A review of the celebrity host and co-hosts Profiles on ABC's The View TV show.
A review of current and former host and co-hosts of ABC TV's The View
When renowned veteran television journalist Barbara Walters began her own morning talk show, The View, her aim was to bring together a group of smart, savvy women from different walks-of-life to share their opinions and discuss issues of the day. The show premiered on ABC on August 11, 1997 and has been a huge hit with female audiences in particular from the very beginning. The View show's original co-hosts with Walters were Meredith Vieira as moderator, lawyer Star Jones, comedian Joy Behar, and Debbie Matenopoulos providing a more youthful point-of-view. Since then, The View has had several other hosts, including Rosie O'Donnell and Whoopi Goldberg.
The hallmark of The View TV show is that it brings together women of different ages and backgrounds to talk with honesty, humor, and passion about everything from family to entertainment to politics. The show opens with a lively segment called Hot Topics in which the gals weigh in on a handful of "issues" -- some more consequential than others. The rest of the hour-long program is devoted to interviews with celebrities and with experts on subjects such as health and fitness, as well as the occasional musical performance. The variety of guests -- from American Idol winner Katharine McPhee to TV mom Doris Roberts -- is reflective of The View's aim to have inter-generational appeal.
The View show was the brainchild of renowned television journalist Barbara Walters, who is also a host on the show. Walters herself, busy with news anchoring duties, would generally participate on The View about three days a week. But over the years, Walters presence has been crucial to keeping the show together as it has gone through numerous hosts during its time on the air. However, many have suggested that The View TV show has damaged Walters' reputation by making the once respected journalist (who is considered to have broken ground for female reporters) appear frivolous by indulging in silly and sensationalist topics. In addition to her regular duties on The View show, Barbara Walters continues to do a lot of work for ABC News and her signature "Barbara Walters specials," notably the pre-Oscar interviews with major celebrities.
Comedian Whoopi Goldberg was brought in to replace Rosie O'Donnell, and Goldberg has had a steadying effect on the show. Her earthy, intelligent, compassionate, and yet funny approach to life sometimes makes her appear to be the only sane individual involved with The View. Of course, she can say some pretty crazy things herself, but on the whole she proved to be a godsend for the show. A subtly guiding presence, Goldberg has a knack for serving as the moderator on The View, without appearing domineering or pushy (which is what caused Rosie so many problems). A major movie star in the '80s and early '90s, Whoopi Goldberg has appeared in such films as The Color Purple, Sister Act, and Ghost, for which she won an Academy Award.
Along with Barbara Walters, Joy Behar is the longest running co-host on The View TV show, having been there from the beginning. The stand-up comedienne is known for her blunt humor and abrasiveness, and she is definitely not afraid to say whatever is on her mind (including some rather unappealing details about herself). Though she has sparred with other co-hosts, most notably Star Jones and Elisabeth Hasselbeck, Behar is grounded enough to keep things from getting too personal and she is able to laugh off many disputes with a well-timed joke. A Brooklyn-born Italian-American and once married to a Jewish man (from whom she got the name Behar), Joy Behar is frequently mistaken as being Jewish. She has done some acting work during her career, but outside of The View, Behar primarily does stand-up.
Elisabeth Hasselbeck succeeded Lisa Ling in the obligatory role of "youthful person" on The View TV show. As a former Survivor contestant, Hasselbeck gained experience that has no doubt come in very handy during her tenure on The View. In addition to being the young one on the show, she is also the token right-winger, which has led to many fights with her more moderate and left-leaning co-hosts, especially over the issues of abortion and the Iraq War (the most heated disputes have been with Rosie O'Donnell and Joy Behar). Though Hasselbeck got the most press during the election period, as she was becoming increasingly shrill and defensive of her opinions, she has actually been one of The View's better hosts when it comes to interviewing. When her co-hosts get so talkative that they monopolize the conversation, Hasselbeck is usually pretty good about returning the focus to the guest.
Actress and comedian Shepherd (known most recently for a hilarious turn as Tracy Morgan's wife on 30 Rock) was a frequent co-host on The View TV show and finally became a permanent fixture in 2007. Although she's generally of an affable disposition and isn't inclined to fight with her co-hosts, she has been sharply criticized by them and many others for making bizarre and ignorant statements. Most famous was her refusal to affirm that the earth is round when, following her declaration that she didn't believe in evolution, she was asked by Whoopi Goldberg if she thought the earth was flat. Shepherd's answer was that she didn't know, she hadn't really thought about it, and that she was more concerned with feeding her kids. She has also stated that she's never voted because she can't ever remember the dates of anything.
