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The View is an American talk show that was conceived by broadcast journalist Barbara Walters. It has aired on ABC as part of the network's daytime programming block since August 11, 1997. In its twenty-third season, the show features a multi-generational panel of women, who discuss the day's "Hot Topics" such as sociopolitical and entertainment news. In addition to the conversation segments, the panel also conducts interviews with prominent figures, such as celebrities and politicians. Production of the show was originally held in ABC Television Studio 23 in New York City. In 2014, it relocated to ABC Broadcast Center, also in New York City.
Throughout its run, The View has had a total of 22 permanent co-hosts of varying characteristics and ideologies, with the number of contracted permanent co-hosts ranging between four and eight women per season. The original panel comprised Walters, broadcast journalist Meredith Vieira, attorney Star Jones, then-aspiring television personality Debbie Matenopoulos, and comedian Joy Behar, while the current line-up consists of Behar, entertainer Whoopi Goldberg, attorney Sunny Hostin, and television personality Meghan McCain. Furthermore, the show often makes use of male and female guest panelists, including the addition of television personality Ana Navarro as a weekly guest co-host starting in season 22.
The View has won 30 Daytime Emmy Awards, including Outstanding Talk Show and Outstanding Talk Show Host. The show has also received positive reviews from The New York Times, Slate, Entertainment Weekly, New York Post, and HuffPost. Beginning in 2007, the show became subject to on-air controversies and media criticism due to frequent changes in its panel of co-hosts, subsequently causing a decline in ratings. In 2014, the show was transferred from the helm of the entertainment division to that of ABC News, which led to a viewership growth and warmer critical response. In 2017, the show became the only broadcast daytime program to see a rise in its overall audience from the previous season.
The original opening credits for the show featured voice-over from the show's creator and executive producer, broadcast journalist Barbara Walters, explaining the show's premise as well as its co-hosts' credentials:
I've always wanted to do a show with women of different generations, backgrounds, and views: a working mother (broadcast journalist Meredith Vieira); a professional in her 30s (lawyer Star Jones); a young woman just starting out (newcomer Debbie Matenopoulos); and then somebody who's done almost everything and will say almost anything (comedian Joy Behar). And in a perfect world, I'd get to join the group whenever I wanted...
Walters described the show as "a talk show featuring four or five women 'of different backgrounds, different generations, and different opinions,' who would discuss the topics of the day, mixing humor with intelligent debate." The show begins with a segment where the panel engages in a discussion pertaining to subjects ranging from politics to social issues as well as pop culture, commonly referred to as "Hot Topics." Every episode features multiple "Hot Topics" segments, which take up to most-if not all-of the day's show. The discussions are frequently followed by an interview with a guest, often a celebrity promoting a project. The show also periodically conducts audience giveaways. Every show is ended by one of the co-hosts, primarily the moderator, delivering the closing remarks, "Have a great day, everyone, and take a little time to enjoy the view."
During its first 17 seasons, The View was filmed at 320 West 66th Street in ABC Television Studio 23 in New York City. The original set for the first four seasons was a leftover set from a cancelled soap opera The City. As a co-executive producer of the show, Walters plays a part in the casting of the co-hosts. Longtime executive producer Bill Geddie was the lone recurring male persona, sometimes shown as stepping out from behind the camera to interact with the panel. The co-hosts wear IFB earpieces through which producers communicate with them.
The Views eighteenth season brought significant on-air and behind-the-scenes changes in what was regarded as a "reinvention" of the show. In August 2014, ABC announced that Geddie was departing the show and that he was to be replaced by Bill Wolff, who had served as vice president of primetime programming and as executive producer of The Rachel Maddow Show at MSNBC. Production of the show relocated to the ABC Broadcast Center at 77 West 66th Street on the Upper West Side of Manhattan. During the season premiere on September 15, 2014, the show unveiled its new studio featuring a coffee table-style desk with low-arm chairs, a large video wall, in-the-round audience seating, and an on-camera social media station. Subsequent tweaks included a glass desk and high stools at center stage, as well as color adjustments in backgrounds and graphics.
