ABC must be thanking the TV gods that Barbara Walters was back on The View today. After a very rough ride and rumors galore since the matriarch last year left the show she helped create back in 1997, the daytime talker needed the help after taking another hit. For the first time ever, rival The Talk beat The View in total viewers. In ratings for the week ending January 11, the just over 4-year-old CBS show created and co-hosted by Sara Gilbert, had an average of 2.95 million viewers. That’s a small but psychologically significant 2% jump over the 2.88 million The View pulled over the same period.

Rosie Perez and Nicole Wallace were added to The View last year, joining Whoopi Goldberg, with Rosie O’Donnell returning to the show. After an initial ratings surge, The View has hit unsteady waters with rumors of replacements and more plaguing it. ABC News actually took over direct control of the show back in October.

The Talk and The View were tied in their key demos last week with both averaging a rating of 1.0 in Women 25-54 and a 0.7 in Women 18-49. The Talk has tied The View in the demos before, but last week’s total viewership numbers were the best the Julie Chen, Sharon Osbourne, Aisha Tyler, Sheryl Underwood and Gilbert co-hosted talker has done since the week ending last February 14th. Week-to-week, The Talk was up 8%.