Orig­i­nal co-host Be­har leaves View

Winnipeg Free Press - Section G - - ENTERTAINMENT - By David Bauder

NEW YORK — The last of the orig­i­nal hosts on ABC’s day­time talk show The View — ex­cept for the pro­gram’s in­ven­tor, Bar­bara Wal­ters — made her exit Fri­day.

Taped a week ago, the pro­gram was a sa­lute to Joy Be­har with spe­cial guests, a ser­e­nade and high­lights of her mem­o­rable mo­ments, in­clud­ing in­ter­view­ing Barack Obama and walk­ing out on Bill O’Reilly.

Be­har, 70, a standup comic and writer, said af­ter the tap­ing that she wants to do some­thing dif­fer­ent with­out be­ing held to the sched­ule of a daily talk show. She’s ex­plor­ing dif­fer­ent ar­eas, and said she met with CNN chief Jeff Zucker about pos­si­bil­i­ties there.

“I don’t want to do just one thing,” she said.

Be­har be­gan her co-host du­ties with the first episode of The View in Au­gust 1997. Wal­ters’ idea for a talk show with women hosts kick­ing around the news of the day, fol­lowed by celebrity guests, proved to be a suc­cess from the start.

Wal­ters re­called learn­ing about Be­har af­ter be­ing taken by Regis Philbin to hear her night­club act. “For years she has been prov­ing how right I was” to hire her, she said.

ABC hasn’t named a re­place­ment for Be­har. The net­work re­cently said Jenny McCarthy would re­place Elis­a­beth Has­sel­beck, who left for a job at Fox News Chan­nel. Pro­duc­ers face an­other big de­ci­sion next year when Wal­ters re­tires.

The changes will give The View a chance to reach out to a younger au­di­ence. The me­dian age of a typ­i­cal viewer is 61.6 years old, ac­cord­ing to the Nielsen com­pany. That’s about two years older than The Talk, the CBS looka­like show that has had a par­tic­u­larly strong sum­mer. The Talk has recorded four of its six most­watched weeks on the air dur­ing this sum­mer.

Age is­sues at The View were ev­i­dent on Be­har’s last day. Be­sides Wal­ters, 83, the show fea­tured vis­its from Joan Rivers, 80; Philbin, 81; and Alan Alda, 77. Tony Ben­nett, 87, saluted her in song.

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