The View producers have axed Nicolle Wallace as one of the show’s regular co-hosts but offered to bring back her head on a platter every so often and let it talk, as one of its stable of rotating guest contributors.
File that under With Friends Like These.
The former communications chief for George W. Bush and senior adviser for the McCain-Palin campaign who famously was played by Sarah Paulson in HBO’s Emmy-winning Game Change was selected as the resident Republican on the show in September. While political insiders wondered what she was smoking when she accepted the clown-car gig in the first place, sources tell Deadline that producers decided Wallace was not a good fit for the show because she did not disagree strongly with the other co-hosts as often as hoped — and was not particularly well-versed on celebrities and things pop culture.
Loosely translated: Wallace was not up to speed on the Kardashians and not shrill enough to be The View’s conservative talking head, which is rich, because being a not-shrill conservative is kind of Wallace’s thing.
Wallace’s future was looking kinda iffy the longer The View put off announcing a re-upping of her one-year contract; news she was out as co-host first was reported by Variety. Look for her to be replaced by, say, former Full House star (and Kirk Cameron sister) Candace Cameron Bure, who recently got into a squabble on the show with one of its newest co-hosts, Raven-Symone, over an Oregon bakery’s refusal to make a wedding cake for a lesbian couple. Bure said it was not about gay marriage but an issue of “religious freedoms and the freedom of association.” Bure is among those in the running to replace Wallace as a show co-host and is said to be a fave because she has those “strong opinions” and creates buzzy/social-media-friendly moments.
You know, like show Den Mother Whoopi Goldberg, who recently made major social-media moments for the ABC News program with her stunning defense of Bill Cosby against the 40-ish women who have accused him of having drugged and/or sexually assaulted them, in which Whoopi explained, “It’s my opinion, and the American courts agree with me because still he has not been taken to jail or tried on anything. So back off me!”
The show followed up on that bit of punditry this week, when ABC News’ chief legal analyst Dan Abrams sat down with Whoopi for a little one-on-one time, in which he explained to her how “statute of limitations” works in decades-old rape accusations, to which Whoopi marveled, on this ABC News program, that this was the first she was hearing of this, while Abrams gave an Emmy-worthy performance resisting the urge to clomp her on the head with a blunt object. Too bad, because that would have been The View’s buzziest, most social-media-friendly moment yet.
Wallace’s hire last season was backed by show executive producer Bill Wolff, who came from MSNBC, where Wallace continues to appear as a contributor, despite her shocking lack of Kardashian knowledge and un-shrillness. And, speaking of the brain trust that hired this season’s new crop of The View co-hosts — following last season’s disastrous revolving door that saw the exits of on-air talent Barbara Walters, Sherri Shepherd and Jenny McCarthy — here’s how this season’s new crop has worked out: returning Rosie O’Donnell was out after a few months, Rosie Perez announced the other day she’s out at the end of this season, and Wallace, who did not show up on The View today for obvious reasons, is right behind her.