Exiting The View co-host Jenny McCarthy said goodbye to the show today with Whoopi Goldberg noticeably MIA — that’s because, while the episode was in progress, Goldberg was over on the set of The Chew, chemistry testing a crop of contenders to replace McCarthy and Sherri Shepherd on the show next season. That testing, which also included returning host Rosie O’Donnell, ran from about 9 AM to noon in front of an audience of about 50.
Many of the hopefuls already have been seen on the show as guest hosts, but you probably guessed that. In case word ABC has hired MSNBC’s Bill Wolff to run the show isn’t a big enough clue the show is going in a more political/hard news direction, here’s the list of today’s Chem-Tested, including, CNN’s contributing legal analyst Sunny Hostin, political contributor Ana Navarro, and Crossfire panelist S.E. Cupp. Also tested: MSNBC’s Nicolle Wallace, who was George W. Bush’s communications honcho, and Bloomberg TV managing editor Stephanie Ruhle. In the mix were ESPN anchor Sage Steele and ESPN.com columnist Jemele Hill. Also, Good Day LA co-host Lauren Sanchez — who has a child with NFL-er Tony Gonzalez from their past relationship, which is relevant because, in one of those incredible coincidences that makes covering the TV industry so interesting, ABC also chem-tested Gonzalez’s wife, October Gonzalez.
‘When I chose to come to The View one year ago, the opportunity represented two things for me,” McCarthy said during today’s broadcast, while the show was narrowing down the list of her replacement possibles down the hall.
“First was that, after 20 years in the business and paying a lot of dues…., working as a talk show host alongside the single most respected female news journalists of all time, Miss Barbara Walters. All I can say is ‘Wow, am I grateful!'” McCarthy continued. “Second, was continuing to do what I’ve always tried to do in any situation I’ve ever found myself in, which is to learn.” she paid tribute to EP Bill Gedde, whose future role with the show is a bit vague, given the hire of Wolff. The View has been losing demo ratings ground to CBS competitor The Talk.
“Working with you, I can now say I have worked with the best in the business — you are one of a kind and thank you,” McCarthy said to Gedde, adding, “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 who have supported me, I am grateful.”
Shepherd taped her so-long episode last week on Thursday; it will be broadcast Monday. That will be the final original episode this season. Tomorrow’s show will see Goldberg back on the show — and the Muppets.
Watch McCarthy’s so-long clip package: