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ABC's The View Gaining Popularity And Ratings

As recently reported by Variety.com ABC's morning talkfest, The View, which is permanently produced and co-hosted by Barbara Walters who is only present a few days a way, is gaining popularity in the ratings.

(The Women of ABC's The View - L-R- Whoopi Goldberg, Joy Behar, Sherri Shephard, Barbara Walters, Elisabeth Hasselbeck - ABC.com - All Rights Reserved).

In terms of overall audience, it still has a way to go to catch perennial daytime broadcast leader "The Young and the Restless" (5.1 million viewers), but "The View" is closing the gap in the key daytime demo of women 18-49.

It topped all of daytime in the demo for the first time last October and trails only CBS' "Restless" for the season, according to Nielsen.  And a couple of weeks ago, it outdrew all other broadcast daytime programming in the younger women 18-34 category for just the second time in its history.

There have been a lot of ongoing changes to the show. Academy Award winner Whoopi Goldberg took over as moderator in September of 2007 teaming with the pre-existing Elisabeth Hassleback and original co-host Joy Behar.  Besides Whoopi Goldberg comedian Sherri Shepherd was added.

I must confess I used to never watch the view.  Especially in the early days when I did not feel I could relate to anyone on the panel except Joy Behar who is always so funny and Barbara Walters, who always has interesting and very wise comments and opinions.

Personally I do not often agree with Elisabeth Hassleback, who is very cute, because her political views are at times extreme but for some reason over the past few months she seems to have toned it down.  She also seems to not interrupt as much and actually has seemed likeable as of late.

Whoopi Goldberg Was The Tipping Point For Me

I will also confess that Whoopi Goldberg was the tipping point for me.  I adore Whoppi and have never missed anything she does whether a TV show or a movie.  I don't always agree with Whoopi either but I just adore how comfortable she is in her own skin.  When the recent flap occurred over the dress she wore to the recent Academy Awards I knew she would be fine with it.  And she was.  Her response?  She could wear her regular underwear and was comfortable so bascially screw all the critics.  I love that about her.  She is so honest and full of wit.

Why Is The View Doing Well In The Ratings?

Why is The View which was always running near the bottom of the ratings doing so well?  According to Variety.com ABC Daytime prexy Brian Frons believes the election brought "The View" to the front burner for a lot of viewers but that the 12-year-old show has found its groove in the past few years.

Ironically, the now departed and very controversial Rosie O'Donnell is credited for helping the show to find its groove, which is looking outward at contemporary news issues.  "We used to be an internally focused show, more introspective, but now we're more outwardly looking," Frons said. "Rosie (former moderator O'Donnell) looked out into the society, and we have built and grown from that.

"Other programs have tried to copy us but it doesn't work," Walters said. "We all have a point of view, and it brings out a combination of political, intelligent and funny, which is unusual.

"The View" draws an audience that's desirable to advertisers, including Big Lots, which is sponsoring the show's first weeklong trip to California in four years. Among daytime talkers, only "The Oprah Winfrey Show" draws more viewers in households with income above $100,000.

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