The View

The View is an Emmy-award winning daytime television talk show on ABC created by Barbara Walters, Bill Geddie, and Jessica Guff and featuring a panel of women as co-hosts. It is moderated by Rosie O'Donnell, with co-hosts Joy Behar, Elisabeth Hasselbeck and Barbara Walters, who also acts as the show's co-executive producer. The show premiered on August 11, 1997.

The concept of The View is to showcase women with a range of perspectives, as they speak with each other as well as with their guests. An early version of the show's opening credits, with voice-over from Walters, captured the premise:

I've always wanted to do a show with women of different generations, backgrounds and views: a working mother; a professional in her 30s; a young woman just starting out; and then somebody who's done almost everything and will say almost anything. And in a perfect world, I'd get to join the group whenever I wanted...

The show opens each day with "Hot Topics," in which the co-hosts provide lightweight commentary on the day's top headlines in politics and entertainment; the segment's popularity soon led it to expand.

The year 2006 has seen the departure of two of the show's original co-hosts: Meredith Vieira on June 9 and Star Jones Reynolds on June 27. The View is produced and videotaped at ABC's television studio on West 66th Street in New York City.

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....

If it keeps its mildly renegade spirit, The View should only grow stronger. It is easy to tease Barbara Walters; we've all done it. (She hasn't made anyone cry on the air yet.) But she and her production company deserve full credit for guiding this show in such a smart direction. During hot topics, it is often her voice that marks out some complicated middle ground and prevents The View from becoming Crossfire for Girls. This show dares to assume that women, even those watching at home in the morning, have minds of their own.

After a year on the air, a review of the show from attempted to summarize what had made the show a "(very guilty) pleasure" for its mostly female audience:

The View has caught on with viewers because it gives expression to feelings more complicated, and real, than its detractors realize. Like the Rat Pack, it's all about freedom in an uptight world. Vieira, Walters, et al., have confessed to a lot of things on the show that women are supposed to feel guilty about: forgetting to vote, being too lazy to exercise, hating skinny models, letting the kids watch too much TV, admiring Hollywood's latest hunk. And, apparently, they don't care what people think. Look, I'm not holding them up as role models. And I'm not saying they're representative of the death of feminism, or the rebirth of feminism, or anything like that. I just like the way they don't give a damn. If the Rat Pack was Everyman's id, The View is Everywoman's. These chicks do it their way, and it's a kick in the head.

The show premiered with four co-hosts: Meredith Vieira, Star Jones Reynolds, Debbie Matenopoulos, and Walters. Walters and Behar initially took turns as the fourth co-host, an approach that at least one TV critic considered disconcerting:

The comedian Joy Behar, who appears on the days when Ms. Walters is off, is truly funny but hasn't blended in yet; at times it seems as if a Joan Rivers clone had parachuted in.

Behar soon became a regular co-host, with the panel expanding to five when Walters joined in.

The show's youngest co-host has changed twice during the show's history.

* Debbie Matenopoulos was featured from 1997 to 1999. When her contract was not renewed, Lisa Ling took over, after she, Rachel Campos, and Lauren Sanchez competed in an on-air try-out.

* Ling departed in 2002 to host National Geographic Explorer. Hasselbeck replaced Ling after she, Rachel Campos, and Erin Hershey Presley were the finalists in a competition that ended with each of the three getting a week-long on-air tryout.

Vieira announced on April 6, 2006 that she was leaving The View in order to replace Katie Couric as the co-anchor of NBC's The Today Show. Several candidates were rumored to replace Vieira, including Patricia Heaton, Connie Chung and Soledad O'Brien, but on April 28 the announcement was made that former talk show host Rosie O'Donnell would be joining the show, at the start of the tenth season in September 2006.

