ABC’s The View is being moved from the purview of the network’s daytime executives to its news division, in the wake of slumping ratings. The show underwent a major facelift earlier this year with the addition of three new hosts, following the failed Jenny McCarthy experiment. But ratings have continued to be a problem.
According to Variety, while the overall viewership is up one percent from last year, it has fallen 10 percent with the key 18-49 demographic that advertisers focus on.
That’s not what the producers expected when they brought back former host Rosie O’Donnell, while adding the liberal actress Rosie Perez and moderate Republican strategist Nicolle Wallace to replace Jenny McCarthy, Sherri Shepherd and Barbara Walters, who left the show for various reasons.
Instead of imitating CBS’ The Talk, which covers celebrities and reality stars—something viewers seem to like—The View has become increasingly political as evidenced by shout fests between the liberal and conservative hosts. As a result, it has come to be more like something you would expect to see on MSNBC rather than on ABC’s daytime schedule.
ABC News president James Goldson says he wants to make the show more appealing to young people, but wasn’t clear on how he would do that given that all the hosts are over 40 and on the upper edge of the demographic the show is trying to reach.
The wild card, though, is incoming Disney/ABC Television Group president Ben Sherwood, who as president of ABC News gave Good Morning America more of a pop culture feel, and saw the show overtake the Today show as the number one morning program in America.
ABC needs to decide whether they want to keep trying to mix politics and entertainment, or instead to concentrate on pop culture with a more multi-generational group of hosts who can better appeal to the key demo than the current lineup.
Considering that the three liberals to one conservative formula isn’t working, the sooner they dump the current format the better.