NEW YORK — For some people, shopping is a vice. For Joan Rivers, it represents redemption.

Rivers’s career hit a bumpy patch in the mid-Eighties after a well-publicized rift with Johnny Carson. Like many who’ve drowned their sorrows in a fancy mall, Rivers found salvation in shopping — and selling.

An appearance on QVC Network in 1990 mushroomed into a big business. Rivers has sold $60 million worth of jewelry on the network in the last four years and continues to make appearances.

Two years ago, she approached Tribune Entertainment, the producer of her former talk show “Gossip! Gossip! Gossip!” with an idea for a syndicated home shopping program. Tribune canceled the talk show last summer, but gave “Can We Shop?” the green light.

“I was tired of talking to the same 12 guests that everybody else has,” Rivers said of the gossip show. “I didn’t want to talk to any more transvestites. This was a natural transition.”

Rivers says she’s even ordered some of the products herself.

“If my husband were alive today, he would be in shock,” she said. “I bought the automatic breakfast maker. It wakes you up, makes coffee, gives you a slice of toast and scrambles an egg. You can eat breakfast in bed with a sailor and never get up.”

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