Why ‘The View’ Should Bring Back Rosie O’Donnell

Why 'The View' Should Bring Back

O'Donnell could save the talk show

On Friday, “The View” opened with a conversation about the father of Santa Barbara mass shooter Elliott Rodger. The Hot Topics segment was meant to prompt a debate about whether parents of murderers really know their children, but the conversation went nowhere fast. Jenny McCarthy launched into a non-sequitur about how the tragedy is hurting kids with Asperger’s Syndrome (even though it’s not clear if Rodger was ever diagnosed with that). Sherri Shepherd remained silent. And guest co-host and former “Apprentice” winner Bill Rancic lectured the audience about not “living in a bubble.” The only member of the panel with an actual point of view was Whoopi Goldberg, who has been carrying the talk show since creator Barbara Walters retired last month.

The “View” avoided another Hot Topic, because the show had been taped in advance. ABC confirmed on Thursday afternoon that both McCarthy and Shepherd will not be returning for season 18, leaving Goldberg as the only remaining co-host. It’s a daunting task to try to rebuild a personality-driven TV series with a new ensemble — just look at the implosion of “American Idol” after Simon Cowell fled. But “The View” has been down this road before. In 2006, it lost Meredith Vieira to “Today,” and let Star Jones go, only to see its ratings rapidly jump. The superstar who saved “The View”? A wallflower named Rosie.

If Rosie O’Donnell could rescue “The View” once, could she do it again? Rumors are swirling that ABC is contemplating her return, against what insiders are describing as a chaotic work environment on the show. O’Donnell famously left “The View” in 2007 after an on-air shouting match with Elisabeth Hasselbeck that went viral. But in her season of the show, O’Donnell managed to boost “The View’s” viewership, and turned it into appointment television. If it wasn’t for Rosie’s single turbulent year, it’s not clear if the calmer Whoopi-era of “The View” would have gotten the same attention.

SEE ALSO: ‘The View’ Faces Highest Turnover Ever as Whoopi Goldberg’s Clout Grows

When I spoke to Walters before her retirement for a Variety cover story, she bristled at the suggestion that “The View” was at its best with Rosie at the table. “People like controversy,” Walters said in March. “I do think it was entertaining, and I think what happened was that Rosie imploded.” Walters said she had no hard feelings. “Rosie O’Donnell is a great talent,” Walters said. “She also has some, shall we say, emotional problems.” O’Donnell and Walters made up enough for O’Donnell to return to “The View” as a guest in February. But even that wasn’t without conflict. “There were some people behind-the-scenes who were not happy,” Walters said. “They’d had difficulties with Rosie.”

By “some people,” she may have meant executive producer Bill Geddie. O’Donnell clashed with him often, and made no secret of their acrimonious working relationship. For example, O’Donnell didn’t approve of the earpieces that Geddie required his co-hosts to wear so he could communicate with them throughout the show. But TMZ is reporting that Geddie, who has been with the show since its inception in 1997, could be on his way out too (he championed the hiring of McCarthy last year). If he’s really gone, an O’Donnell return could be more realistic.

After the 2012 election, ABC execs had wanted a less political “View,” which is why Hasselbeck (the conservative) and Joy Behar (the liberal) mysteriously, and simultaneously, exited the show. But now the network seems to have changed its mind. McCarthy’s lack of depth on heftier topics have made it clear that politics are in the DNA of “The View.” The mindless gossiping about celebrities doesn’t work for “The View” like it works for “The Talk,” the CBS knockoff launched in 2010.

Throughout the summer, ABC has been experimenting with various other co-hosts. And, for the most part, the results have been disastrous. The political guests don’t know much about entertainment, and the entertainment hosts aren’t political (and many of them are just boring on TV). Rosie’s greatest strength is how comfortably she inhabits both worlds. The show is also considering adding a man to the panel, which is why they are testing Rancic, but this might be an ill-advised fix. When Walters launched “The View,” it was the only place on television for women to debate about important topics. We already have enough men fighting on CNN, Fox News, MSNBC and other cable outlets. “The View” should stay female-centric.

