Who Were the Original Hosts On ‘The View’?

Over the past 22 years, The View has been one of the most controversial talk shows on television. Never one to shy away from political debates or current events, the ABC talk show has consistently connected with viewers. But that doesn’t stop the public and major news outlets from attacking its often liberal-leaning views.

Though the show is currently known for its epic showdowns between conservative panelist Megan McCain and strong liberals Whoopi Goldberg, these two weren’t even a part of the show when it began so many years ago.

The talk show has seen several hosting changes since it debuted in 1997, with only one original host remaining (although she stepped away briefly before returning to the show). Let’s take a look at the original hosts of The View, why they left, and where they are today.

The View
SNL does The View | Will Heath/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images

Barbara Walters

The View began as a little idea Barbara Walters had. In 1997, Walters was the host of the long-running news show 20/20 along with several other ABC specials. One day, one of the producers at ABC asked Walters if she had any ideas for daytime.

The veteran journalist responded that she has always wanted to do a show that revolved around women of different generations and backgrounds. And just like that, The View was born.

Walters was a constant on the show from the time it debuted until she left in 2014. Since leaving the show, she has maintained a relatively low profile with few producing credits to her name.

Later it was revealed that Walters doubted whether the show would survive after she left, but it has continued to bring in strong numbers since her departure.

Star Jones

Before joining The View Star Jones was a successful lawyer and legal correspondent. As a legal correspondent for Inside Edition, Jones was the only member of the media to interview OJ Simpson during his murder trial.

Jones stayed with the talk show for nearly 10 years before leaving in 2006, claiming that she was fired. Show lead Barbara Walters would later refute that claim but Jones insisted that Walters’ version of the story was not true.

Meredith Vieira

Meredith Vieira was an integral part of The View panel from the time it debuted until she said goodbye in 2006. Although fellow co-hosts often clashed and had a hard time controlling their tempers, Vieira was often one of the level-headed members of the show.

Prior to joining The View, Vieira worked for CBS news for over a decade. She had several assignments before landing a co-anchor position on CBS Morning News for one year. The Rhode Island native decided to leave the show to take Katie Couric’s spot on the Today show.

Since leaving she has been a long-time fixture of the NBC staple as well as a host for ABC’s Who Wants to Be a Millionaire and the short-lived Meredith Vieira Show.

Joy Behar

Regardless of who comes and goes on the show, Joy Behar has consistently been one of the loudest, most opinionated members of the panel. Whether she was sparring with Elizabeth Hasselbeck or throwing punches with Megan McCain, you could count on Behar to fight against opinions she believed to be wrong.

Before joining the show, Behar was a comedian and actress. She continued to appear in small parts after joining The View in 1997. Behar left the show in 2013, saying that she felt it was the right time to walk away. She continued to guest co-host over the next few seasons and came back permanently in 2015.

Debbie Matenopoulos

Debbie Matenopoulos is another host to leave under difficult circumstances. The then-22-year-old was constantly made fun of by the media for her “ditzy” view. After just two seasons on the show, Matenopoulos’ contract wasn’t renewed. At the time, Matenopoulos was frustrated, saying that the way other co-hosts treated her was “cruel.”

But years later, the host admitted that the show remains the best job she has ever had and one of the best experiences of her life.