'The View' Exec Producer Bill Wolff to Exit
The former MSNBC producer leaves as the show is about to launch a new panel of hosts including Candace Cameron Bure, Paula Faris and Joy Behar.
One week before it debuts a refreshed host lineup, The View will lose executive producer Bill Wolff. Wolff's exit comes one year after he was personally wooed by Disney-ABC Television Group president Ben Sherwood to take over the flagging daytime franchise from founding exec producer Bill Geddie. ABC declined comment, but the decision is said to be Wolff's.
Wolff will stay on through next week when the show premieres its 19th season on Tuesday, Sept. 9, with a new panel that includes Candace Cameron Bure, Good Morning America's Paula Faris and the return of Joy Behar. They will join moderator Whoopi Goldberg and new co-hosts Raven-Symone and Michelle Collins. Additionally, Sherri Shepherd will rejoin the show as a contributor, along with stylist Stacy London, Top Chef's Padma Lakshmi, GOP strategist Ana Navarro and model-actress Molly Sims.
Last fall, The View was put under the direction of ABC News after being launched by the network's daytime division. This season, the show will broadcast live five days a week — a change from previous seasons in which Friday's broadcast was taped on Thursday.
Sources tell The Hollywood Reporter that Wolff's exit is amicable. But it's no secret that the show has been in a state of turmoil since he arrived from MSNBC. A well-regarded executive at the cable news network, he was vice president of programming and also Rachel Maddow's executive producer, steering that show to its ratings pinnacle during the run up to the historic 2008 presidential election.
The cast overhaul at The View is its second in as many years as Rosie Perez and Nicole Wallace, who both joined the show last year, exited earlier this month. (Wolff worked with Wallace at MSNBC, where she was a contributor before joining The View, but Wallace declined ABC's offer to become a contributor on The View.)
Once a ratings powerhouse, The View has seen its fortunes decline as the daytime landscape has launched several imitators of the roundtable format, including CBS' The Talk and Fox's The Real. The View began its 18th season on a high note (likely, in part, due to the return of lightning rod Rosie O'Donnell as a panelist), pulling in close to 4 million viewers. But the show shed about a million viewers over the course of the season, ending with an average of 2.9 million. And O'Donnell left the show last February citing personal reasons, including the breakup of her marriage.