5:45am PT by Michael O'Connell
'The View' Stays Mum on New Panelists — But Look, Here's a New Logo
In what's shaping up to be an annual summer affair, The View heads toward its upcoming season in a fog of speculation. And though the in-flux ABC talk show recently tested a slew of potential panelists to fill the many holes at the table, it's only ready to confirm new branding and a studio transition.
The View released a tweaked logo — look at that sturdy font! — and color scheme on Thursday morning. Both play a role in the new promotional teasers now airing nationally. It's the first visible indication, however pithy, of the creative evolution playing out in the wake of flagging ratings and departures for Barbara Walters, Sherri Shepherd and Jenny McCarthy.
As previously reported, founding showrunner Bill Geddie is departing and MSNBC exec Bill Wolff is stepping in. The new executive producer will have new digs to work with. The View is also leaving its old studio behind for one in neighboring ABC Broadcast Center — Katie Couric's vacated home. (ABC tweeted a construction photo on Wednesday.)
But the clock is ticking, and the show's Sept. 15 premiere approaches. Whoopi Goldberg is the only existing member to return, and she will still serve as moderator. Rosie O'Donnell, who famously sat on the show during the heated 2007-08 season, will also have a seat at the table. She's billed as a "featured co-host" in the network's latest release.
That communique also makes it clear that The View's transition year won't be a full departure from its original shtick, now replicated by The Talk and The Real: "The View will stay committed to the original concept of smart women of different ages, experiences and backgrounds with diverse points of view engaging in thought-provoking discussions derived from topics that face our nation and the world."
As for those women, many names are being batted around. A handful of them came in for chemistry tests earlier in the month. They include conservative commentator S. E. Cupp., ESPN's Jemele Hill and Sage Steele, CNN's Sunny Hostin, Bloomberg Television's Stephanie Ruhle, MSNBC personality and George W. Bush communications chief Nicolle Wallace, Good Day LA's Lauren Sanchez, Republican advisor Ana Navarro and October Gonzalez.
The View, historically, has kept five women on the table — though Walters did not tape every episode in her final years on the show. Last season saw just four regulars.