From Rosie O’Donnell to Star Jones and Meghan McCain: How is the secret sauce made at “The View”?


“The View” gained infamy for its famous on-air fights and backstage battles, but in its 22 years on television it has proven itself a groundbreaking media institution and a reality TV forerunner that also changed the way we look at the news.

Two decades ago, the concept of five women sitting around a table talking about current events was anything but a sure thing. "In 1997, Barbara Walters had this idea for a show where she'd be talking to other women about the headlines of the day, says Ramin Setoodeh, author of "Ladies Who Punch: The Explosive Inside Story of 'The View.'"

As he told Mary Elizabeth Williams on "Salon Talks," "ABC executives thought it would tarnish her reputation and hurt her career. This is Barbara Walters. She's at the top of her game. And she had to fight so hard to get this started."

Before long, however, "The View" had become must-see daytime TV, thanks to the combustible chemistry of its ever rotating slate of hosts. And when the polarizing Star Jones became engaged in 2004, she ushered in an era of aspirational, heavily sponsored nuptials that generations of Kardashians and Real Housewives would later emulate.

After months of "hijacking" the show with segments about her glittery wedding, Jones' star-studded walk down the aisle promptly inspired imitators. As Setoodeh detailed, "Donald Trump and Melania come to the wedding. They love it, they think it's the most beautiful thing. Their own wedding in Florida is only two months away. They ask Star's wedding planner to come in to do the bid because they wanted a carbon copy. Then they took those plans and went with someone cheaper. They plagiarized the wedding plans. Before Melania plagiarized Michele Obama, she plagiarized Star Jones."

Watch the episode above to hear why Setoodeh argues that “The View” is more than just cat-fights, and the inside story on the co-hosts’ off-air relationships, which may surprise you.


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