Could former White House intern Monica Lewinsky save The View from cancellation?
Barbara Walters, the long-running ABC daytime talk show’s creator, allegedly thinks so. Lewinsky is scheduled to guest on the show soon to discuss her anti-bullying campaign.
As widely reported, The View, in its current incarnation, has been tumbling in the ratings. New cast members Nicolle Wallace and Rosie Perez, along with the recycled Rosie O’Donnell who left The View for a second time in February, failed to give the show the boost that producers and the network apparently expected. Apart from behind-the-scenes clashes between O’Donnell and holdover panelist Whoopi Goldberg and other staffers, reports previously surfaced that Perez might be exiting the show after being absent from the set for much of January to appear in a Broadway play, but she has returned to the panel. Long-time co-host Elizabeth Hasselbeck, who had replaced Lisa Ling, jumped to Fox News in September 2013.
The View panelists Sherri Shepherd and Jenny McCarthy left the show last year, and matriarch Barbara Walters retired in May 2014, but the replacements have failed to reverse the decline in viewership. In further bad news for ABC, The Talk on CBS has overtaken The View in the ratings. According to Deadline Hollywood, however, The View narrowly surpassed The Talk in total viewers in mid March.
In an interview with Howard Stern a few days ago, McCarthy declared, “I think they might try one more year, then I think the Titanic might go down.” In the same interview, McCarthy stopped short of confirming husband Donnie Wahlberg’s claim that producers asked her to come back.
Barbara Walters got big numbers (49 million viewers) about 15 years ago for her 20/20 interview with Lewinsky, who famously had a sexual affair with President Bill Clinton. Apparently, the interview was a bonding experience for both women.
According to what an unnamed insider supposedly told the Daily Mail, Walters has been trying to convince ABC suits to hire Lewinsky as a regular host.
“Barbara believes that Monica, 41, could make The View competitive and compelling, and while a lot of Washington’s elite may scratch the show off its must-visit press list, the younger demographic of online users would tune in daily to see what she had to say.”
A network source added, “Barbara has been like a godmother to Monica ever since their infamous interview in 1999 following the Bill Clinton scandal. She’s always believed Monica got the short end of the stick in the court of public opinion and has tirelessly defended her on the show over the years.”
In an interview with David Letterman last year, Barbara Walters maintained that while both Clintons have been able to move on from the scandal, the same has not been true for Monica Lewinsky.
As far as Lewinsky joining The View cast, Walters told Dave, “I think it would be great if she were on The View. I wouldn’t expect it tomorrow.”
Monica Lewinsky had a coming out party of sorts last month when she gave a TED talk about cyberbullying of which she may have been the world’s first victim after her relationship with Bill (“I did not have sex with that woman, Ms. Lewinsky”) Clinton became public.
Assuming her upcoming one-shot guest appearance creates a View ratings bump, Lewinsky’s presence on the panel as a regular could pose certain awkward booking issues for the network. “If tapped as a co-host, it is highly unlikely that either presumptive 2016 presidential nominee Hillary Clinton or her hubby, Bill Clinton, would show up as guests,” the New York Post observed.
Do you think that Monica Lewinsky could reverse the ratings decline of The View as Barbara Walters allegedly believes?
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