ABC’s The View is widely known for its controversial and striking commentary on politics and current events from wide-ranging perspectives, leading some to even call it the country’s “premier” political show. But long before it became the dominant giant on television it is today, it was simply a show helmed by five American women who discussed hot topics, less from a political perspective and more from a pop culture perspective. The original cast in 1997 consisted of Meredith Vieira, Star Jones, Debbie Matenopoulos, creator Barbara Walters and current co-host Joy Behar. In 1998, after just two seasons, Matenopoulos was fired, and journalist and television personality Lisa Ling became the first co-host, replacing another the following year.
Ling’s time on the show would prove short, however, and she would leave in December 2002 after just four seasons to be replaced by former “Survivor” contestant Elisabeth Hasselbeck. But why did Ling leave the show? Well, it turns out the circumstances behind her departure were very different from many of her co-hosts.
Barbara Walters predicted Lisa Ling’s exit from The View
While several “The View” co-hosts have left the show over the years in less than amicable circumstances, Lisa Ling is certainly an exception. Ling joined “The View” when she was just 26, and before that had only brief experience as a television journalist — although she produced several award-winning documentaries for MSNBC. As a result, “The View” host and creator Barbara Walters told Ling from the start that she didn’t expect her to stay for very long. In fact, she accurately predicted how long she would be on the show.
“About three years ago when after a long search we were lucky enough to bring Lisa in,” Walters said on the 2002 show that announced Ling’s departure, per EW. “I said, ‘You should stay with us for about three years, we know you want to be a reporter. And then you should think about spreading your wings.’ And unfortunately she took our advice.” Ling himself described the departure as “bittersweet.”
It turns out that Ling wanted to host the National Geographic Explorer series, which she continued to do for seven years until 2010. She has since continued her journalism career and currently hosts the CNN documentary series This Is Life, which she has hosted since 2014.
Lisa Ling has returned to The View since leaving
Naturally, given the amicable circumstances of her departure, Lisa Ling has remained friends with her former “View” co-hosts (although Joy Behar is the only one still on the show) and has returned on more than one occasion to reconnect with the new hosts to discuss . in one 2021 return On the show, Ling praised Behar and her old co-hosts, saying, “I learned so much on this show from my mother characters and co-hosts who were more experienced than me.”
However, in 2022, Ling also said she was happy to no longer host the show, saying the more political and argumentative turn she took after she left didn’t have worked out well for her. “I was a guest host for a week and I’m so glad I don’t do it every day,” Ling said of her brief 2021 return in an interview with Jimmy Kimmel.
In the same interview, she also revealed that during a commercial break, Behar told her that she “talks too much.” “It’s really difficult to speak up,” she said of the show’s modern era. “I did a little bit better this time. I mean, I was 26 when I first did the show.” Undoubtedly, The View helped propel Ling into the public eye, but it seems like she was right in deciding when was the right time was to focus on her own career, which turned out to be an extremely sensible move.