Well, this is another surprise for The View fans.
Last week, Meghan McCain shocked viewers by announcing live on air that she was leaving the show, despite having two years left on her contract. While it was no secret she didn’t get along very well with her co-workers — due in no small part to what has been perceived as her inability to do the listening part of hot topic discussions — it’s still wild to see someone leaving so much money on the table, so to speak.
While some are wondering what Meghan will do next (she’s being coy about it for the moment, tweeting by way of explanation on Thursday that she prides herself “on always taking big risks, rolling the dice, and making unpredictable life and career choices”), most fans of the daytime TV staple are looking forward.
So… who will the show bring on as a permanent replacement? There’s always the Republican that doesn’t play the martyr card every day, Ana Navarro. But the show seems to like keeping her on as their go-to fill-in co-host.
Besides, 2022 marks a QUARTER CENTURY since the show premiered back in 1997. And producers are reportedly planning something more celebratory for the rare TV milestone. An ABC insider told DailyMail.com on Friday:
“Next year is our 25th season and we’re considering Debbie Matenopoulos making a triumphant return to The View.”
Debbie Matenopoulos?!? Wow!
For those who don’t remember, Debbie was one of the OG co-hosts when the show first premiered, along with Barbara Walters, Meredith Vieira, Star Jones, and Joy Behar.
While the others were established newswomen and comedians, the then-21-year-old MTV production assistant was brought in to give the perspective of the younger demo who didn’t ordinarily have a voice on TV. However, her lack of experience at the time often left her the butt of jokes.
“Debbie got such a raw deal when she was cast 24 years ago — she was only 21 and had no real life experience. Yet over the past 20 plus years she has blossomed, she’s married, has a child, is a successful television host and she now could hold her own at The View‘s table, day after day.”
When we say she was the butt of jokes, we aren’t exaggerating. It was a big deal — and supposedly the reason she only lasted two years. However, the SNL parodies of the show (like the one with Cameron Diaz playing Debbie — above, inset) were actually a double-edged sword and may have also been the reason the show lasted 25! The insider explained:
“Ratings struggled in those first two years that Debbie was at The View, but SNL took notice of the dynamic between Debbie and the other women and their The View skits became must viewing on Saturday nights. SNL‘s audience would then take a peek at The View to see Debbie and the other ladies in action on the show and The View‘s audience began to grow.”
For those who’ve seen the more recent sketches, with Aidy Bryant as Meghan, it’s a tradition as old as the show itself.
But Barbara — also an executive producer — wasn’t happy about the parodies. The source explained:
“Those of us that were here in the Barbara days remember how Barbara was image-obsessed and she couldn’t function when the show was being made fun of on SNL. We were all convinced she had PTSD from the days when the brilliant Gilda Radner played Baba Wawa and mercilessly mocked her speech impediment. Barbara blamed Debbie, so Debbie had to go.”
However, it did not go unnoticed when Debbie showed such a good sense of humor about the whole thing:
“We all laughed along with Debbie when she owned the moment and guest starred as herself on SNL after leaving The View, by making fun of the entire situation. Debbie has also returned to the show over the years and it’s always been fun to have her back. It would be a great blast from the past and Debbie certainly has the experience and wit to return to the table and reclaim her seat.”
True! And she proved just that recently with a stint on rival daytime show The Talk.
The insider noted:
“Debbie’s recent guest co-hosting of The Talk has not gone unnoticed at ABC and it would make sense to scoop her up.”
And the feeling is apparently mutual. In response to DM‘s story, her spokesperson confirmed talks are happening, saying:
“Debbie will always have a fond place in her heart for The View, the show that launched her career as a 21-year-old straight out of NYU. Her rep has in fact been having conversations with senior executives at ABC News over the past few months about many things, including her participation in celebrating the 25th season of The View, and she appreciates all the interest in her returning. Currently, she is in development on two food shows and her own lifestyle show, but she’d never say never to returning to her first television home.”
Note how that’s a soft yes but trying not to sound too desperate? After all, she has other irons in the fire? Classic confirmation she is DEFINITELY down!
But this may not be the only casting news we should look out for…
The source had one more verrry intriguing note about possibly needing ANOTHER replacement:
“While we need to fill the seat that Meghan has vacated, there may be another change coming that we need to plan for. But Debbie would be the perfect fit for our anniversary season.”
Um… who else could be leaving? Is Whoopi Goldberg finally over it all? Sunny Hostin done co-hostin’?? It would be awful to lose Joy, the only other original member, just as Debbie was returning.
What do YOU think they mean, Perezcious viewers??
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