Jenny McCarthy’s time on The View was, well, eventful. The former model has no qualms about revealing what her time on the ABC show was really like and opening up about her frictions with two of her co-stars, Whoopi Goldberg and Barbara Walters. The star claimed in the bombshell book Ladies Who Punch: The Explosive Inside Story of ‘The View’ that The View tried to change her as she compared being on the panel to being by “Survivors”. “I literally had pre-show meetings where they tried to get opinions into me to take action against Whoopi. I went to work crying. I couldn’t be myself. My fans were like, ‘Where’s Jenny? They’re not letting you be yourself,'” she recalled, opening up about the months of drama she faced as a co-host. “Every day I went home and I was miserable. It was honestly the most miserable thing I’ve experienced on a job in my 25 years in show business,” she added. whoops
McCarthy left the show in 2014 after about a year, and shortly after her departure she admitted on The Howard Stern Show that she decided to move on a few months before announcing her departure because she just didn’t like it. “It’s very difficult and I don’t like doing it, it’s very awkward,” she said of her appearance on the show (via ABC News).
But things could have been oh so different since McCarthy wasn’t actually first in line for Elisabeth Hasselbeck’s empty “The View” seat.
Brooke Shields almost starred in The View
Before Jenny McCarthy sat alongside the likes of Whoopi Golderg and Barbara Walters, it turns out ABC execs were initially hoping to have Brooke Shields join The View panel. The Blue Lagoon star opened up about her experience on Watch What Happens Live with Andy Cohen in 2019, admitting, “I spent a week on the show and did all my homework. I take everything very seriously. So what exactly happened then? Jenny McCarthy got there first. And it sounds like Shields was actually okay with that. The actor admitted that she and McCarthy are friends, and she was happy when she did gig, noting, “I think they wanted something different.”
Producer Bill Geddie recounted how Shields and McCarthy’s switcheroo went under in Ladies Who Punch: The Explosive Inside Story of ‘The View’, revealing that Shields did at least one test run in front of an audience — but didn’t get the best response. “For some reason, our audience never warmed to her,” he explained, noting that he actually liked Shields in the position.
Comedian Ali Wentworth was also considered for the vacancy, although it turned out Walters wasn’t a huge fan of either of them. The decision fell on Geddie’s shoulders – and he wanted McCarthy.
How Jenny McCarthy beat Brooke Shields to a spot on The View
It sounds like Jenny McCarthy, who landed her The View gig, all came down to timing, as she revealed in Ladies Who Punch: The Explosive Inside Story of ‘The View’ that she did the Giving The View producers a small window meant she could be seated or let go as she had been offered the opportunity to host her own talk show on rival network CBS, which she was seriously considering. Bill Geddie’s answer to McCarthy’s ultimatum? “Shit. Give me an hour.” And the rest, as the saying goes, is television history.
McCarthy went on to joke about all the drama Brooke Shields missed losing the gig and quipped about her less-than-stellar performance on the show during an appearance on “Watch What Happens Live with Andy Cohen” in 2019. I Love you. I think she deeply knows I took one for the team because let’s face it, that was hell. Damn it,” admitted a very candid McCarthy, joking, “Well, you’re welcome Brooke.”