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:
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.”
Elisabeth Hasselbeck was notably missing as the last of Barbara Walters’ original Ladies of The View bid the show adieu today in a mostly-older-star-strewn, pre-recorded episode. Joy Behar was feted for her more than 16 seasons on the daytime gab-fest that’s undergoing major re-casting as it competes with a slew of copycats. Among those putting in appearances, in person or via recorded message on the episode: Mario Cantone, Joan Rivers, Nathan Lane, Jane Lynch, Steve Martin, Carol Burnett, Debbie Reynolds, Toni Bennett (who performed his standard, The Good Life), and Regis Philbin, who as Babs told it, took her to hear Behar’s nightclub act, which led to Behar’s hire. “For years she has been proving how right I was” for the decision…I discovered Joy Behar!” Babs said — Of course she did!
The ladies of The View made quite a few headlines last week, with Joy Behar announcing her decision to leave the daytime talk show after almost 17 years, and Elisabeth Hasselbeck raising a storm of speculation that she will be out too. The View‘s co-creator/executive producer/matriarch Barbara Walters addressed the later at the top of the show today. “There is a particularly false story that keeps getting picked up about Elisabeth’s alleged departure, saying we don’t approve of her conservative views,” Walters said. “The truth is, we love Elisabeth… We value and appreciate her point of view. She helps give this show perspective and balance… So we have no plans for Elisabeth to leave this show.” But Walters didn’t shut the door on the rumors completely, saying she and exec producer Bill Geddie won’t stop any of the co-stars who “make the choice to leave.” Hasselbeck had been on the chopping block for the past couple of weeks, with ABC reportedly even considering potential replacements.
UPDATE 4:15 PM: ABC just released to Deadline a statement about Joy Behar’s exit from The View. “Joy Behar has been instrumental in the success of The View from the very beginning. We wish her all the best in this next chapter, and are thrilled that we have her for the remainder of the season.”
EXCLUSIVE 3:25 PM: After 16 and a half years on The View, Joy Behar is departing ABC’s long-running daytime talk show. I hear Behar’s contract is up in August and she has informed the network that she will not renew it as she is looking to move on to other things, including hosting a new interview show. Behar is the last original cast member of The View besides co-creator/executive producer Barbara Walters who is still on the panel. The two started off alternating as the fourth co-host before Behar was named a full-time co-host. In a phone interview, Behar said she felt 16.5 years on The View were enough. “It seemed like the right time,” she said. “You reach a point when you say to yourself, ‘Do I want to keep doing this?’ There are other things on my plate I want to do — I’ve been writing a play, I’ve been neglecting my standup.” And following stints hosting her own shows on HLN and now Current TV, which will end with the network’s takeover by Al Jazeera, Behar is ready to do it again. “I do like talk shows, I’m interested in talking to people,” she said. “I want to do an intelligent talk show where you have room to breath.” Will that show be on CNN following reports of Behar meeting with new CNN topper Jeff Zucker? Behar would not elaborate beyond saying that she indeed had “a positive meeting” with Zucker and that “CNN would be great place” for her next show.
UPDATED: The View co-host Joy Behar will be launching a daily show on Current TV. The program, tentatively titled The Joy Behar Show, will premiere in September and air Monday through Thursday at 6 PM with rebroadcasts later in the evening in primetime. Featuring a regular rotating ensemble of journalists, analysts and political satirists, the program will focus on political events, social issues and pop culture topics.
Veteran comedian Behar will make her debut on the cable channel next week when she will take over for Eliot Spitzer while he is on vacation. She will not be guest hosting his Viewpoint but will be hosting her own show in the time period once occupied by Keith Olbermann. Titled Joy Behar: One Week Only *Until the Fall, the program will air Monday through Friday that week at 8 PM ET and offer a taste of Behar’s upcoming nightly show — featuring conversations with a mix of journalists, newsmakers and celebrities. Behar said her show on Current TV will be similar to her The Joy Behar Show, which she anchored on HLN for two years. “There will be a lot more politics because I’m interested in politics, and they had a different focus at HLN,” Behar said, adding that, in addition to being as political as she is, Current TV also shares her progressive views. She said that he is excited about working with Current TV chairman and former Vice President Al Gore “who didn’t lose the (2000 presidential) election; they just decided that he lost the election.”
