Elisabeth Hasselbeck’s supposed departure from ABC’s “The View” is the hot topic of discussion right now, following closely on the heels of Joy Behar’s earlier announcement that she intends to leave the show herself. Elisabeth has not commented yet, but usually reliable source Us Weekly ran a story Friday claiming sources told them Hasselbeck’s contract would not be renewed.
The source at Us claims market research revealed Elisabeth’s conservative leanings were turning away viewers. “The viewers they polled all said she was too extreme and right wing. People did not watch the show because of Elisabeth”, the insider said.
Hasselbeck, 35, joined the cast of the popular daytime talk show in November of 2003. Since then she’s several times been embroiled in heated debates with her more liberal leaning co-hosts.
All are remaining fairly tight-lipped on the subject, and Elisabeth has not personally responded with any denials via any social networking sites. ABC did release a vague statement to USA Today that said, “Elisabeth Hasselbeck is a valued member of ‘The View’ and has a long term contract”.
Exactly what that means is not immediately clear. After all, everyone knows that while a contract provides specific terms of employment, it’s not necessarily equated with job security in the entertainment business.
Some are speculating that Hasselbeck and “View” producers are in negotiations over a possible contract settlement. Others suggest that given Behar’s departure, ABC may be taking the opportunity to revamp the show entirely, although that is a risky undertaking.
More have made the point that if Elisabeth Hasselbeck's conservative viewpoints were such a turn off for audiences, the show, “would not have been able to maintain its ratings success over her nearly 10 years as a host”, according to KpopStarz today.
They also make the point that as her views tend to at least politically stand in contrast to the rest of the hosts on the panel, Hasselbeck thereby sparks debate and gives the program depth and interest that it wouldn’t otherwise have. Of course, there’s nothing standing in ABC’s way of replacing her with another conservative as well.
Just 24 hours before this news broke, 70 year-old Joy Behar announced her plans to step down from the show after more than 16 years. “You can't stay forever on a show” she told GMA, “I am graciously exiting stage left…I felt the time was right. I want to explore other opportunities”.
Who would you like to see replace Joy on the panel?