With reports of Rosie O’Donnell‘s return to The View growing louder and more detailed, Fox News Channel this morning had vacationing Elisabeth Hasselbeck call in to say Rosie has not changed from her previous, short, unhappy time on the ABC talk show, and was calling the shots on the episodes leading up to Barbara Walters’ retirement as The View’s on-air Den Mom.
“Here in comes to The View the very woman who’s spit in the face of our military, spit in the face of her own network, and, really spit in the face of a person who stood by her and had civilized debates for the time that she was there – coming back with a bunch of control, ready to regain The View with a seat at that table, Hasselbeck said this morning on Fox & Friends.
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UPDATED WITH VIDEO: “Seven in the Bible is the number of God’s completion. And I’ve been here seven years and my time at The View is complete,” Sherri Shepherd said modestly at the top of The View broadcast this morning — the show’s first original episode since Shepherd announced she was leaving, and Jenny McCarthy said “Me too!” — or words to that effect. She continued to hang on to Shepherd’s storyline this morning — literally — at one point clutching Shepherd’s hands and appearing to think Shepherd was referring to her as her mentor, putting Shepherd in the awkward position of having to clarify that she was addressing co-host Whoopi Goldberg.
“I’ve been blessed to interview Barack Obama; Bill Clinton is a a big fan of mine –h e loved that I played a hooker in One for the Money,” Shepherd tearily told viewers. Possibly hinting at where she’s landing next, Shepherd continued, “I get the chance to call Oprah Winfrey a friend, and that’s a long way from being a legal secretary who wanted to tell jokes.”
The Giant Neon Pink Gorilla — the show’s sole surviving co-host Goldberg called it, was addressed at the beginning of the show. McCarthy jumped in with word that the reports of the two exits was rumor only and not true. Roars from the studio audience. “Actually, it’s true – but I love the support!” McCarthy simpered, then added, “After much consideration, … Read More »
Barbara Walters will interview Peter Rodger, the father of Santa Barbara shooting suspect Elliot Rodger, for an upcoming special edition of ABC’s 20/20. News of the segment with Rodger, a second-unit director on The Hunger Games, will air on an upcoming Special Edition of 20/20 and other ABC News platforms and comes less than a month after Walters appeared on her last episode of The View after 17 years, ending her day-to-day journalism career. On May 23, Elliot Rodger killed six people, injured 13 and then killed himself near the campus of UC Santa Barbara.
Pioneering TV news anchor and personality Barbara Walters announced this weekend that she will donate her personal archives, including papers, photographs and other mementos of a storied career, to Sarah Lawrence College, the Westchester County liberal arts school that is her alma mater, according to the Journal News, Gannett’s paper in the New York suburb. Walters, who just retired from The View, made the announcement Friday at the school’s commencement exercises. In her speech, she recalled studying with the scholar of mythology, Joseph Campbell, who implored students to “follow your bliss.” Upon graduating, she told the 455 students getting undergraduate and graduate degrees, “I had no idea what my bliss was. So if you are like me and you have no idea what your bliss is, get a job. I promise you that bliss will come.” According to the Journal News, Walters credited the school with making her unafraid to ask tough questions. She recounted asking Russian President Vladimir Putin, a former KGB operative, if he’d ever killed anyone. ”He said, ‘No, that was not my department,’ ” Walters said. “So later, several people said, ‘Where did you get the nerve to ask a question like that?’ And I said, ‘It’s easy. I went to a college where I was not afraid to ask questions.’ And this is that college. That is my contribution to world peace.” Along, of course, with that question about the trees.
Barbara Walters‘ last day as on-air Den Mother of The View was, yes, a tribute – and yet, Babs ran the show: Among the highlights:
– Babs corrects Sherri Shepherd when Shepherd calls surprise guest Hillary Clinton by her first name, saying “I don’t call her by her first name.”
– Babs tells Clinton: “As long as you’re here, let me ask you a question: Are you going to run?
Hillary responds lamely, “I am running – around the park.”
– Babs tells Hillary Clinton she wants her to take her place on The View but adds, “I think she may have another job…I know there are a lot of people who hope.”
– Cheri Oteri as Barbara Walters interviews Barbara Walters; they engage in competitive name — and “R” — dropping. Oteri Walters says that now that she’s retired, she’d like to get a Costco card and visit Magic Mountain.
