Hot Topics was wildly off-point this morning on The View which, after last night’s drama is now down to a single surviving co-host: Whoopi Goldberg.
Today’s show was taped Wednesday – one day before Sherri Shepherd told Deadline she was leaving as co-host, after which Jenny McCarthy announced she was walking in solidarity with Shepherd, though sources say the show did not plan to bring her back next season.
Barbara Walters, The View co-exec producer, made her first “guest” appearance on the program since stepping down as a regular, but instead of talking about yesterday’s decimation of show’s cast, she plugged her interview with the father of mass shooter Elliot Rodger, airing tonight on 20/20.
Last night, Shepherd told Deadline that while “It’s been seven wonderful years on The View” after careful consideration “it is time for me to move on” and thanking Walters and co-exec producer Bill Gedde for the opportunity.” McCarthy seized the moment to tweet “If Sherri goes… I go too. #sisters.”
ABC issued a statement, putting the best face it could on the situation: “The View will be moving in an exciting new direction next season and ABC has made decisions to evolve the show creatively.”
According to sources with knowledge of the situation, Shepherd’s decision was the result of unsuccessful contract-renewal talks — the two parties were too far apart on the Last Best Offer. McCarthy, however, was destined to become the TV industry’s latest casualty of “a decision was made to move the show in a new direction creatively.” That left just Goldberg returning next season, and a search on for new co-hosts – which will likely include both women and men.
Don’t expect The View to have anything to say about the situation on-air until July 7 at the earliest — the show’s also on hiatus all next week.
“We’re loving your hair, you’ve got a new hairdo!’ Shepherd said to Walters on the show this morning — taped about 24 hours before she ambushed Babs, Gedde, and ABC by announcing to Deadline she’s taking a powder. “It’s been a month since you’ve been gone,” Shepherd continued on the pre-taped show this morning. “What have you been doing — besides missing us?”
Presumably, Walters has been being kept apprised of contract negotiations with the show’s cast. But, Babs instead went with, “I miss not being on Hot Topics.”
Us too, thought viewers, who’d tuned in to today’s show to see what The Ladies of The View would say about the show’s own Hot Topic – but instead got an earful about whether Elliot Rodger having been diagnosed as suffering from Asperger Syndrome would stigmatize McCarthy’s son (answer: probably not since, Babs informed them minutes later, Rodger had not been diagnosed with the syndrome). After that, Whoopi and guest host Bill Rancic got into a heated debate as to whether not getting into Yale, or not being allowed to eat dirt, is what in recent years has led so many young people to slay multitudes. Plus, some thoughtful discussion in re whether Caroline Wozniacki was responsible for her now-ex-fiance Rory McIlroy’s recent lousy golf game.
Once Walters showed up on stage, she and The Ladies of The View – and Bill – focused on Bab’s interview with Rodger’s dad, airing tonight. Babs explained that while she was on vacation in Berlin she got a call from ABC News president James Goldston who said Rodger’s dad called to say he would become the first parent of a mass killer to talk to a TV news outlet – but only if he could talk to Walters. Take that, Diane Sawyer! Babs walked viewers through clips from the interview.
I can see why he asked for you,” Sherri gushed.
“I just want to say how nice it is to be with all of you,” Babs said, nodding at Whoopi, Jenny, and Sherri. For what, apparently, would be the last time.