On October 30, 2014, ABC announced that responsibilities for production oversight on The View would shift from ABC's daytime entertainment division to Lincoln Square Productions, an ABC News subsidiary, where the show will be grouped under the division's non-fiction programming umbrella. The move allowed the show to leverage ABC News' resources toward news-related segments. In August 2015, it was reported that former Late Show with David Letterman producer Brian Teta would be joining the show as co-executive producer. Later in the month, executive producer Wolff was announced to be departing the show. During season 19, the show introduced an aftershow entitled After the View, which was available through live streaming. In February 2016, along with the show's twentieth season renewal, Candi Carter was promoted to executive producer after serving as interim showrunner for season 19, becoming the first African-American executive producer in the show's history.
During the twentieth-season premiere on September 6, 2016, the show debuted an updated set design with muted colors, retooled opening titles with footage of the co-hosts in a loft-like space, as well as a new theme song entitled "World's Gone Crazy", written by Diane Warren and performed by Mary J. Blige.Hilary Estey McLoughlin was named senior executive producer in January 2017 after she was brought on as a consultant for season 19. In September, the show promoted Teta to executive producer ahead of its 21st-season premiere. As of March 2019, the series was directed by Sarah de la O.
On April 6, 2006, Vieira announced that she was leaving the show to become co-anchor of the long-running NBC News program Today, replacing Katie Couric. Her final episode aired on June 9. On June 27, 2006, Jones announced her departure from the show on air, stating that she would remain on the show through July. Despite this, Walters announced the following day that Jones would no longer appear on the show with the exception of previously recorded segments, publicly claiming feeling "betrayed" by Jones for unexpectedly making the announcement two days ahead of schedule. In an interview with People, Jones claimed the decision to leave was not hers and that producers informed her that they would not be renewing her contract in April. Walters later stated that ABC executives had decided not to renew Jones' contract due to diminished approval for Jones through their market research.
During the 33rd Daytime Emmy Awards on April 28, 2006, it was announced that former talk show host Rosie O'Donnell would be joining the show for its tenth season. O'Donnell made her debut as the new co-host and moderator of the show on September 5. On April 25, 2007, O'Donnell announced she would be leaving the show when her contract expires due to the network not being able to come to terms on a new contract. On May 25, ABC announced that O'Donnell had asked to be let out of her contract three weeks before its expiration and that she had been granted permission to depart immediately.
On August 1, 2007, Walters announced that actress Whoopi Goldberg would be replacing O'Donnell as moderator for season 11. Actress Sherri Shepherd joined as a permanent co-host beginning September 10, 2007, marking the first time in the show's history that it featured two African-American co-hosts. Rotating guest co-hosts filled in for Hasselbeck while she was on maternity leave from October 2007 to January 2008 and again from August to October 2009. On August 30, 2009, Goldberg, Behar, Shepherd, Hasselbeck, and Walters won the Daytime Emmy Award for Outstanding Talk Show Host. Following the show on May 10, 2010, Barbara Walters took a hiatus from the show for heart surgery. The season 14 premiere marked Walters's return. On March 7, 2013, it was announced that Behar would be leaving the show at the end of season 16. The next day, reports surfaced that Hasselbeck was to leave the show at the end of the season due to market research showing that both her and Behar's views were too polarizing to viewers, which Walters denied. Despite this, Hasselbeck announced on the July 10 episode that she was leaving The View to join Fox & Friends and that it was her last day on the show. Behar's final show, a This is Your Life-style tribute to her, aired on August 9.
On July 15, 2013, Walters announced that television personality Jenny McCarthy would become a permanent co-host. McCarthy made her debut as co-host on September 9 on the premiere episode of season 17. On May 13, Walters confirmed on air that she would be retiring as a co-host of the show and from ABC News in May 2014, but would continue as an executive producer of the series for as long as it airs. Walters' final episode aired on May 16, 2014, with all former co-hosts and several guests returning for a special broadcast. On June 26, Shepherd and McCarthy announced that they would not be returning to the show following the conclusion of season 17, leaving Goldberg the sole remaining panelist to return for season 18.
Rosie O'Donnell's return to the show as a permanent co-host was announced on July 10, 2014. In September, it was announced that Rosie Perez, an actress and choreographer, and Nicolle Wallace, an MSNBC political analyst and former Bush White House communications chief, have been hired as permanent co-hosts for its eighteenth season after having made guest appearances in season 17. On February 6, 2015, representatives for O'Donnell confirmed that she would once again exit the panel, citing her reasons as a "personal decision." Her final appearance aired on February 12. On June 10, recurring guest panelist and actress Raven-Symoné joined the series as a permanent co-host. On July 7, it was announced that Perez would exit the series following the completion of its eighteenth season in order to fully pursue acting. The following day, it was confirmed that frequent guest co-host and comedian Michelle Collins would join the series as a permanent co-host for season 19. On July 15, it was announced that Wallace was being let go at the conclusion of season 18.
On August 25, 2015, it was announced that original co-host Behar was going to be returning as a permanent co-host, while actress Candace Cameron Bure and Good Morning America Weekend anchor Paula Faris would be joining Behar, Goldberg, Raven-Symoné, and Collins on the panel for season 19. It marked the first time in the series' history that it had six permanent co-hosts. In addition, television personality Padma Lakshmi, stylist Stacy London, political commentator Ana Navarro, model Molly Sims, and Shepherd joined the show as contributors. On June 16, 2016, it was officially announced that Collins had been let go, effective immediately.
In July, Goldberg and Behar were reported to remain on the panel through the show's twentieth season. On August 3, it was announced that Faris, Bure, and Raven-Symoné would be returning and that ABC News correspondent Sara Haines would be joining the show for season 20. Despite originally being announced as frequent contributors, ABC News Senior Legal Correspondent Sunny Hostin and former Fox News contributor Jedediah Bila also joined the show as permanent co-hosts. With a panel comprising Goldberg, Behar, Raven-Symoné, Bure, Faris, Haines, Hostin, and Bila, The View debuted a panel of eight rotating co-hosts for first time in the series' history. Additionally, Behar began moderating on Fridays in Goldberg's place. On October 27, Raven-Symoné stated on air that she would be exiting the show to star in the That's So Raven spin-off series, Raven's Home. On December 8, Bure announced that she was leaving the program, specifying that the commute between coasts and balancing her commitments to the series and to her other television projects were difficult on her and her family; her final episode as a co-host aired the following day.
Despite initially stating that she was considering leaving the show after season 20, Goldberg was reported to be staying on as moderator for season 21. Behar, Faris, Haines, Bila, and Hostin all returned as co-hosts. On September 18, 2017, Bila announced on air that she was exiting the show, effective immediately. Political commentator Meghan McCain was subsequently reported to be joining the show permanently after leaving her position at Fox News. McCain made her debut as co-host on the October 9 episode. In 2018, a number of guest co-hosts including Navarro and actress Yvette Nicole Brown filled in for Haines while she was on maternity leave. Haines returned to the show on March 12, 2018. Faris announced in July that she would be leaving the show at the end of season 21, with July 20 as her final day. The following day, it was reported that Haines would also be exiting the show to co-host the network's new third hour of Good Morning America alongside Michael Strahan. Haines made her final appearance as a co-host during the season's penultimate episode on August 2.
It was officially announced in August 2018 that television personality Abby Huntsman would be joining Behar, Goldberg, Hostin, and McCain on the panel for season 22. She made her debut as co-host during the season premiere on September 4, while McCain took a leave of absence following the death of her father. McCain returned to the show on October 8. In November, it was announced that Navarro was joining the show as a weekly guest co-host. Goldberg took an extended hiatus from co-hosting beginning February 7, 2019, due to pneumonia and sepsis. She returned to the show on March 14. Following her pregnancy, Huntsman began her maternity leave in May.
Behar, Goldberg, Hostin, Huntsman, and McCain all returned as co-hosts for the series' twenty-third season, which premiered on September 3, 2019. It was subsequently announced that Navarro was to return as a weekly guest co-host; she made her first appearance of the season on September 20. On January 13, 2020, Huntsman announced that she would be departing the show to become a senior advisor to her father's 2020 Utah gubernatorial election campaign; she made her final appearance as a co-host on the January 17 episode.
In 2010, President Barack Obama appeared as a guest on the show on the July 29 episode, marking the first appearance on a daytime talk show by a sitting U.S. president. The episode also saw the return of Barbara Walters following her open heart surgery in May before she resumed her hiatus. The broadcast drew a total of 6.6 million viewers, a new high for the program. On September 23, the show aired its 3,000th episode and celebrated the show's history.