EXCLUSIVE: I have learned that Joy Behar will leave HLN at the end of the year. Behar, who has hosted her primetime talk show on the CNN sibling since 2009, is in the final year of her contract there. She has done well on HLN, where her The Joy Behar Show is the second-highest-rated behind Nancy Grace. “It just felt it was time for everyone,” an insider said. Comedian-writer-actress Behar will continue as a co-host of ABC’s The View, where she is under a long-term deal, while also exploring new opportunities, possibly within HLN’s parent company Turner Broadcasting. At HLN, Behar was one of two anchors to juggle a primetime cable talker and a daytime show, along with Grace, who left the syndicated Swift Justice this past summer to focus on her HLN program.
Diane Haithman is contributing to Deadline’s coverage of TCA.
Tim Allen was talking trash and slinging jokes at today’s TCA panel on the new sitcom from Jack Burditt (30 Rock) Last Man Standing. The show marks Allen’s return to ABC after his hit show about a manly man, Home Improvement (1991-99).
A lot has changed since then. “I believe that at HI we were doing a 28 share, sometimes into a 30 share, with 30 million viewers,” Allen recalled. “We could tell the president what to do at that time.” It’s a “tighter leadership” now at ABC, he added. “I don’t want to say cheaper but I just did. Sometimes leaner is better. In this case, it’s not. We drink water out of a hose. There are no water bottles at ABC.”
After Home Improvement, Allen cracked that he had received “thousands, hundreds, no, millions of offers” for new series. “Every day it was an offer. I had an ‘offer office.’ ” He said that he would have liked to do a legal drama: “I like Castle, but that was already done,” he said. He said he had an offer for a legal series but added “I’m not going to tell you, it’s too embarrassing. It’s on the air now, and they cast a woman in the part,” a hint pointing to Harry’s Law ,whose lead was originally conceived as a man. Other Last Man cast members joked that the series was actually ABC’s reboot of Charlie’s Angels. “Yes, I was the middle one. I’m very attractive in a halter,” Allen joked. Asked why all men on TV these days seem to be “douche bags,” Allen replied: “That was the working title for this show actually … but Fox got it … they have a lot of douche bags, actually.”
The View outspoken co-host Joy Behar who recently walked out in the middle of a Bill O’Reilly interview over disagreement with him on the subject of the proposed mosque near Ground Zero, today took on a racially-charged ad by Nevada Republican Senate nominee Sharron Angle. Behar called Angle a moron, a bitch and suggested she is “going to hell.”
Both Joy Behar and Bill O’Reilly have primetime talk shows and used them last night to comment on the heated exchange during O’Reilly’s visit to The View yesterday that resulted in co-hosts Behar and Whoopi Goldberg walking off the stage. Behar stayed on a war path, saying that O’Reilly “had a real pinhead moment” and attacking his position on the Ground Zero mosque in an interview with Jesse Ventura on her eponymous HLN show. Meanwhile, O’Reilly was surprisingly subdued on Fox News’ O’Reilly Factor, playing a long clip from The View followed by a short statement that ended with “I loved that exposition today. Didn’t you?” There will be more dissection of the incident on Monday’s edition of The View, ABC just announced. Why, this couldn’t be a ratings ploy, could it? (Today’s edition of the chat show was pre-taped):
What happens if you put Bill O’Reilly on a couch with five outspoken women and throw in a hot-button issue like the Ground Zero mosque? Guaranteed mayhem. And that’s exactly what happened today on ABC’s The View.