First, it was MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow who found herself climbing the ratings ladder after a long, nine years at the bottom. Now, it’s the ladies on The View, who are seeing the show’s popularity increasing as the talk turns heavily political. Both of them have President Trump to thank.
"The View has spent more time talking politics with the arrival of a new administration, stopping the momentum of its rival The Talk, which sticks to pop culture,” the Associated Press reports. “It's a turnabout similar to Stephen Colbert supplanting Jimmy Fallon as the new king of late-night, only it has received little attention in comparison.”
ABC News president James Goldston attributes the rise of The View as “a testament to the enduring appeal of what Barbara Walters created 20 years ago.” Walters was a cast member on the show for 17 years.
For the first time in two years, The Talk, or CBS's version of The View, is taking a back seat to The View’s ratings. The Nielsen company says The View now beats The Talk regularly.
Despite their similarities, The View is decisively more political as hosts Whoopi Goldberg and Joy Behar go on near-daily tirades against President Trump and guests continue to include Democrats like Sen. Elizabeth Warren.
The change was on purpose, according to senior executive producer Hilary Estey McLoughlin, who said, "We wanted to make the show more relevant, and talk about news and politics was at the lead of that because it was the most compelling conversation to be having.”
However, others say the shift could be temporary, as The View focuses on the “hot topic” of Trump right now, whereas, the ladies on The Talk steer clear of politics, more or less. CBS’s daytime programming chief Angelica McDaniel explains that philosophy: “We offer a place for viewers to come where they know they can escape the politics. Why not come and have a respite? Why not come to a place where you know your best girlfriends are and you can just laugh and have a good time for an hour every weekday?"
But McLoughlin sees The View as what women are interested in for the long haul: “Some people watch daytime TV shows to escape. They're not interested in politics and they're not interested in news. But we're finding more and more that they are, and that's why we're growing."