On February 22, 2012, former co-host Star Jones came on the show as a guest and discussed her contentious exit from the show, marking her first appearance since her departure in 2006. On February 7, 2014, Rosie O'Donnell returned to the show as a guest for the first time since she quit the show in 2007. On May 15, all eleven co-hosts of the show's history appeared to celebrate Walters' retirement. On March 27, 2015, the show celebrated its 4,000th episode. Former co-hosts Walters and Joy Behar returned to the show for the celebration.
On September 5, 2016, prior to the premiere of season 20, ABC aired a documentary entitled The View: 20 Years in the Making, which featured notable moments from the show and several personalities involved in the show's history, hosted by Behar. On November 8, Behar, Jedediah Bila, Candace Cameron Bure, Sara Haines, and Sunny Hostin hosted a primetime Election Night special of the show, which aired on Lifetime. On November 11, a "Flashback Friday" episode was aired along with a Veteran's Day tribute, featuring the return of original co-hosts Jones, Meredith Vieira, and Debbie Matenopoulos, alongside Behar. Walters was unavailable to attend the reunion.
On May 17, 2007, during a discussion regarding the Iraq War as well as the Bush administration's policies, O'Donnell rhetorically asked, "655,000 Iraqi civilians dead. Who are the terrorists? ...[I]f you were in Iraq and another country, the United States, the richest in the world, invaded your country and killed 655,000 of your citizens, what would you call us?" On May 23, 2007, a confrontation ensued between her and Elisabeth Hasselbeck due to what O'Donnell perceived as Hasselbeck's lack of willingness to defend O'Donnell's right to disagree with the invasion of Iraq and the resulting military occupation. O'Donnell also stated that the media would portray her as "big, fat, lesbian, loud Rosie attacking innocent, pure, Christian Elisabeth" and that Republicanpundits were mischaracterizing her statements. Hasselbeck responded by telling O'Donnell to "defend her own insinuations." O'Donnell exited the show the following day, later stating that she knew that it was time to leave the show once she saw the split screen image of her and Hasselbeck on either side. She felt that the producers of the show were setting her up to be confrontational with Hasselbeck.
On February 18, 2018, during a discussion about Omarosa's comments in regards to Vice President Mike Pence's religiosity, Behar remarked: "It's one thing to talk to Jesus, it's another thing when Jesus talks to you. That's called mental illness, if I'm not correct, hearing voices." While Behar clarified later in the show that she did not think Pence was mentally ill, her earlier remarks sparked criticism as well as a response from Pence himself, who accused the show of expressing "religious intolerance." Content analysis organization Media Research Center subsequently launched a campaign demanding an apology from Behar and urging viewers to do so, resulting in 40,000 calls to ABC as well as 6,000 complaints to the show's advertisers.The Walt Disney Company CEO Bob Iger later stated that Behar has directly apologized to Pence. On March 13, Behar issued an apology on air, stating: "I think Vice President Pence is right; I was raised to respect everyone's religious faith, and I fell short of that. I sincerely apologize for what I said."
In 2016, VH1 picked up a television adaptation of former co-host Jones's book Satan's Sisters, later titled Daytime Divas, which revolved around a fictional daytime talk show named The Lunch Hour featuring five diverse female co-hosts. Jones, who was also an executive producer of the series, and then-View co-hosts Behar, Bila, Haines, and Hostin all made guest appearances on the show. The series was canceled in 2017 after one season.
U.S. Navy Adm. Mike Mullen, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and his wife Deborah on The View on November 24, 2010.
A New York Times review, published ten days after the show premiered, describes what critic Caryn James thought was distinctive about the show:
The idea of women talking to one another on daytime television is not exactly radical. The idea that those women should be smart and accomplished is still odd enough to make The View seem wildly different. It actively defies the bubbleheads-'R'-us approach to women's talk shows.
In 2002, Virginia Heffernan of Slate complimented the chemistry between Meredith Vieira, Star Jones, Joy Behar, and Barbara Walters, writing that the women "have eased completely into the stock sensibility of middle-aged talk shows, embracing the imperatives that one be healthy, careful, temperate, charitable, and moderately cutesy while at the same time skeptical, ribald, and world-weary." In 2007, Ken Tucker of Entertainment Weekly praised the show, writing that it "does for daytime what The Daily Show does for nighttime: It reflects the pent-up frustrations, pleasures, and hostilities its audience has toward pop and political culture."