The announcement that O'Donnell was joining the show fueled speculation that Jones Reynolds would leave the show when her contract expired in August. Much of the source for this speculation was the result of a dispute between O'Donnell and Jones Reynolds; O'Donnell has made public remarks suggesting that Jones Reynolds had not been honest when discussing her dramatic weight loss. Jones Reynolds had publicly stated that the weight loss was a result of diet and exercise, but O'Donnell's comments implied it was a result of gastric bypass surgery. (For her part, Jones Reynolds said on Larry King Live she had always been honest about her weight loss, that it was, in fact a byproduct of surgery.)

On June 27, 2006, Jones Reynolds surprised the audience and her co-hosts by announcing her departure from the show. Reynolds was to stay with the show until July, but on June 28, just one day after Jones made her announcement, Walters annouced that Star Jones Reynolds would no longer be a part of The View except for the prerecorded segments of her.

Both ABC and Jones Reynolds have publicly stated that the decision to not renew her contract was in no way related to the hiring of O'Donnell. In an interview with People magazine Jones Reynolds claims the decision to leave was hardly hers, and that producers told her that her contract would not be renewed as early as April. According to an interview with the Associated Press, Ms. Walters stated that ABC executives had apparently decided not to renew Jones-Reynolds' contract as early as last fall due to sagging approval for the co-host which was showing up in their market research. Walters said, "We tried to talk them (network executives) out of it, and we tried to give Star time to redeem herself in the eyes of the audience, and the research just kept getting worse." Walters has publicly commented about feeling "betrayed" by Jones Reynolds, since Jones Reynolds unexpectedly made the announcement 2 days ahead of schedule. "I love Star and I was trying to do everything I possibly could — up until this morning, when I was betrayed — to protect her".

Many media outlets have reported that Gayle King, Oprah Winfrey's best friend might take over for Jones, although King denied the reports in an interview with Access Hollywood in April. Actress Sheryl Lee Ralph has publicily stated her interest in the role, during an interview with The Insider. Meanwhile, The New York Daily News reports that Jones Reynolds is reportedly meeting with executives at CBS, Court TV and the E! network.

Following Jones-Reynold's departure in June and lasting until the season finale in August, the show used guest co-hosts to fill Jones-Reynold's chair. They included actresses Renee Elise Goldsberry, Kelly Monaco, Susan Lucci, Robin Givens, Mo'Nique and Shannen Doherty; singers Brandy Norwood, and American Idol contestants Katharine McPhee and Kellie Pickler; Indy race car driver Danica Patrick; television personalities Carrie Ann Inaba of Dancing with the Stars, Extra's Tanika Ray, Deborah Roberts of ABC News and one of the original View co-hosts, Debbie Matenopoulos of the E! network.

According to People magazine, the show is using the guest spots as auditions, and may offer one of the guests hosts a full-time hosting position. In an interview with the New York Times Walters said the show will begin looking for a replacement for Jones-Reynolds beginning in the fall of 2006.

On September 5, 2006, Rosie O'Donnell made her debut as a co-host, with life partner Kelli in the audience. For her first day, she received an extravagant bouquet from her former crush Tom Cruise. On that same show, Rosie gave away cruise tickets to all the audience members.

According to AOL TV News, Kathy Griffin, Gayle King, Mario Cantone and Brandy were rumored as replacements and particular fan favorites to replace Jones. Walters told AOL that while there is no front-runner, they are committed to the idea that Jones’s successor as co-host be a member of a minority, so that what is now a panel of four white women will be more reflective of society. Walters told AOL that she personally "miss(es) an African-American voice at the table". She also added that co-hosts brought on to guest co-host were both trying out and some were not in contention for Jones' spot.

September 2006, with the new changes in place, brought in record ratings for the daytime program. A total of 3.1 million viewers watched in September, the highest total viewership the program has ever seen. The talk show also surged 34% in the advertiser-friendly 18-49 (women) demographic.

