The View was hit with a major shake-up on Thursday that has left producers and viewers wondering if there is anything left to view. ABC reportedly had a long night Thursday night once Sherrie Shepherd announced that she would be departing. On the heels of her announcement, Jenny McCarthy boldly chimed in that if Sherrie was going, she would go as well.
Although the network claims that they gave these gals “the boot,” Shepherd simply revealed that they could not come to a place of mutual agreement for terms of a new contract, thus withdrawing her commitment to stay with the network. The producers were stunned as they had hoped that Shepherd would remain on board. McCarthy chose to follow in Sherrie’s footsteps, leaving ABC in a stupor as to what to do with the show. It is no secret that McCarthy’s loss was not as devastating, in that producers felt that Jenny had created turmoil on the show by disrupting the chemistry. On the flip side of that coin, it also no secret that Jenny’s controversial stance was not appreciated, making it difficult for her to be herself. Whoopi Goldberg is now the last wo-man standing. This is a game-changer in that the show was still in recovery mode from the emotional departure in May, of Barbara Walters. Walters was the talk show founder, executive producer and lead co-host. Upon leaving, Barbara had confirmed that both Shepherd and McCarthy would be returning to The View for season 18 on September 15, 2014. Barbara has yet to comment on these exits.
Conflicting reports are on the horizon regarding executive producer Bill Geddie, who has been a forever producing partner of Walters. One reports that Geddie has been let go, while another commented that he was in contract negotiations to remain as rudder of the ship. Either way, ABC made it clear that major changes are coming to The View. It is expected to place a millennial age-ranged individual on the panel in an effort to draw more viewers of that age range, since the talk shows episodes do not have the draw that it once had. It has experienced a four percent drop year-to-year which equates to a loss of 704,000 women in the age range of 25-54. Top competitor for episodes of the 17-year running talk show is CBS’ The Talk which seems to be holding its own.
This house cleaning at The View is just one more round of the revolving door that has been so familiar to this show, but does leave viewers wondering if there will be anything left worth viewing. Analyst Bill Carroll at Katz Television Group, is one who keeps track of daytime programming and commented that it is not so surprising for a show such as this to go through so many panel changes. Just last year Elisabeth Hasselback and Joy Behar left, and the absence of Barbara Walters seemed to vacate a certain properness that was brought to the show, leaving an open door for viewer chaos. The network desires to gravitate from the crass discourse that seemed to periodically creep in.
Comments from Sherrie and Jenny were positive. Sherrie stated that the number seven is God’s perfect number and since she had a good seven-year run, she is confident that it is time to move on. Jenny said that she would be having a new view of her own. Both are under contract to complete five more weeks of the show’s episodes.
Rumor has it that part of the new make-over for this fall’s 18th season would be to move The View to a new location. The current option on the table is the recently vacated Katie Couric studio in New York. It would be more audience friendly, in that it has theater-style seating which would be conducive for audience interaction. Creativity will be the name of this game to get the show back on its feet. There is even talk of a permanent male co-host. Since Whoopi stands alone right now, it is safe to say that her clout will be most influential to many of the decisions yet to be made. Viewers will continue to wonder if there is anything left to view of The View. Stay tuned.
By Jill Boyer-Adriance