Raven-Symoné opened The View this morning by announcing she’s leaving the show.
“I’m excited and sad, but I have an announcement to make. No, I’m not pregnant. …We’re doing a That’s So Raven II – there’s no title yet. … I’m very excited.”
She added, “I’m going to be leaving before the year’s up.”
Just to be clear, November is fast approaching, so let’s say “soon-ish.” Getting back to her announcement, Raven-Symoné called her experience on The View “multi-dimensional.”
She’s moving back to Los Angeles to develop the sitcom for Disney Channel. She will reprise her That’s So Raven character, Raven Baxter; the actress also will serve as an EP on the series.
Before today’s show, ABC teased modestly that she would make a “huge announcement that would change The View history.”
Another of the show’s short-timers, Raven-Symoné was named a full-time panelist in June 2015, joining Whoopi Goldberg, Nicole Wallace and Rosie Perez. Only Goldberg has survived, and she recently announced she too is leaving. Before being named an official full-timer, Raven-Symone had been a frequent guest host, which made her one of the front-runners for the position left vacant by the second exit of Rosie O’Donnell.
Raven-Symoné hire, heading toward an election cycle, had surprised some pundits, and her recent frequent absences had them wondering about her future on show, or lack thereof. Some sources suggest ABC execs realized she lacked knowledge of politics, though that begs the questions as to why they supposed she had it in the first place. Making today’s announcement, the actress mentioned that recently she’s only been showing up on Fridays.
This morning’s news is not entirely surprising, and not just because of the Fridays-only thing. Last June, when The View Panelist Purge season was underway – that annual rite of spring when producers and/or ABC News execs huddle to decide who will be the next season’s crop of Practically Perfect Panelists, replacing this season’s PPPs — some sources suggested we steel ourselves for a graceful exit that would be orchestrated for the former child star of The Cosby Show.
ABC noted this morning the show is up 16% in overall audience year to year, averaging 2.85M viewers.