Season 10 tryouts:

* Wednesday 9/20 - Sara Ramirez of ABC's Grey's Anatomy
* Thursday 9/21, Friday 9/22 - ABC News anchor Deborah Roberts (asked back from season 9 tryout)
* Tuesday 9/25 - Broadway star Audra McDonald
* Thursday 9/27 - ABC News correspondent JuJu Chang
* Monday 10/2 - Carrie Ann Inaba of Dancing with the Stars (asked back from season 9 tryout)
* Thursday 10/5, Friday 10/6 - Journalist Shon Gables
* Monday 10/9 - Actress Susan Lucci (asked back from season 9 tryout)
* Tuesday 10/10 - Actress Suzanne Somers

The show occasionally uses guest hosts to substitute if one of the women is out. Past guest hosts have included: Monica Lewinsky, Myrka Dellanos, Felicity Huffman, James Denton, Daisy Fuentes, Ann Coulter, Mariah Carey, Hilary Duff, Marcia Cross, Kathie Lee Gifford, Amanda Bynes, Jamie-Lynn Sigler, Anna Kournikova, Bo Bice, Rosie O'Donnell, Robin Roberts, Constance Marie, Melania Trump, Mario Cantone, Mariska Hargitay, Wanda Sykes, Brooke Shields, Kim Catrall, Mila Kunis, Ricardo Chavira, Lauren Graham, Dennis Miller, Teri Hatcher, Terrence Howard, Eva Longoria, Rachel Dratch, Nicolette Sheridan, Patricia Richardson, Lynda Carter, Chandra Wilson, Sara Ramirez. Deborah Roberts and various All My Children cast members including Rebecca Budig.

While diverse in terms of host age and backgrounds, the show has been criticised by right-wing blogs for what's seen as a liberal bias and a lack of diversity in political views, in spite of the fact that they have had many conservative guest hosts (e.g., Ann Coulter, Dennis Miller, Kathie Lee Gifford) and Elisabeth Hasselbeck is an outspoken pro-life conservative.

On January 21, 2003, Jennifer O'Neill was a guest on the show promoting her "Silent No More" campaign with the goal of reducing abortions by teenagers. Having had an abortion herself, she spoke about her personal experience. She was seen by right-wing blogs as being handled harshly by The View hosts and ridiculed by actress Katey Sagal in the following segment.

Even though Joy Behar said that conservatives are "so annoying," and that she would likewise take on liberals if they were in power, right-wing blogs contend that Elisabeth Hasselbeck is the only conservative on the show.

* A similar show was produced in the 1960s called Girl Talk. Hosted and moderated by Virginia Graham, it consisted of three celebrity women discussing current events, politics, women’s issues and their feelings about each other. Guests the caliber of Joan Crawford, Bette Davis, Lee Remick and Totie Fields felt free to express their opinions and let the fur fly.

* Barbara Walters had hosted a similar program in the 1970s called Not For Women Only. A panel of four experts, moderated by Walters, would discuss serious topical issues of the day.

* Later Today was a talk show that debuted in 1999, hosted by Jodi Applegate, Florence Henderson and Asha Blake. Produced by NBC News, the program was intended to air immediately following the then two-hour Today. Low ratings for the show caused its cancellation in 2000, and was replaced by a third hour of Today.

* Men Are from Mars, Women Are from Venus was a talk show that dealt with relationship issues. It originally had one host, Cybill Shepherd. During the middle of its run, producers decided to switch to a four-person format. The new hosts were Cristina Ferrare, Bo Griffin, Drew Pinsky and Rondell Sheridan. The changes did nothing to improve the ratings and the program was cancelled in the spring of 2001.

* The Other Half was hosted by four men, and ran from 2001-2003. Produced by NBC and Dick Clark Productions, the program aired opposite The View in many markets. Co-hosts included Dick Clark, Danny Bonaduce, Mario López, Dr Jan Adams (2001-2002), and Dorian Gregory (2002-2003). Like The View, the program was directed towards women. The program primarily focused on how men interact with women and vice versa.

* In 2002, The Early Show eliminated the traditional morning-show formula of a male, female anchor team with a weatherman and a newsreader. The revamped version had four hosts – Harry Smith, Hannah Storm, Julie Chen and Rene Syler, alternatively handling various duties. At the time, CBS News tried to lure former View host Meredith Vieira to head up the broadcast, but she declined.

