Call it "Extreme Makeover: Talk Show Edition."
When "The View" returns to the air on Sept. 15, it will have a new logo, set and studio, ABC announced Thursday.
The long-running ABC talk show is moving from the Manhattan studio where it's been produced for the last 17 years into a space around the corner at the ABC Broadcast Center that most recently housed Katie Couric's daytime talk show. The new set, which is currently under construction, has been designed in the round. It will also include an "on-camera social media station allowing the hosts to interact in real time with viewers," a feature that has practically become a requirement in the morning-show universe.
"The View" will also get a new logo and color scheme, "the first time in the show's history that it has changed significantly," according to an ABC release.
The superficial tweaks are part of a larger creative overhaul at "The View," which has seen increased ratings competition from CBS' rival gabfest "The Talk" and weathered extensive, frequently bitter personnel changes over the past year. Last summer, long-time cohosts Elisabeth Hasselbeck and Joy Behar both said their goodbyes amid reports the show was moving away from the partisan bickering that had come to define it in recent seasons. Former Playboy model Jenny McCarthy was soon brought on board, a move that sparked intense criticism due to her outspoken (and thoroughly discredited) views on childhood vaccines.
In May cocreator Barbara Walters, who brought the show a much-needed dose of gravitas and decades of journalistic experience, retired from broadcasting and in June cohosts McCarthy and Sherri Shepherd were both let go, leaving moderator Whoopi Goldberg as the last woman standing.
Part of that "new direction" apparently includes bringing back Rosie O'Donnell, who spent a rather tumultuous year as "The View's" moderator, during which she frequently clashed with Hasselbeck over political issues. There appear to be changes behind the scenes as well: According to reports, Bill Wolff, executive producer of MSNBC's "Rachel Maddow Show," will replace cocreator and executive producer Bill Geddie, though ABC has yet to confirm the personnel change.