'The View': A seating chart for a drama-free co-host reunion

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Image Credit: Heidi Gutman/ABC

When all 11 past and present co-hosts of The View unite on May 15 to bid farewell to the talk show’s creator Barbara Walters, we expect each lady to be on her best behavior. But that doesn’t mean there won’t be plenty of bad feelings and some tongue-biting when these gals come face-to-face.

While The View was created as a platform for women with varying opinions to talk openly and frankly about the day’s topics, it turned into a powder keg for clashing personalities.  We don’t envy the person tasked with creating the seating chart that day. Over the 17 seasons, there have been a number of high-profile feuds among the cast, some involving Walters herself.

To keep the peace — just as a precaution, of course — here are our suggestions for co-host placement on Walters’ second-to-last day.

First chair: Babs, naturally
Tenure on the show: 1997 to May 2014
Seats to avoid: Rosie O’Donnell, Star Jones, Debbie Matenopoulos

O’Donnell left The View before her contract was up in 2007 in part because of a blowout she had with co-host Elisabeth Hasselbeck, but also because she had anger issues that she directed toward Walters. In this interview with Oprah Winfrey, O’Donnell describes an explosive confrontation she had with her then-boss:


In 2006, Walters told Jones her contract would not be renewed; Jones made the announcement on The View days earlier than producers expected, leading to a she-said, she-said of hurt feelings over Jones’ dismissal. It was ugly.

Matenopoulos, for her part, became known as the panel’s ditz, even earning a Saturday Night Live parody of her persona on the talk show. She was not welcomed back after season 2.

Second chair: Meredith Vieira 
Tenure on the show: 1997 to 2006
Seats to avoid: Neutral

The show’s first, first-seater brought calm to the set and genuinely seemed to get along with everyone. She left The View to take over for Katie Couric on Today.

Third chair: Joy Behar
Tenure on the show: 1997 to 2013
Seats to avoid: Star Jones, Elisabeth Hasselbeck

Behar and Jones repeatedly had dustups on the show, but when the former lawyer received no show of friendship from the comedian after her firing from The View, Jones said she was truly hurt.

Behar knew how to push everyone’s buttons, but Hasselbeck seemed to be her favorite punching bag. They stood on opposite sides of the political spectrum, which led to them frequently butting heads — and possibly contributed to their exits from the show.

Fourth chair: Whoopi Goldberg
Tenure on the show: 2007 to present
Seats to avoid: Elisabeth Hasselbeck

Did Goldberg intimidate Hasselbeck? The pair often sparred over issues like race and abortion rights; one argument even ended in tears:

Fifth chair: Jenny McCarthy
Tenure on the show: 2013 to present
Seats to avoid: Sherri Shepherd

If you pay attention to the rumors, Shepherd and McCarthy don’t get along. But then they went and did this:

So who are you gonna believe?

Sixth chair: Lisa Ling
Tenure on the show: 1999 to 2002
Seats to avoid: Neutral

Ling was always the chill one. In this interview with Larry King, she explains that she left The View because she wanted to get back in the field to expand her career:


Seventh chair: Elisabeth Hasselbeck
Tenure on the show: 2003 to 2013
Seats to avoid: Rosie’ O’Donnell, Joy Behar, Whoopi Goldberg

Hasselbeck managed to piss off everyone at least once during her 10-year run. But no feud was as memorable as the confrontation over the Iraq War that led to Rosie O’Donnell’s departure:

Here’s another time the Conservative duked it out with staunch liberal Behar:

And one more time she had it out with Goldberg:

Eighth chair: Sherri Shepherd
Tenure on the show: 2007 to present
Seats to avoid: Jenny McCarthy

Despite reports to the contrary, these two may actually be besties:

Ninth chair: Debbie Matenopoulos
Tenure on the show: 1997 to 1998
Seats to avoid: Barbara Walters

We wouldn’t expect fireworks from Matenopoulos — she peacefully returned to The View as a guest co-host in 2006 –  but the sting of getting fired never really fades.

Tenth chair: Star Jones
Tenure on the show: 1997 to 2006
Seats to avoid: Barbara Walters, Joy Behar

Another ousted co-host to sympathize with Matenopoulos and O’Donnell.

Six years after her departure (see above), Jones returned to The View as a guest, and all wounds seemed to be mended. But the 2006 incident still goes down as one of the nastiest in the show’s history.

Eleventh chair: Rosie O’Donnell
Tenure on the show: 2006 to 2007
Seats to avoid: Barbara Walters, Elisabeth Hasselbeck

Placing O’Donnell next to Jones — and only Jones – means she can bond with someone over their abrupt exits without directly inducing any rage flashbacks from her short, fiery stint on the talker.

 

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