If ABC wants “The View” to survive for another few seasons, Rosie is probably the show’s best bet. Most of the women who grew up watching her on “The Rosie O’Donnell Show” are now moms themselves, and will tune in for more Rosie (who is now 52). She’s available to take the job. Her recent talk show on OWN, which she worked on in 2011, was quickly cancelled — though it wasn’t entirely her fault. None of the programming on OWN was working back then. A Rosie return on network TV would be different. If she’s back, ABC could find other co-hosts who wouldn’t create waves in the Rosie pool. Come to think of it, since they’re hiring, “The View” should bring back Joy Behar too.

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  1. Danny Hogg says:

    Glad I have the right not to watch, God bless America

  2. Barbara Nara says:

    If Rosie is brought back to the View I will now longer watch the show. She is terrible (mouth & views)

  3. Personally, I detest the idea of Rosie returning. Sure the ratings jumped when she was a guest, but that is only because people tuned in so they would possibly see another one of her out of control blowups. I have watched the show since it’s debut. Barbara Walters is a jewel. A sophisticated, well bred, well read lady. The shows original cast was closer to Barbara’s class. So, start over and find people of different ages but with an educated background, good grammar and above all manners and
    class. And a big “YES” to bring back Joy Behar who fits this description but also is a comedian and brings a lot of laughs to the table just as Whoopi does.

  4. Vicki says:

    Will be happy if Rosie returns, and would really enjoy Joy B. returning .. still think Regis would add some “spice” to the table.

  5. Debbie says:

    Plz Don’t bring Rosie back!! I have been watching since day one & if Rosie returns to the show, I will Not be watching anymore. I think you should really consider all the comments & how strongly people feel about her returning to the show. Big mistake, move on find some fresh faces .

  6. diana Lynn says:

    I agree bring back Joy the show has not been the same without her. She is smart and funny and can talk about anything BRING BACK JOY.

  7. MSinclair says:

    Bring back Joy, she is smart, sarcastic and funny. Great chemistry between her and Whoopie. Mario Cantone would be great even if only a couple days a week!

  8. I have read the comments and they unwittingly make the point that the view needs people with diverse points of view.Strong diverse points of view.So of course Rosie and Hasselback would be perfect.That is the combination people are looking for.People will claim they will not watch if one or the other is on but that is a canard. They will watch to see the point of view they do not like get it’s ass kicked.

  9. Catlady says:

    Rosie is too abrasive. Get some new blood and leave a spot for a guest of the week. Maybe the guest spot could be a man to keep the viewpoint diverse.

  10. I agree!!!!! Bring back Rosie and Joy. Love them both…they’re funny, smart, have some depth when it comes to political topics and I miss them both!!!!!!!

  11. F Enzman says:

    Rosie returning is a good reason to stop watching the show. One America privilege that I haven’t lost. I can turn the TV or turn it off. What makes so many folks opinion so important. Their brain doesn’t function any better than anyone else.

  12. Paulette says:

    I have just about quit watching the View since Whoopi and Joy walked off the stage showing that they had no class and showed a lot of rudeness. Of course the guest you invite are not always going to agree with you – that is the reason you invite them but you don’t get up and leave.
    As for Rosie I quick watching her a long time ago. She is overbearing in what she believes and if you don’t agrre with her she will try to eat you up. She is foul mouthed also. I like Sherrie and Elizabeth and am sorry to see them go. Elizabeth of course has gone on to rise above the View. Joy i can not stand. I think the View is over and I don’t plan to watch no matter who you replace them with.

  13. marilyn says:

    I think Ali Wentworth would be a great addition, witty, quick and knowledgeable on current affairs

  14. Dorothy Burda says:

    The View is over. Sorry. If Roseann comes back I’ll never watch it. You have to match up woman with class . Like Barbara ,Lizabeth, The one on millionaire. Now how do you that.

  15. charloans@yahoo.com says:

    The View is a well deserved thought out show that trumps all these “reality” trash shows and spin off want-to be view-like shows. The creators, concept, and maturity (yes Barbara &Bill) have a strong platform of audience members that appreciate hearing the various “Views”. I for one initially did not care for Elizabeth, however I came to appreciate her perspective, which she strongly, yet respectively stated. To that point, through the years, I’ve not agreed with every host on various points, yet the ideal creates room for those of us with an open mind to ponder other perspectives. No matter personal feelings about any host or their view, yes, competence, compassion, ability to be democratic in conversations is what the show needs to thrive. The bigger behind the scenes decision makers need to get out of their feelings and disagreeing or feeling offended by the hosts’ comments. Last season with Joy & Elizabeth was a good balance. As an audience member, the round table discussions is what I tune in for and the celebrity fodder afterwards is where I get bored.

  16. Pelicans says:

    Uh no… Not only will I not watch.. I won’t put on even for background NOISE

  17. Rose Auditor says:

    NO Rosie ODonnell should not be hired.! They should hire back Joy Behar. Find new people who are smart and can talk about politics and other important topics and likeable. Rosie can be obnoxious. How about hiring Marie Osmond ? I never liked Sherri. She has such a big mouth and annoying.
    Keep Whoopi in the View.

  18. Melinda says:

    Jenny McCarthy was a mistake from the beginning. She did not contribute anything substantial. I do, however, hate to see Sherri Sheppard leave, I am not sure how it would be to have both Whoopi and Rosie on the panel.

  19. elaine says:

    I quit watching it with rosie and I also quit watching it when jenny came on the show, I liked Meredith and joy, that’s when I lost interest, people probably won’t approve, but I think ross Matthews would be a good man to put in there, as far as that bachelorette, I have heard may be an option, I don’t think so, but ross certainly would add some humor, keep goldie, I wish they would bring Meredith back and joy, but I know that’s not an option, but rosie, no no no

  20. Margaret Locke says:

    Whoopi and Rosie, really ? Two very strong minded, hard headed women, one who if you don’t agree with tells you you are wrong and the other walks off the set. The View needs to just sign off and cut their losses.

  21. Eileen Flint says:

    Rosie was terrible – a squawking hawk with the biggest argumentative mouth. Absolutely repulsive and
    and a completely different person from the host of her own show. Sherri is just plain loud. loud and louder trying to always overtalking everyone like she knew more. The problem with her is she is just plain dumb and when you get a chance to shine you don’t bite the hand that feeds you (dumb). Barbara Walters asked Sherri to let her finish her point. In order for Sherri to get the point
    they would have had to sit oh her face. And, that’s really not such a bad idea. We all know where her
    “career is headed”.

  22. Sheila Donohue says:

    Just cancel the whole show. It is not as good as it use to be.

  23. Sherry says:

    Whoopi turned the View into Worship ME “WHOOPI” Time to stop watching for sure now. Sherri and Jenny and Joy were the last reasons to watch. Bring back Meridth and or Rosie and send Whoopi packing or just cancel the show.

  24. Funny Girl says:

    I knew when Barbara left the show would go downhill. I think its just a matter of time before its gone unless they get a very good cast and not especially someone from the past. Barbara should make guest appearances until that day.

    I liked Sherri and thought she had alot to offer the show. Elizabeth….not so much…Whoppi I can take or leave!

  25. Susan laster says:

    Nooooooooooooo! No Rosie.
    R

  26. rocky-o says:

    rosie is a new yorker (and i mean that in a good way)…new yorker are usually well versed on many topics and yes, are opinionated about it…but that’s what makes life alive…if you want people to be courteous, move to the midwest and die peacefully…if you want to live, embrace passion and the people who share it…

  27. marilyn twomey says:

    rOSIE WAS THE ONLY ONE WHO HAD ANY PERSONALITY. YES, SHE DID STIR UP SOME CONTROVERSY, BUT WAS MORE ENJOYABLE THAN THE LACKLUSTER WHOOPIE.

  28. B Cook says:

    Bring Back Joy Behar

  29. Tam says:

    There is one reason rosie shouldn’t come back on TV (of any kind): She’s nuts. Sure she has her LGBT supporters but for the ordinary viewer she just ‘sucks all of the air ‘ out of the show (especially the other co-hosts). Her OCD character is exhausting to watch/listen to. They may gain new viewers R O but would lose a lot of regular ,long-time viewers. I really feel as if The view isn’t improving anymore , it may be the time for it to go away. Let the next generation of females create a program from their perspective, who knows the rest of us may like it and follow along (;-)

  30. Kat Sunshine says:

    If Barbara is calling out Rosie as “disturbed” ( which by the way I think is way outta line), then fair to say Bill Geddie is evil. He can be behind the scenes doing his thing (like a snake under a rock). So Rosie is opinionated and emotes (Oh God, like a real live human person with…uh oh, feelings, happy, sad, silly, and smart , and makes mistakes), so by B.W. apparent medical expertise, diagnoses Rosie “emotional problems”. We can’t all be as perfect as you Barbara! I wonder if you had ,” shall we say, emotional problems when you were, um, sleeping around with married men ? Glass houses, glass houses, glass houses !

  31. Kat Sunshine says:

    Stick a fork in it Or, get rid of the Bill Geddes. Bring on Lisa Ling, maybe Rosie, raise the IQ above the likes of E. Hassel…, S. Shep, Jenny M. Or, stick a fork in it, it’s done.

    • Tam says:

      You must be as nuts as rosie if you don’t see the pathology of her behavior in the past. Her huge egocentrism was fine when the show had her name on it but it has no place on a panel show, she doesn’t ‘play well with others and doesn’t have an indoor voice’.Both conditions prohibit her from working “for” others. She is simply not worth the trouble she would cause : 1-on the program ,2- to the production side of things.

  32. this ic says:

    I started watching The View when Rosie joined. I absolutely loved it when she was on The View, and I loved it when Elisabeth was on The View. Honestly, I didn’t like it at all when Jenny joined (this is when I stopped watching The View) and I didn’t like it when I read that Sherri refused to discuss her separation …. however, is more than happy to gab about everyone else.

  33. ziba says:

    I love her it will be very good for the View if she comes back

    • M billante says:

      Rosie and joy were the best hosts on the view. If they were to add Mario Cantone, that would also add some additional talent the show needs. Please bring Rosie back.

  34. If you bring her back, I will not watch.

    • Kat Sunshine says:

      So what ; I will. Your real name is E. Hassel something, a complete waste of space, the reason I stopped watching the show.

  35. OH God NO I DIDN’T LIKE HER THEN AND I SURE HOPE SHE DOES NOTTTTT RETURN

  36. Gloria Roybal says:

    Rosie is smart and funny and has lots to say.

  37. ilse sheffield says:

    did not watch the show since Joy left!

  38. Dee says:

    I was so sick and tired of Sherry screaming and jumping and flailing all over the place like a bouncing ball, and forever hogging up speaking time, so yay! she’s gone. Jenny, fun personality but as clueless as Sherry, so yay, she’s gone. Bring back Joy Behar! Give Rosie another go. How ’bout Katie Couric? Don’t dare ever bring back Eliz. Hasselback. No full time males. Rancic is no good, Cantone and Ross great to have often, but not full time.

    • sherry green says:

      So, Dee, you want all liberals……..what a boring show that will be!! I say get rid of Whoopi……..and, please, not Joy any more………She was awful.

      • Kat Sunshine says:

        Liberals are not boring to intelligent people ! It’s only the likes of you who can’t quite keep up. You can tune in Faux News for your entertainment. Ba bye!

  39. newsdee says:

    I sure do miss Joy!

  40. EricFost says:

    Actually, forget Rosie O’Donnell. They should get Big Boo from Orange Is The New Black to co-host with Whoopi…

  41. Laura Strom says:

    cancel the show. It’s done.

  42. Kathy says:

    No, Please not Rosie…..she is a big mouthed, abrasive person.

    • Susan says:

      Rosie is the best! I hated seeing her leave and would love to see her return. She is the answer to All of their problems.

  43. MJ says:

    Here’s a thought: How about actually having MANY views instead of just one? And how about letting ALL of them be expressed without being immediately shot down? Rosie is incapable of listening to anyone who doesn’t agree 100% with her. There’s been enough of that on the show already.

  44. Karen says:

    Bring Joy back I quit watching it when Rosie was on!!!

  45. Gayle1328 says:

    I would love Rosie to come back to the View! I may not agree with her politics, but I love her! IMO, her argument with Elizabeth was personal, not political…she was hurt. Anyway, I haven’t watched it since Rosie left, but would if she came back.

    • Buck says:

      Of course it was personal. That is why she should never be hired on TV again.Mrs. Hasselback is everything Rosie is not. She is beautiful, has a great family with her own children, a handsome husband, plenty of brains, and beautiful smile. Rosie is as big and ugly as a buffalo, can’t get a man of any kind, has an empty head, and a snarl on her face 24/7. She is very unhappy person, and having to share a stage with Mrs. Hasselback just made her more hateful and resentful. .

  46. June says:

    When you first have Rosie on I did not watch until she left then I can back to your show

  47. patty de says:

    No to Rosie-she is a big mouth with no class. I’ve switched over to “The Talk”

  48. pat says:

    Bring back Rosie!!!!…and Joy!!!

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