Having put her detractors to shame recently by demonstrating a Kommanding Kardashian Knowledge, The View co-host Nicolle Wallace now has nothing more to prove on the show and has declined the producers’ offered demotion to contributor; she will instead focus her attention on covering Donald Trump’s race to the White House as a contributor for MSNBC, where she recently signed a new pact.
Wallace was one of the new co-hosts named for this now-ending season of The View as ABC looked to revive its rating and stabilize its talent lineup. Wallace’s exit means all of those new co-hosts brought in for this season are gone. Wallace’s name gets added to the show’s 18th Season Flotsam/Jetsam List that includes Rosie O’Donnell, who was out after a few months, and Rosie Perez, who announced her exit last month.
“Team, Our friend Nicolle Wallace is going to leave the show at the conclusion of the season,” EP Bill Wolff said in one of those memos to staff of which we’ve been hearing so much lately.
“Having worked with her for most of the last year, you know the warmth, smarts, and professionalism she has brought to the job every day. She will always be a friend of our show, and I know you join me in wishing her only the best,” he added.
Last month, producers axed Wallace as one of the show’s regular co-hosts, but offered to bring her back as one of its stable of guest contributors, who would be tapped to fill in when one of the A-listers was off shooting a new Netflix series, or whatever.
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, had been selected as the resident conservative on The View as part of its overhaul this season. Her hire was backed by Wolff, who came from MSNBC, where her contributions to that news network’s presidential race coverage will erase her short, unfortunate time on The View from our collective memory.
Double-digit ratings drops to The View did in Wallace and Perez. Sources who did not wish to be quoted told Deadline that producers decided Wallace was not a good fit, because she did not disagree with the other, more liberal co-hosts as stridently as had been hoped, and was not particularly well-versed on pop celebrities.
Loosely translated: Wallace was not up to speed on the Kardashians and not shrill enough to be The View’s conservative talking head. And though she came back on the show the next day after the press reported this news and demonstrated her Kommanding Kardashian Knowledge, she was nonetheless replaced in that role by new co-host Candace Cameron Bure, former Full House star, and Kirk Cameron’s sister.
Bure became the prettiest guest-host in the shop this season when she got into an on-air squabble with new co-host Raven-Symone, over an Oregon bakery’s refusal to make a wedding cake for a lesbian couple. Bure declared it an issue of “religious freedoms and the freedom of association” and their argument went viral or, as news division professionals prefer to describe these situations, Bure expressed “strong opinions” and created a “social media friendly moment” – right up there with the social-media-friendly-moment when The View’s Whoopi Goldberg told those who objected to her spirited defense of Bill Cosby, “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!” (That was, of course, before ABC News legal expert Dan Abrams explained statute of limitations to her on the show.)
And, if you are thinking The View has never seemed so real Housewives of Upper West Side as it does now under ABC News, which took over the show in late October, you are not alone.
The hiring of Wallace, when ABC Entertainment was still calling the shots, was part of a push to re-do the show, following last season’s disastrous revolving door that saw the exits of on-air talent Barbara Walters, Sherri Shepherd, Joy Behar and Jenny McCarthy.
In this most recent stab at fixing The View, in addition to whacking Wallace, Shepherd has been brought back as part of a stable of “contributors” who will fill in when Bure is off shooting her Netflix series, Fuller House, for instance. Producers tried to get Behar to sign up too, but she turned them down.