Barbara Walters was remembered by her former colleagues on The View as the show celebrated its 5,000th episode. The longtime ABC News journalist, who left the daytime talk show in 2014, was honored by longtime co-star Whoopi Goldberg and former executive producer Bill Geddie during the show’s milestone episode today.
Walters, who has not been seen in public in several years, got an immediate shout-out from Goldberg. She thanked Walters for allowing them all to be part of her legacy 22 years after Walters co-created the ABC daytime show.
“Barbara, we know you’re watching,” Goldberg said, as she looked straight at the camera.
As The View panel — which includes Joy Behar, Meghan McCain, Sunny Hostin, Abby Huntsman and Goldberg – reflected on the show’s 22 years on air, a camera panned to Geddie. Geddie was the executive producer for more than 4,000 episodes of The View before departing the show in 2014, shortly after Walters’ retirement.
When asked about what he remembered most about creating The View back in 1997, Geddie had a quick answer. He credited Walters, a legendary ABC News journalist, for coming up with the concept for the show.
“It’s all completely about Barbara,” he said.
Geddie went on to reveal that Walters came to him with the idea for a “multi-generational talk show with women” after she talked about it with her daughter. Geddie said he quickly wrote up the idea and named it Everybody’s a Critic, but the network “hated” the title. The longtime executive producer said he then came back with the title The View From Here, which was shorted after it was discovered that there was already another show with that name.
Geddie also revealed that the network had little faith in Walters’ idea and refused to build a set for the show at first. When The View started, producers were given a Pottery Barn table for the panel to use and a window with a faux background.
When asked about his all-time favorite moment on The View, Geddie said it was hands down the last day on the show with Walters. The 2014 farewell episode featured a parade of top female news anchors as they surprised Walters by gathering around her. The star-studded surprise included cameos by Katie Couric, Diane Sawyer, Jane Pauley, Joan Lunden, Connie Chung, Elizabeth Vargas, Juju Chang, Savannah Guthrie, Maria Shriver, Paula Zahn, Gayle King and many more.
Geddie said his longtime collaborator was “overwhelmed” by all of the love she received that day.
“That was the greatest moment,” he said.
Of course, the biggest elephant in the room for the celebration of The View‘s 5000th episode was the fact that Walters wasn’t there. There have been rumors that the 90-year-old legend is in poor health. As previously reported by The Inquisitr, former The View co-host Rosie O’Donnell recently said she doesn’t think Walters is “up to speaking to people now.”
“It’s hard to age in America, never mind if you’re internationally famous,” O’Donnell said.