Jenny McCarthy’s final episode of The View on ABC taped yesterday to air on Monday, and Whoopi Goldberg wasn’t anywhere near the set.
The former Playboy model and autism advocate spent a year co-hosting the popular daytime talk show started by Barbara Walters in 1997. Since then, The View’s hosting duties have changed numerous times. The original cast of the show was headed by Walters, co-run by Meredith Vieira with Joy Behar, Star Jones, and Debbie Matenopoulos.
Over the last 16 years, hosts have come and gone. Lisa Ling, Rosie O’Donnell, Sheri Shepherd, Elizabeth Hasselbeck, Whoopi Goldberg, and Jenny McCarthy have all taken turns sitting in on The View.
The most recent lineup of hosts on The View includes Walters, Goldberg, the now-departing McCarthy, Shepherd, Behar, and Hasselbeck. So, of course, now that McCarthy is leaving The View, who will take her place?
Apparently that question is still up in the air, and Deadline reports that it’s also the reason why Whoopi Goldberg didn’t attend Jenny McCarthy’s final episode. Reportedly, Goldberg was working with McCarthy’s potential replacements for The View on a soundstage in front of a crowd of about 50. The setup to “chemistry test” the replacement candidates was on a mock show called The Chew.
The possible replacements are mostly made up of those who have guest-hosted — and hosted — the program in the past. Clearly, Rosie O’Donnell, who co-hosted the show from 2006 to 2007, is the front-runner, though it’s well-known that O’Donnell had problems concerning her contract during her initial stint on The View, and rumors of her inability to work with Hasselback ran rampant. Other possibilities to co-host The View include CNN’s contributing legal analyst Sunny Hostin, political contributor Ana Navarro, Crossfire panelist S.E. Crupp, MSNBC analyst and President George W. Bush’s communications guru Nicole Wallace, Bloomberg TV managing editor Stephanie Rhule, ESPN anchor Sage Steele, and ESPN.com columnist Jemele Hill.
If the candidates for The View — discounting O’Donnell — seem like their resumes are a little hard-news heavy for a daytime show like The View, consider that ABC has hired MSNBC’s Bill Wolff to run the show, according to MEDIAite, indicating that the network might be aiming for a bit more credibility in the news department. Considering that The View has been losing demo ratings ground to its similar competitor, CBS’ The Talk, it’s a ploy that could work well considering that Barbara Walters was a hard news journalist for the majority of her career, before she started making Oscar nominees cry in her hour-long specials.
As to her final episode, McCarthy said:
“My time here was short, but the memories and lessons learned here will stay with me forever, and for that, and to you guys at home that have supported me, I am grateful.”
The final, original episode of The View featuring McCarthy — but not Goldberg — will air on Monday.
[Image via The Orlando Sentinel]