"The View" is riding high in the ratings as it begins a week of shows from LA. Now in its 12th season, this ABC morning gabfest is drawing over 4.2 million viewers a day and scoring well in key demographics. And critics are enjoying the lively discussions that dominate the front half of the hour-long talker. Last week's leaking of the pre-nom lists for daytime dramas puts us in mind of the biggest mystery in daytime -- can the co-hosts of "The View" ever win a daytime Emmy Award?
While the revolving cast has been nominated as outstanding talk show hosts in each of the first 11 seasons, they have never won the award. And the show has only won one of its 11 consecutive daytime Emmy bids, when it tied with "The Wayne Brady Show" in 2003. The ladies of "The View" have blamed their losing streak on the possibility that voters have always found at least one of them to dislike at various times.
Certainly Emmy voters have historically preferred solo nominees. Since Dinah Shore won the first daytime Emmy for hosting back in 1974 for her talker "Dinah's Place," no multiple-host nominees have ever prevailed. Indeed, the only time perennial runner-up Regis Philbin won this award was in 2001 when he was in between co-hosts. He could never win with Kathie Lee Gifford and he has yet to repeat with Kelly Ripa by his side.
Could the current quintet of women on "The View" break this tradition? Is this the year that creator and occasional co-host Barbara Walters will finally get to deliver the speech she has had in her purse since 1998? That first year, the original co-hosts — Meredith Vieira, Star Jones, Debbie Matenopoulos, Joy Behar, and Walters — lost in a three-way race to both Oprah Winfrey and Rosie O'Donnell.
Certainly there is a ease among this panel that was missing for much of the show's first decade. For the first nine years, Star Jones was one of the co-hosts and her popularity plunged in direct relation to her ever-shrinking waistline. Once Jones was jettisoned in 2006, hopes were high that bringing on board Rosie O'Donnell as the new moderator would change the show's Emmy fortunes.
After all, O'Donnell had enjoyed a long love affair with the daytime Emmy Awards for her own talker. She had won six consecutive hosting Emmys beating, among others, "The View" panel. Alas, while her run-ins with conservative co-host Elisabeth Hasselbeck made for gripping TV, they did not sit well with Emmy voters who preferred the softer edges of Ellen DeGeneres.
With O'Donnell's departure after only one season, Whoopi Goldberg came on board to steer the conversation. Yet even the presence of Goldberg — one of only 10 people to win the grand slam of Oscar, Emmy, Tony, and Grammy awards — could not win over Emmy voters last spring who went with DeGeneres for the fourth consecutive year. However, following the recent election there is a relative calm on the show. Hasselbeck, who recently announced her third pregnancy, has been gracious in defeat though she still makes her points in a forthright manner.
The irony of all this might be that "The View" co-hosts finally win the daytime Emmy in a year that the kudos are held without the usual fanfare. There is still no word as to when and where the award ceremony will be held and who, if anyone, will be airing it. Many media sources have reported that the four top broadcast channels — ABC, CBS, NBC and Fox — have all passed on the kudocast as has cable network Soapnet.