Emmys 2012: Barbara Walters Reveals 'View' Exec Producer Bill Geddie's One Flaw (Q&A)

Walters, who will present her "superb producer" with the Lifetime Achievement Award at the Daytime Emmys on Saturday, also tells THR why she doesn't miss doing her Oscar specials.

Barbara Walters will present Bill Geddie, executive producer on The View as well The Barbara Walters Specials and The 10 Most Fascinating People, with the Lifetime Achievement Award at the 39th Annual Daytime Emmy Awards on Saturday. Her friend and collaborator since 1988, when he began producing her ABC specials, Geddie will be honored for his contributions as a writer, producer and director during a television career that has spanned more than three decades.

“When we began The View in August 1997,” says Walters, “we were told it did not have a prayer, and now it’s going into its 16th year. It would not have happened without Bill.”

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If Geddie has one flaw, says Walters, it is his utter lack of fashion sense, Walters laughs: “He has bad taste, but he doesn’t realize how bad. If it were up to Bill, I would wear jeans and T-shirts every day.”

The Hollywood Reporter: What are Bill's strengths?

Barbara Walters: He’s a wonderful writer, he’s a very good producer, he handles people extremely well. He is imaginative and creative and funny.

THR: How closely do you work together on the annual Most Fascinating specials?

Walters: We choose the guests together. We write the interviews together. We edit the show together. And we apologize to the people who we haven’t put on the list. We work very closely together.

THR: Have you ever disagreed?

Walters: Sure. But I don’t remember our ever having an argument in all these years. I don’t remember us ever not speaking. I have enormous respect for Bill.

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THR: The two of you no longer do the Academy Awards specials. Do you miss doing them?

Walters: Not at all because they’re very difficult to do and it’s very difficult to get people to say yes, especially the younger people. If they’re nominated, they’re embarrassed to do it. If they’re not nominated, they feel funny doing it. So we don’t miss it at all. Other people have tried to do it too and have not succeeded.
THR: You have had some very big personalities as your co-hosts on The View. How would you describe Bill’s style of dealing with talent?

Walters: He’s very understanding of talent. When the show first went on the air the head of ABC News, Roone Arledge, didn’t want me to do it all even though it was my idea and I was the co-executive producer. So I started to do it then just two days a week. So we needed to get a moderator. And we found Meredith Vieira and she was wonderful. And we’ve had different ones, some easier than others. Rosie O’Donnell was a very difficult one. But Bill is wonderful with people. He’s firm and direct and everybody respects him. He’s just a superb producer.

Email: Marisa.Guthire@thr.com; Twitter: @MarisaGuthrie


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