– Babs says she has no idea who is coming out after the break in this chock-full-of-surprises edition of the show, then calmly introduces Michael Douglas who, she says, she wanted on the show. Read More »
All 11 co-hosts of The View turned up today to send off Barbara Walters — it’s her final week on-camera on the show. Joy Behar, Rosie O’Donnell, Meredith Vieira, Elisabeth Hasselbeck, Lisa Ling, etc. Walters said she loved them all — a lot — across the broadcast, Hasselbeck insisted she is Babs’ fave, Babs got wrong the names of several co-hosts’ children before declaring “What does it matter?” and a good time was had by all: Read More »
UPDATED, 6:45 PM: Here is a clip from tonight’s CNN broadcast of Anderson Cooper‘s interview of Clippers owner Donald Sterling. The original story continues below the video:
Related: Clippers Game Clocks Big Ratings After NBA Announces Donald Sterling Ban
PREVIOUSLY: Barbara Walters landed the girlfriend and the wife involved in the hottest story right now, but CNN’s Anderson Cooper scored the sit-down today with the big fish – disgraced LA Clippers owner Donald Sterling, who was caught last month making racist comments about African-Americans and hoops icon Magic Johnson in a 2013 tape. He was subsequently banned for life from the NBA and fined $2.5M. Sunday’s news battle pitted Sterling vs. Sterling as CNN and ABC News vied to take the lead on the hottest story of the moment. Read More »
On the eve of retirement, longtime TV journo Barbara Walters popped up on Saturday Night Live‘s Weekend Update to poke back at years of SNL jabs in the episode hosted by Charlize Theron:
Days before her official retirement, Barbara Walters showed youngsters how it’s done, scooping her rivals one last time to land an exclusive interview with the woman involved in the hottest story of the moment. Walters just did a sit-down with Donald Sterling’s confidante V. Stiviano, whose taped conversation with the Los Angeles Clippers owner, in which he makes racist comments, has led to a $2.5 million fine, a lifelong ban from the NBA and likely a sale of the team.
While Walters’ impressive list of interview subjects through the years includes such hard-to-get world figures as the Shah of Iran, Russia’s Vladimir Putin, China’s Jiang Zemin, Cuba’s Fidel Castro and Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, she likely will be remembered for her celebrity chats and for landing exclusive interviews with headline-makers everyone is pursuing. It is fitting that one of her final interviews is with a young woman who is bringing down a powerful man. It comes 15 years after Walters’ biggest get, a sit-down with young woman who almost toppled the President of the United States — Monica Lewinsky. A record 74 million viewers tuned in for that interview. Those are numbers we probably won’t ever see again, but Walters is likely to get a ratings bump for what could be her final “get”.
Daytime talker The View will reunite all 11 of its co-hosts on Thursday, May 15 which is Barbara Walters‘ second-to-last day on the program. Walters, the show’s creator and EP, is ending her on-air run on the show May 16. (Babs will continue to be EP of The View along with executive producer Bill Geddie, her producing partner of more than 25 years.)
Pulling this off is no small feat, given the less-than-happy circumstances under which some of the co-hosts have left over the years. In addition to journalist Meredith Vieira, the list of returning co-hosts who will appear that Thursday includes lawyer Star Jones, comedian Joy Behar, television personality Debbie Matenopoulos, journalist Lisa Ling, comedian Rosie O’Donnell, and Fox News Channel host Elisabeth Hasselbeck — joining current co-hosts Sherri Shepherd, Jenny McCarthy, Whoopi Goldberg and Walters. Walters, for instance, recently acknowledged Hasselbeck and Behar were pushed out, but insinuated it was done by ABC, in an effort to shake things up on the show. “These are not Barbara and Bill’s decisions,” Walters told Variety. “The network is also involved. I think the feeling was if one went, both had to leave. We needed to shake things up.” Read More »
UPDATED, 8:30 AM: Barbara Walters got a standing ovation on The View this morning as she announced she will make her final regular appearance on the show Friday, May 16. ”Many of you have had to put up with me since your childhood — and, you’re not free of me yet, because I am not leaving television entirely,” Walters warned. “I will continue in my role as exec producer of The View…which means I can continue to watch [exec producer] Bill Geddie, with whom I have worked for more than 25 years, get older and balder… as I get blonder.” Read More »
Rosie O’Donnell returned to The View today for the first time since her headline-grabbing bow-out in 20007. Outgoing Den Mom Barbara Walters explained at the top of the show that they decided it was the perfect time to have Rosie back: “Valentine’s time, heart — everything — to catch up.” Today also is designated as Nation Wear Red Day — it’s a plug for women’s health issues, heart disease being the No. 1 killer of women in the U.S., according to a study. The Ladies of The View are wearing red. Rosie had a major heart attack a couple years ago. Match made in heaven.