During her first run on the show, while regarded as outspoken, Rosie O'Donnell was criticized for not acting as a moderator oftentimes during discussions, during which she would interject her own-often liberal-viewpoints. Due to this, O'Donnell faced backlash from conservative media outlets. However, as a big-name talent, she was credited for keeping the show's "buzz factor" up. Conversely, Michael Schulman of the New Yorker praised O'Donnell's time on the show, further elaborating that "on a show that aspired to bring together women of all types, O'Donnell pushed the limits of what cheery daytime chatter could sustain, and The View became more heated and more interesting as a result."
The appointment of Jenny McCarthy as a co-host attracted backlash, largely due to her anti-vaccination views. David Freeman, senior science editor for The Huffington Post, wrote about the concerns of Bill Nye, who stated: "I believe Ms. McCarthy's views will be discredited."Alex Pareene of Salon criticized the decision, writing, "Anti-vaccine conspiracist and View co-host Jenny McCarthy isn't just quirky--she spreads lies that hurt people." Writing for The Guardian, Jill Filipovic remarked, "Other than what her anti-vax views imply, it's unclear whether she's intellectually checked-in or not. And that's part of the problem: outside of anti-vaccine activism, McCarthy has no record of political activism or even serious engagement with the world."Michael Specter of the New Yorker asserted that ABC executives "should be ashamed of themselves for offering McCarthy a regular platform on which she can peddle denialism and fear to the parents of young children who may have legitimate questions about vaccine safety," and that McCarthy's hiring was a "strike against reason and progress and hope."
Following Walters' retirement, the show faced criticism for constant changes in its lineup of co-hosts, namely the one-season stints of McCarthy, Rosie Perez, Nicolle Wallace, and Michelle Collins, respectively. In July 2015, Daniel D'Addario of Time suggested that it was time for ABC to end The View, citing the show's inability to maintain a consistent panel as a factor. In 2016, Lisa de Moraes of Deadline Hollywood wrote: "The View's revolving door has been spinning so dizzily on the show the past few seasons, that panelists these days do a lot of disagreement prefacing with 'You know I love you, but....' as a pre-emptive measure for inevitable 'They Couldn't Stand Each Other' press reports whenever a panelist exits." Regarding the changes, television personality Julie Chen stated, "I mean, I should know all of the names of the hosts and I don't 'cause it changes so often."
In 2017, the New York Post attributed the show's resurgence in viewership to its political discussions. David Hinckley of HuffPost opined that the show has been successful in consistently implementing its original premise and that in regards to its co-hosts, it has "sought to maintain a balance in areas like ethnicity and ideology. While most of the panelists over the years have tilted a bit to the left, there has always been a voice from the right that's unafraid to speak up." Writing for the New York Times in May 2019, Amanda FitzSimons notes that what sets The View apart from other entertainment and news programs is the fascination with the show's hosts and that it "remains one of the few places on TV where audiences can watch authentic human drama."
U.S. television ratings
In November 2008, the show's post-election day telecast garnered the biggest audience in the show's history at 6.2 million in total viewers, becoming the week's most-watched program in daytime television. It was surpassed on July 29, 2010, during which then-President Barack Obama first appeared as a guest on The View, which garnered a total of 6.6 million viewers. In 2013, the show was reported to be averaging 3.1 million daily viewers, which outpaced rival talk show The Talk. In 2014, the May 16 farewell to Barbara Walters garnered 5.2 million total viewers, ranking as the show's fourth most-watched broadcast. In September 2014, the season 18 premiere, which marked the return of Rosie O'Donnell, drew the show's second largest season premiere audience to date of 3.902 million viewers. In January 2015, it was reported that the show's viewership was down nine percent among its target demographic of women 25-54.
Season 20 of the series averaged 2.816 million total viewers per episode, marking its most-watched season in three years while also becoming the only broadcast daytime show to grow its overall audience from the previous season. During the first week in November 2016, the show averaged 2.94 million viewers, the fourth week in a row with year-to-year gains. In January 2018, The View saw another rise in viewership, as it was reported to be averaging 3.273 million daily viewers, giving the show its largest lead since the 2012-2013 season. Season 21 averaged 2.856 million viewers, making it the series's most-watched season in four years. In January 2020, it was reported that the series was averaging "about 2.5 million viewers" per day and that it was one of the top five daytime talk shows in the U.S.