ABC News’ “The View” finished the 2017-18 TV season with an average of 2.9 million viewers, making it the show’s most-watched year since Barbara Walters said goodbye four years ago.
The reliably liberal “View” regained its place in the pop culture conversation with a panel including Whoopi Goldberg, Joy Behar, Sunny Hostin and Meghan McCain – but many observers feel that one person who's not on the panel, in particular, had much to do with the daytime gabfest success.
NewsBusters' managing editor, Curtis Houck, told Fox News that “without a doubt” ratings have shot up as a result of the panelists' endless discussions regarding President Trump.
McCain, the show’s lone conservative, and the fiery Behar have battled about all things politics on a regular basis, creating must-see TV in the process. Goldberg and Hostin aren’t exactly fans of the president, either, and the political landscape has given the panel a lot to talk about.
“Whether you tune into hate watch, cheer for whatever blurts out from Joy Behar, or see Meghan McCain battling Behar or Whoopi, 'The View' has become prime viewing just like the White House Press Briefing."
“Whether you tune into hate watch, cheer for whatever blurts out from Joy Behar, or see Meghan McCain battling Behar or Whoopi, 'The View' has become prime viewing just like the White House press briefing,” Houck said. “Trump has made shows like this even crazier than before, and thus something people can't help but watch.”
Season 21 of the kicked off in September 2017 and concluded last week. The most-watched season since 2012-13 featured several news-making moments, including the panel suggesting that women vote for whichever candidates their husbands chose; Behar apologizing for joking about Vice President Pence’s Christian faith; various derogatory remarks toward several Republicans; and guest appearances by such vocally anti-Trump figures as comic Kathy Griffin and ESPN's Jemele Hill.
Joe Biden, Elizabeth Warren, Stormy Daniels, James Comey, Sarah Sanders and Anthony Scaramucci were among the political guests to join the show this season, along with the parade of actors and musicians. Last month, Goldberg even got into a heated confrontation with Fox News host Judge Jeanine Pirro.
Season 21 also coincided with the #MeToo movement, which the all-female panel was specifically passionate about.
The episode that most resonated with viewers? It might have been a September appearance by Hillary Clinton, who appeared to discuss her election loss to Trump in 2016.
Political comedian Tim Young told Fox News that “The View” was “basically Clinton's on-screen cheering section to begin with,” so her supporters “knew where to turn for the echo chamber of 'We don’t understand how Trump won.'”
Young said that many other left-leaning talk shows “still pretend to be balanced,” but everyone knows that to expect from “The View,” which is typically positioned against Trump.
Mediaite columnist Joseph Wulfsohn told Fox News that Trump certainly helped the show, but he thinks the addition of McCain shouldn’t go unnoticed.
“By far the strongest conservative pundit the show has had in years has brought an honest and often fiery debate to the table,” Wulfsohn said.
Paula Faris and Sara Haines were also key members of the show’s success during Season 21, but won’t return after the monthlong hiatus. Faris is pursuing other interests, while Haines will co-host a new ABC program called “GMA Day.”
Replacements have not been announced.
“The View” will return to ABC for its 22nd season on Sept. 4.