The View has added Jenny McCarthy to its panel, the ABC show announced days after its longtime co-host Elisabeth Hasselbeck bowed out and show den mother Barbara Walters told viewers “We will not be filling [the position] very soon.” Walters had also denied for months that Hasselbeck was being pushed off the show, so she’s batting 1000 on the credibilty front. Anyway, after 17 appearances on the show — eight as a guest co-host — McCarthy’s long-speculated hire was made official this morning. The comedian, actress, author, and VH1 show host officially starts her new gig September 9 for the kickoff to Season 17 of the daily chat show.
The announcement will not be treated as good news in certain circles: Some members of the medical profession have expressed their dismay, via social media, owing to her aggressive anti-vaccination campaign. The View competitors, on the other hand, may be dancing the happy dance. Some execs in the TV industry outside ABC had expressed surprise McCarthy was being considered, saying past focus group testing on McCarthy had indicated female viewers — The View‘s bread and butter — don’t particularly like her. (On the other hand, focus group testing on NBC’s comedy series Animal Practice had been through the roof and we all know how that turned out.) “Jenny brings us intelligence as well as warmth and humor,” Walters insisted stoutly in Monday’s announcement. “She can be serious and outrageous. She has connected with our audience and offers a fresh point of view. Jenny will be a great addition to the show as we usher in an exciting new chapter.”
“I’m beyond thrilled to be joining Barbara and the other amazing women at the table,” McCarthy said this morning in her statement. By “other amazing women” she means Babs, Whoopi Goldberg and Sherri Shepherd — Hasselbeck’s out and Joy Behar announced her departure a while ago. In her statement, McCarty called this the fulfillment of a “lifelong dream,” adding, “I look forward to helping make hot topics a little bit hotter, and showing my mom that my interrupting skills have finally paid off.” McCarthy among other things is host of VH1′s pop culture-driven The Jenny McCarthy Show, to which the network gave a seven-episode Season 2 order in March. At the time, McCarthy stressed her commitment to the VH1 show and dismissed rumors of The View gig. She learned that trick by sitting at the feet of a master.