“The View” was never intended to turn into a game of Last Woman Standing, but with the departure of co-hosts Jenny McCarthy and Sherri Shepherd after creator Barbara Walters’s retirement in May, that’s what it’s become.
Raise your hand if you bet on Whoopi Goldberg outlasting everyone else.
The shakeup was surprising, if only because it’s so sweeping. In addition to McCarthy and Shepherd, TMZ reported executive producer Bill Geddie may not return next season either. Geddie was with the show since it began in 1997.
In a statement to Entertainment Weekly, the network said, “‘The View’ will be moving in an exciting new direction next year and ABC has made decisions to evolve the show creatively.” Entertainment Weekly also reports that for the first time there could be a male co-host or two — permanent ones, not guest hosts. TMZ has Ross Mathews (Ross the Intern from “The Tonight Show with Jay Leno”) and former NFL quarterback Jesse Palmer as possibilities. Mathews guest co-hosted Thursday and will be back on July 1 and July 3.
Feeding theories that the parting wasn’t altogether amicable, McCarthy tweeted Thursday night, “If Sherri goes… I go too. #sisters.” That was followed by another message that confirmed she is off the show: “My View will be changing too. As will with many hard working folks. Thanks to everyone at the show for your dedication and an amazing year.” McCarthy, who these days is probably best known as one of the ringleaders of the anti-vaccine movement despite her protestations that she is not anti-vaccine, joined the show last year.
Shepherd’s tenure was a little longer — seven years — but was marked by well, disbelief. As in, disbelief that the Earth is round. In an episode that had everyone closing their eyes and shaking their heads, Shepherd answered, “I don’t know” when asked if the world is flat. Reports said Shepherd and ABC couldn’t agree on a new contract.
Shepherd confirmed her departure on Twitter: “The number 7 is God’s number of completion & after 7 seasons my time at The View is now complete!So grateful2 every1 4their love & support,” she said, followed by: “Incredibly grateful to my second mom @BarbaraJWalters for pushing me beyond my comfort zone – it’s been amazing doing it scared! #joy.”
In a statement to the Wrap, she wrote: “It’s been seven wonderful years on The View and after careful consideration it is time for me to move on. I am extremely grateful to Barbara Walters and Bill Geddie for giving me the opportunity. I look forward to the business opportunities that lay ahead for me and I am incredibly grateful to my ‘View’ family and my fans for supporting me on this journey.”
“The View” was once the juggernaut of late-morning talk shows, but lately, the rising success of “The Talk” on CBS, which only started in 2010, may have convinced ABC executives it was time to make some dramatic changes. The show has a reputation for boilerplate celebrity interviews interspersed with politicos getting their feet held to the fire — although the show’s political firebrand, Joy Behar, departed last summer. Former co-host Elisabeth Hasselbeck also left last year to go to Fox News. Walters retired in May, but remains as executive producer.
See Mathews play referee between Goldberg and conservative commentator and guest co-host Will Cain on Thursday’s show: