Two decades ago ago, Barbara Walters had a groundbreaking idea. She wanted to launch a talk show where she could stop by, on top of her full-time job on “20/20,” to spar with a multi-generational panel of women about the headlines of the day. After a casting-call at the Essex Hotel, she discovered the four ladies — Meredith Vieira, Star Jones, Joy Behar and Debbie Matenopoulos — who’d join her as the co-hosts of “The View,” which premiered on Aug. 11, 1997.
To celebrate the 20th anniversary of a show that changed the rules of daytime TV, ABC is re-airing the first episode of “The View” this Friday, Variety has learned. The show was not a success in its immediate days, which Walters told me prior to her retirement in 2014.
At the time, politics was a taboo subject in daytime. And serious news anchors weren’t allowed to express their opinions. But under the watch of Walters and executive producer Bill Geddie, “The View” slowly found a following. And then it became a phenomenon. Over the years, it grabbed its share of headlines via a rotating panel of co-hosts, from Whoopi Goldberg to Rosie O’Donnell, Elisabeth Hasselbeck, Lisa Ling and Sherri Shepherd.
For those pining for a little nostalgia, here’s a look at the show’s original press kit.