Michelle Collins is the latest victim of The View producers changing their minds after thinking they’d hired the Next Big Thing for the ABC News daytime panel-talker. This news will not come as much of a surprise to regular viewers, given that Collins had made few appearances since January.
“Michelle is smart, opinionated and funny. She’s been a great addition to the panel this year,” a show rep said when contacted for comment — adding for clarity, “When we are ready to make an announcement about next season, we will.”
Collins’ tenure on the show seemed marked from the start. She was announced to enter the revolving door just last July, while confetti fell from the ceiling and the sound system played “Empire State oOf Mind,” making her No. 15 in the growing list of The View co-hosts. Press had gotten wind of that hire one week earlier, when Collins popped up on the show the same day Rosie Perez broke the “news” she was leaving the show, months after that had been speculated. At some point during the episode, producers appeared to decide the episode should be Perez’s “moment,” and not gum it up with news of Collins’ hire, which was put off until a few days later.
Collins officially started in September, when The View returned for Season 19. When she was formally announced, Collins said she’s wanted to host a talk show since she was 4 years old. Exec producer Bill Wolff called her a “great addition” to the show, because she is “lightning quick, has strong opinions and is wickedly funny,” while The View creator Barbara Walters went with “intelligence, quick wit and vast knowledge of pop culture.”
But, very quickly into her brief tenure, Collins’ “quick wit” got The View into “hot water” in November, when she said GOP candidate Carly Fiorina “looked demented” the morning after the CNBC debate. Answering one of the debate’s idiotic beauty-pageant questions which, in round numbers went something like this: “What is your greatest weakness and how is it being addressed?” Fiorina said she has been told she does not smile enough and flashed a grin that seemed to prove she could use more practice.
“I think ‘demented’ is a strong word,” The View’s Paula Faris jumped in, trying to extinguish the fire Collins had set. Faris had skin in the game, what with being an actual ABC News correspondent and co-anchor of Good Morning America Weekend; she’d been hired to The View this season to play the role of Actual Journalist on the show. Faris suggested describing Fiorina’s smile as looking “like she had been practicing that for a long time.” But The View Den Mother Whoopi Goldberg stood with Collins: “As a comic, she means ‘demented.’ I think as a comic we have to stand up for the words we use.”
“None of these liberal women scare me,” Fiorina later told Fox News Channel about The Ladies of The View.
Bye bye, Michelle, as first reported by Variety.
Meanwhile, still on the fence are the futures on the show of Goldberg, whose contract is coming up over the summer. And there has been chatter questioning the future on the show of Collins’ fellow freshmen Raven-Symone and Candace Cameron-Bure. One source said not to look for the kind of wholesale panel wipe-outs that have marked the last couple seasons. For those keeping score, last season saw the exits of Perez, Rosie O’Donnell and Nicolle Wallace, and that exodus followed the exits of Jenny McCarthy, Sherri Shepherd and Walters for on-air purposes.