* In 2004, Life & Style debuted hosted by Jules Asner, Cynthia Garrett, Lynne Koplitz, and Kimora Lee Simmons. The show was designed to appeal to a younger audience, with a heavy emphasis on fashion and beauty segments. The show never seemed to catch on and was cancelled in March of 2005.

The show's longtime director Mark Gentile received a Daytime Emmy Award in its first year. The show's producers shared the "Outstanding Talk Show" Emmy in 2003, with The Wayne Brady Show.

Since 1999, the show's hosts have received Emmy nominations every year, though they've never won.

While some people feel The View is an intelligent show, there are others whom feel it is nothing more than trivialized gossip. Specific criticisms include the belief that hosts are either selected for or told to portray a certain personality instead of being genuine, that Barbara Walters is old and out of touch, that Star Jones is pretentious and hypocritical, that the panelists spend too much time talking about trivial, superficial subjects such as celebrity babies and not enough time on important topics like politics and social issues, and that the discussions veer too much into the area of toilet humor and titillation.

Because of this perceived lowest-common-denominator appeal and triviality of some topics, "The View" has often been likened to a "Hen House" full of clucking chickens, an image that was parodied by both the sketch comedy program MADtv and the animated comedy series Family Guy. They were also parodied in The Simpsons with the show being called "Afternoon Yak" where the members of Afternoon Yak resemble the members of The View. The studio audience have also been compared to seals, as there are many breaks for applause during the show.

* The show was originally called The View From Here. However, there was already a program airing in Canada with the same name, and ABC execs decided to change the name to simply The View.
* Their first day on-air was August 11, 1997 with Tom Selleck as their first guest; Regis Philbin was the first guest in their pilot episode.
* The women used to sit around a full-circle table. However, it was very difficult to interact with the audience with half of the women having their backs against the audience; the table was quickly changed.
* Their set was actually a leftover set from a cancelled soap opera, The City. ABC didn't commit to their own set until their fifth season.
* Since the show's premiere, The View has been the subject of numerous parodies. Arguably the most famous of which was a recurring skit on Saturday Night Live in the late 90s. It potrayed Star Jones (Tracy Morgan), Meredith Vieira (Molly Shannon), Joy Behar (Ana Gasteyer) and Barbara Walters (Cheri Oteri) as jealous older women and Debbie Matenopoulos (played by Claire Danes, Cameron Diaz, Sarah Michelle Gellar and even by Matenopoulos herself) as a simple-minded bimbo who was consistently being punished for making stupid comments. In 2005, Madtv parodied the show in a sketch, exaggerating the women's speech as simultaneous bickering. The sketch featured Michael McDonald as a farmer treating the women as hens, tossing chickenfeed on the ground and producing eggs from the women's seats. The role of Barbara Walters was played by Stephnie Weir. In The Father, the Son, and the Holy Fonz from the animated show Family Guy, another parody where the women were heard clucking like chickens was shown, with Star Jones Reynolds even laying an egg.
* Executive producer Geddie has evolved into an on-air foil, especially for Walters and, before her departure, Vieira. Sometimes he is asked to answer factual questions, other times simply for the male point of view. Nevertheless, he rarely joins the hosts on stage.
* A large letter "V" is taken by some (such as author Dan Brown) to be a symbol of womanhood. Coincidentally or otherwise, the program's logo features a prominent, oversized "V".Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License, Version 1.2 or any later version published by the Free Software Foundation; with no Invariant Sections, with no Front-Cover Texts, and with no Back-Cover Texts.
Virtual Magic is a human knowledge database blog. Text Based On Information From Wikipedia, Under The GNU Free Documentation License. Copyright (c) 2007 Virtual Magic. Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License, Version 1.1 or any later version published by the Free Software Foundation; with no Invariant Sections, no Front-Cover Texts and no Back-Cover Texts. A copy of the license is included in the section entitled "GNU Free Documentation License".

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