Joy Behar will discuss her impending departure from The View on the Monday, March 11 episode of the daytime talk show.
ABC confirmed this week that Behar was planning to leave The View at the end of the season, her 16th with the show. The 70-year-old comedienne has yet to publicly mention her exit on air, although she did tell Deadline in a phone interview, “It seemed like the right time.”
Behar also told Good Morning America in a statement, “You can’t stay forever on a show. I am graciously exiting stage left. I’ve put in 16 years and felt the time was right. I want to explore other opportunities.”
ABC said in a statement, “As an original cast member, Ms. Behar has been instrumental in the success of The View since its creation in 1997 and will continue to appear for the remainder of the season.”
News of Behar’s departure was succeeded by rumors that co-host Elisabeth Hasselbeck was also leaving the show. In Hasselbeck’s case, however, she was not leaving of her own volition. It is being speculated that Hasselbeck is being forced out of the show because she is unpopular with viewers. The 35-year-old, who has been on the show for nine seasons, is thought of as the only conservative voice on a liberal talk show, which obviously doesn’t go over well with the target audience. The consensus, without any evidence on ABC’s part as of yet, is that when Behar announced her departure, the network saw it as opportunity to get rid of Hasselbeck as well.
In another shakeup to the lineup, Brooke Shields could be joining the round table after Hasselbeck makes her exit. ABC would consider the actress to co-host the show because she has a recognizable name that will draw viewers, but would also offer a neutral opinion to the panel. It also helps that Barbara Walters is reportedly pushing for Shields to get the job. Walters gave a number of reasons for why Shields was a good match, including that she has guest hosted in the past, can appeal to fans, and is articulate.
What do you think of the changes to The View? Are you surprised that Joy Behar is leaving and that Elisabeth Hasselbeck may be getting fired?