2:28pm PT by Hilary Lewis
Inside 'The View's' Season 19 Premiere: Joy Behar Reveals Why She Returned, More About Role
There was a whole new View on ABC on Tuesday morning.
The long-running daytime show debuted its new group of co-hosts from its slightly remodeled, still relatively new studio on New York's Upper West Side. Tuesday's season 19 premiere marked the first time that co-hosts Whoopi Goldberg, Michelle Collins, Joy Behar, Candace Cameron Bure, Raven-Symone and Paula Faris had all been together on the View stage.
Even for Behar, back on The View after leaving in 2013, a lot was different about the show, which has since changed studios and panelists — twice in the case of the latter. But it was the opportunity to do things she'd never done before that brought her back to the ABC daytime talk show.
"I wasn't going to come back," Behar told The Hollywood Reporter after Tuesday's live show about returning to The View. "I had no interest in coming back or desire and then I got a call from [new View consultant and former CBS Television Distribution creative affairs president] Hilary Estey McLoughlin, who basically talked me into it."
Behar explained that McLoughlin listed various things that Behar would be able to on the show, including "[talking about] politics … [and] sitting in [for Whoopi Goldberg] on Fridays in the moderator's chair," Behar said, revealing a bit more about her new role. She added that she'll only be on "a limited number of shows," not every episode in season 19.
Indeed, while all six co-hosts were present for Tuesday's premiere, they might not all be on the same stage together every day, especially since Bure is still commuting back and forth between L.A. to finish taping Netflix's Fuller House. New co-executive producer Brian Teta said the show's deep bench of co-hosts gives them options if their busy panelists have other commitments.
"They're all very successful and talented and have other projects, which is why we have a system here where Joy's here if Candace isn't here," Teta said offering an example, adding that they can bring someone in if Whoopi has another commitment. "We can kind of cycle people in."
But if one of the co-hosts is away, don't necessarily expect The View to turn to its new stable of "contributors" to find a replacement.
"That's not what we're planning on," Teta said. "They're not meant to be substitute co-hosts." Instead, he explained, the show's contributors would be doing "branded segments" that fit with their specific backgrounds. For instance, he said, model-actress Molly Sims will have a lifestyle segment and Top Chef host Padma Lakshmi will do cooking segments. Furthermore, Teta said the show would wait to introduce its lineup of contributors, who weren't mentioned during Tuesday's broadcast, until "people have gotten used to this panel."
"We want to kind of give them room to breathe a little bit and for America to get to know them and feel comfortable," Teta said.
After a couple years of turnover on The View, Teta, who just joined the ABC daytime show from The Late Show With David Letterman, also wants viewers to get used to seeing the same faces every day.
"We really do want to present an established panel. For years, when you said, 'The View,' everybody knew who was out there. They knew Meredith [Vieira]; they knew Barbara [Walters]; they knew Joy; they knew who the hosts of The View were. That's gotten away from us a little bit but I think … these six women are the co-hosts of The View," he said. "For years I think the best thing about The View was when something happened in this country … people wanted to tune in to see what they had to say. When you don't know who's going to be there the next day, you don't have that ability. … If something happens, I want people to be like, 'I can't wait to hear what Joy's going to say about what Trump said last night. I can't wait to see what Whoopi's going to say. I wonder how Candace feels about this issue?' I think once we get to know these women and give that time to happen, we're going to become that place again."
Behar also wants The View, which has struggled in the ratings recently, to get back to being a talked-about program.
"I'd like to keep it hot, keep the show hot," Behar said. "Want to get the ratings up. We want people to watch, we want to influence people, that's the goal of this show. It's a pretty lofty goal."
For now, the co-hosts are still getting to know each other and Teta's still getting to know them, joining The View after the season 19 panel was already set.
Behar and Goldberg were previously on The View together, both Raven-Symone and Collins were announced as new co-hosts at the end of last season and Bure and Faris spent time as View guest co-hosts, but Tuesday was the first time some of the panelists met one another.
But they're already bonding, with Raven-Symone saying that she and Collins have lunch together at least a couple of times a week. And Raven-Symone, Collins, Faris and Bure all had dinner together a few weeks ago after a promo shoot in L.A.
While everyone was friendly on Tuesday, the conservative Bure said she hoped she could share her views in a way that doesn't prompt a negative reaction.
"I want to be a voice for a lot of middle America," she said. "I want to be a voice that doesn't always get represented when you don't live in big cities … I think a lot of people, especially when they come from a conservative point of view, because a lot of the media is more liberal, that they become afraid or shy or they're just so harsh in the way that they speak it that it's a turn off. So I really hope to be someone that can be honest and vulnerable but be bold in what I believe in, but share those things in kindness and in love with people. Just be a different voice for conservatives and a representative of what many, many people believe out there."
That kind approach should be appealing to Raven-Symone, who recently had a tense interaction with Bure during one of the latter's guest co-hosting appearances. The former child star explained that she had effectively "retired" from Hollywood, no longer wanting to be part of the entertainment industry, but she found herself wanting to be a regular part of The View because of its warm, welcoming atmosphere.
"When I got here I got hugged everyday. I got loved and cared for and affection, and [people] went out with me and had fun," Raven-Symone said. "I missed that and that's what I had on That's So Raven. So I had to stay and be a part of the love fest."
Faris, meanwhile, was looking forward to having a more consistent schedule than she had when she was just an ABC News correspondent during the week, even though she'll be working seven days a week, continuing to co-host the weekend edition of Good Morning America.
"I leave the house at the same time every day and I pretty much come home at the same time every day," Faris said of her View schedule. "I can pick my kids up from school, have dinner with them, I can tuck them into bed, I can see them for a few minutes in the morning. So it's much more consistency than they've had in years past."
In keeping with her journalistic background, Faris wants to make sure the many sides of news stories are represented in The View's "Hot Topics" discussions.
"I want to make sure people feel like they have a voice at the table," Faris said. "So like I did today, [when I said I was going to 'play devil's advocate' during the show's discussion about Kentucky clerk Kim Davis, that's what I'm going to do, I'm going to play devil's advocate. Those particular beliefs aren't necessarily going to be coming from within me, but if I feel that someone isn't being represented, I feel that it's my job to represent them, whether or not I personally agree with it, people don't need to know that. I'm going to make sure I wear that hat of objectivity many times when I feel like a voice isn't represented."
Collins, meanwhile, is drawing on her years of wanting to host a talk-show as one of her goals for her time on The View.
"One of my heroes in life is [British talk show host] Graham Norton," Collins told THR. "I think he is very natural with his celebrity guests and he really brings out a human side of them that sometimes we don't get if they're just promoting their product or whatever. That to me is my goal in life: Just to have that kind of relationship with guests on the show. Be natural, be real with them, be funny."