“It’s good to have you back on the couch,” Babs says as Rosie comes out onstage. “If feels kinda weird – but good weird,” Rosie says. “I have a red bra on for heart week” she adds. She shows us the bra. “You have your own heart trouble, Babs says, getting down to business. Rosie: “I certainly did – I had a major heart attack.”
They talk about that. They talk about Rosie’s wife’s cancer. They talk about Rosie’s youngest child, and her oldest. “I have known you for a long time, and there are things we disagree on,” Walters says. “One thing I never disagreed: You’ve been a wonderful mother.”
Babs invites Rosie to do the Hot Topics segment with them. “Don’t worry, I’ll be good,” Rosie whispers to Babs as they go to commercial. “I’m not worried,” Babs whispers back. ”Is Hasselbeck here? Just checking!” Rosie snarks as Hot Topics gets underway. Elisabeth Hasselbeck and Rosie frequently got into verbal brawls on The View, during Hot Topics. We miss that. Hasselbeck’s gone from the show too; she’s now a host on Fox News Channel’s Fox & Friends.
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Sweeps tend to bring together the strangest bedfellows in pursuit of ratings. On February 7, The View will welcome back former co-host Rosie O’Donnell six years after her nuclear exit from the show amidst a reported feud with View co-host/executive producer Barbara Walters. Now the two will reunite in Walters’ final season on the show. Said Walters: “I have great affection for Rosie and we have remained in contact through the years. I am happy to welcome her back to the program. She is always a lively and engaging guest and a part of the show’s successful history.” O’Donnell is part of the Disney-ABC family, recurring on ABC Family drama The Fosters.
Controversy becomes Jimmy Kimmel, though it may give parent company Disney heart palpitations. Turns out, the week of November 18, Jimmy Kimmel Live had its best week in both viewers (2.86 million) and in the demo (1.05 million) since it moved to its earlier 11:35 PM time slot in January to play with the big boys. November 18, maybe not coincidentally, was the deadline for Kimmel’s non-fans to collect 100,000 signatures on a petition mandating White House comment on the ABC program’s Kids Table segment in which Kimmel asked a group of precocious moppets, among other questions, how they thought the United States should repay its $1.3 trillion debt to China. “Kill everyone in China,” giggled little Braxton. After which, all hell broke loose for Disney.
Related: Chinese Foreign Ministry Tells ABC To Respond To Protesters
Kimmel had been getting loads of free press since the October 16 broadcast, but it reached the boiling point as the petition neared its required 100,000 signatures. With that threshold easily hit, the White House is now obligated to comment on 6-year-old Braxton’s suggestion. (The White House raised the number of petition signatures required last January, after a petition calling for the deportation of CNN’s British primetime anchor Piers Morgan, and other petitions, very quickly hit the previous 25,000 signature threshold.) Kimmel has apologized for the segment, Disney has apologized for the segment, ABC has expunged the segment from all platforms and even plowed under the Kids Table segment.
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Here’s the thing about a TV show in the news issuing a statement to the press, of the “absolutely no truth to this story” sort, in response to some hot piece of gossip making the rounds. If it’s not on the level, you can use it once. The View used it twice.
In round numbers, it was the gist of The View exec producer/den mother Barbara Walters‘ response when she was trying to throw the press off the story that Elisabeth Hasselbeck was on her way out. It also got fluffed up and used again when word first got out that Walters was retiring. As it turned out, Hasselbeck was, and Walters is. So you can imagine the press’ response this week when, same day stats for Hasselbeck’s first month at her new show, Fox & Friends came out – up 22% in news demo compared to third quarter – they began picking up a report in celeb gossip site Radar that The View newcomer Jenny McCarthy may not be testing so well with viewers.
“There is absolutely no truth to this story,” The View rep said in a statement.
A Barbara Walters denial — the next best thing to confirmation when reporting about The View? Having stated she was not retiring — not so long before announcing she was — and having emphatically denied a report Elisabeth Hasselbeck was leaving the show — Hasselbeck did — Walters has a slight credibility problem these days. Take this morning’s report that Katie Couric is mulling whether to replace Walters when she gives up her on-air chair on The View. Deadline reported Walters was retiring in May, just before ABC and Walters made the announcement; Walters had scoffed at earlier reports. Couric, who’s already made the move from evening news to daytime talk and is under contract at ABC parent Disney, could slip into the “serious journalist” role on The View and land in an environment more like that of Today, where she enjoyed ratings success, than her current program, which has slipped in the ratings. Disney is in second year of two-year contracts with stations to air Couric’s syndicated daytime talk show — though Katie airs on ABC O&Os in many major markets. Read More »