Probably the most controversial co-host departure on The View was that of Star Jones in June of 2006. Jones lost a great deal of weight as she prepared for her 2004 wedding to banker Al Reynolds, and her constant talk of the weight loss and her impending marriage appeared to alienate a portion of the audience ... and even her co-hosts (Star and Joy Behar frequently sniped at each other). Then came the announcement that The View's own Meredith Vieira would be taking Katie Couric's job at The Today Show, thus leaving Viera's crucial position open. To take the spot, Barbara Walters appointed comedian and actress Rosie O'Donnell, who had in fact criticized Jones publicly for not revealing that her weight was lost through gastric bypass surgery. Jones was hurt that Walters would hire O'Donnell under the circumstances, and felt that she was no longer wanted there. Amidst rumors that ABC wanted to fire Star, and days before the official announcement was to be made, Jones told her surprised co-hosts on-air that she would be leaving. The very next day she was gone for good.
The View's first moderator, Meredith Vieira used her visibility and skill on the show as a springboard to a bigger career in entertainment and journalism. She left The View show to take over for Katie Couric on the long-running morning news show The Today Show, and she also hosts Who Wants To Be a Millionaire? Although Viera was arguably the most sensible person on The View during her time there, she was also very outspoken, not just about her opinions but about her personal life. At times it made Viera seem more like the head cheerleader at a slumber party than a serious journalist, causing some surprise when it was announced she would be taking over at The Today Show. Of course, in recent years The Today Show has become sillier and less consequential, so it could be a sign that there is no place for serious journalism on the morning shows anymore.
Lisa Ling was brought in to replace Debbie Matenopoulos as the show's twentysomething co-host in 1999, and she brought intelligence to the proceedings. Probably the least controversial co-host in The View's history, Ling got along quite well with the show's other stars during her time there, and other than Barbara Walters she was the only one with experience in international journalism. At only 18, Ling was reporting from places like Iraq and Afghanistan for Channel One, and since leaving The View show she has continued reporting from places around the world for outlets as varied as The Oprah Winfrey Show and CNN.
Perhaps the hottest co-host ever to grace The View's studio, but also the first to have been dubbed 'the dumb one'. A recurring Saturday Night Live parody of The View used to have Cheri Oteri playing an irritable Barbara Walters, often punishing the Debbie Matenopoulos character for her stupid comments; meanwhile Tracy Morgan played Star Jones as an insufferable know-it-all, always proclaiming "I am a lawyer!" Though it was only a parody, it may have been prescient: When Matenopoulos's contract was up, she was not invited back to the show. After that, Matenopoulos went on to serve as co-host of Good Day Live, and when that program was canceled, she moved on to regular gigs with VH1 and the E! Network. She briefly returned to The View in 2006 as a guest co-host for a day.
Renowned comedienne, host of her own self-titled talk show a few years earlier and lesbian activist Rosie O'Donnell joined the cast to replace Meredith Viera. On September 4, 2006, a new era began for The View when Rosie O'Donnell joined the ladies on set. With her animated enthusiasm, sharp sense of humor, and penchant for giving big prizes to the studio audience, Rosie breathed fresh life into the show. As an out lesbian, she offered a new -- and controversial -- perspective to The View TV show. Initial reactions from the show's fans were mixed, given Rosie's love-her-or-hate-her reputation. But the numbers don't lie, and The View's viewership shot up considerably for her first week. It was a smashing start for The View's 10th season, but Rosie's tenure was short-lived and she departed after less than a year.
Rosie O'Donnell & Elisabeth Hasselbeck Controversy:
An on-air argument between Rosie O'Donnell and Elizabeth Hasselbeck started on May 23, 2007, when O'Donnell was discussing the Iraq war. She claimed how there was a lack of coverage from the news on what George W. Bush's policies and strategies were regarding the war. When O'Donnell started getting bad press, Hasselbeck, who is a staunch Republican, did not back her cast mate up. An on-air cat-fight quickly ensued and ultimately turned into a nationwide debate and was the event that drove Rosie O'Donnell to leave the show and Hasselback to join Fox and Friends
2014-2015 Hosts on The View:
Rosie Perez is an actress who started as a dancer on the 90's variety show In Living Color and stayed on the Hollywood spectrum, with roles in movies like Pineapple Express. Nicolle Wallace was the White House Director of Communications from January 2005 to July 2006 when George W. Bush was in his first term. Wallace has publically been in support of same-sex marriage since February of 2013.
2016 Hosts on The View:
Jebediah Bila and Sunny Hostin were the hosts in 2016 on The View. Bila is a TV and radio host and Hostin is lawyer and a writer who also works as legal correspondent for ABC News.