11:24am PT by Michael O'Connell
Rosie O'Donnell Return Lifts 'View' Ratings
ABC's new View got off to a solid start on Monday, with the 18th season opener bringing in the most viewer to a premiere since … the last time Rosie O'Donnell joined the show.
Though nowhere near the highs the series hit in the spring when Barbara Walters signed off to more than 5 million viewers, The View's 3.9 million viewers marked its biggest premiere since 2006.
The show, marking a major revamping with the addition of actress Rosie Perez and Republican political analyst Nicolle Wallace alongside the return of O'Donnell and longstanding moderator Whoopi Goldberg, was also up among targeted women demographics. With women 25-54, The View was up 20 percent from last year, with 911,000 viewers, and 15 percent among younger women (18-49), with 683,000.
The View has regularly hit loftier ratings highs with big gets (President Barack Obama), swan songs (Walters) and on-set tension (O'Donnell and former panelist Elisabeth Hasselbeck) — but for a premiere, this marked the No. 2 on record.
It's a big year for the show. In an effort to recoup recent ratings losses and in response to increased competition with CBS' The Talk, The View returned with a new set, a new showrunner (Bill Wolff) and its biggest aesthetic changes to date.