ABC’s latest makeover of “The View” is now complete: actress Rosie Perez and political analyst Nicolle Wallace will join the morning talk show as co-hosts, it was announced Wednesday.
They will join Whoopi Goldberg, the only co-host to survive the show’s latest round of housecleaning, as well as Rosie O’Donnell, who is returning to the program after a seven-year absence, when “The View” launches its 18th season Sept. 15.
“These are powerful and accomplished women from different walks of life who have had amazing personal and professional experiences. Each brings incredible perspective and information to the table,” said newly appointed executive producer Bill Wolff in a news release. “This mix of smart, vibrant and energetic women is unlike anything else on daytime television.”
Perez is an Academy Award-nominated actress, choreographer and dancer known for her roles in films including “Do the Right Thing,” 'White Men Can’t Jump” and “Fearless.” She also choreographed the Fly Girls, including a pre-fame Jennifer Lopez, on the early ‘90s Fox sketch-comedy show “In Living Color.” Perez is artistic director of the Urban Arts Partnership, which advocates for arts programs in public schools, and is a member of the Presidential Advisory Council on HIV/AIDS.
It will be a busy fall for Perez, who is also due to star in Larry David’s Broadway play, “Fish in the Dark,” which begins previews in Feb.
Wallace served as White House communications director under President George W. Bush and as a consultant on his reelection campaign in 2004. She also advised on the 2008 McCain-Palin presidential campaign, an experience dramatized in the HBO movie “Game Change,” where she was played by Sarah Paulson. More recently, she has made frequent appearances as a political analyst for MSNBC, and written two novels, “Eighteen Acres” and “It’s Classified."
A graduate of Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism, Wallace will be the only co-host on “The View” with journalistic credentials.
The appointment of Wallace in particular signals what could be a shift toward harder, political news and more substantive debate for “The View,” which has gone through a protracted identity crisis in recent years and seen increased competition from CBS’ “The Talk.”
Last year longtime co-hosts Joy Behar, a liberal, and Elisabeth Hasselbeck, a conservative, both left the show amid reports that viewers had tired of partisan bickering. But the hiring of former Playboy model and anti-vaccine activist Jenny McCarthy, was roundly criticized and ultimately did little to revitalize the program. She was let go in June after just a season, along with Sherri Shepherd, a co-host since 2007.
The most significant change in the show’s history arrived in May with the retirement of creator and co-host Barbara Walters, which left “The View” without its figurehead.
Following the news that Shepherd and McCarthy would not be returning to “The View,” ABC announced that it had “made decisions to evolve the show creatively.” Last week ABC confirmed the poorly kept secret that Bill Wolff, former executive producer of “The Rachel Maddow Show” and vice president of primetime programming at MSNBC, would replace longtime executive producer Bill Geddie.
The overhaul also includes a new set, studio and logo.
What the makeover did not do is bring significantly younger co-hosts to “The View,” as some had predicted. At 42, Wallace is now the youngest panel member on the show.
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