The number of women in talks to join ABC News’ struggling The View has not quite hit GOP presidential field proportions, but it’s catching up.The news division’s weekend Good Morning America co-anchor Paula Faris just got added to the list of those in talks to become part of a stable of rotating contributor/co-hosts, or non-rotating co-hosts. Faris joins Sherri Shepherd, Stacey London, Molly Sims, Candace Cameron-Bure, etc. The turnover it so great for a second consecutive year that the show has become as much known for its churn as its views.
Faris joined weekend GMA in August 2014, coming from ABC’s World News Now. She’s in talks to become a regular or a contributor on The View, reports a source with knowledge of the situation. Given the show’s auspices, it clearly needs to have at least one on-air person with an actual news background in its ranks, and the future of Nicolle Wallace still is unclear. Talks with Faris first were reported by Variety.
Whoopi Goldberg is coming back as a regular; Raven-Symone’s a lock too, as is Michelle Collins, who just yesterday was announced as the show’s newest co-host. Collins is No. 15 in the growing list of The View co-hosts. Days earlier, Rosie Perez broke the “news” she was leaving the show, months after that had first been speculated.
Shepherd, meanwhile, is the highest profile person of interest in talks to become a contributor. One source said the talks are not finished and dismissed another source’s report she’s mulling appearing on 50 broadcasts a season, saying the number is substantially higher. Also in negotiations to become part of the rotating guest co-hosts: Stacy London and Molly Simms. The lineup of rotating guest co-hosts will be deployed to, among other things, fill in as co-hosts take time off for other projects, and to jump in and fill the chair when a host exits. Producers hope this contributor panel helps stop the dizzying revolving door of on-air talent, and bring some sense of on-air stability back to the program.
Shepherd was in the eye of last summer’s casting storm, telling viewers one year ago this month, “Seven in the Bible is the number of God’s completion. And I’ve been here seven years, and my time at The View is complete.” Two weeks before giving that speech on air, she broke news on Deadline that she had decided to exit, after contract talks broke down.
“It’s been seven wonderful years on The View and after careful consideration it is time for me to move on,” she said then. That was followed fast by a tweet from fellow host Jenny McCarthy: “If Sherri goes… I go too. #sisters” – though that threat lost most of its teeth when word got out the show had planned to remove her from the cast before the start of this season.
Back then, ABC said, “The View will be moving in an exciting new direction next season, and ABC has made decisions to evolve the show creatively.” A couple months earlier, show creator and exec producer Barbara Walters had announced she was stepping down from her on-air role with the show, saying Shepherd “definitely” was coming back this season, as were McCarthy and Goldberg. Shepherd paid a visit to The View as a guest host in May and a good time was had by all, leading to the current round of talks, one insider says.
For those keeping score, of the overhauled co-host lineup that debuted at the start of this season, Perez is leaving, Rosie O’Donnell is out, and the future of Wallace, as mentioned previously, is unannounced. When this season’s panel was finalized after the exits of Shepherd, McCarthy, and Walters, and with the addition of Perez and Wallace, producers promised this season of The View would “be unlike any in recent history.”