diminish by almost 20 percent in the last year.
But O'Donnell has stated that ratings aren't the reason she's leaving--she simply wants to spend more time raising her family.